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brisadog
brisadog,
Category: Cat Veterinary
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My 15 year ole female cat has diabetes and been on insulin

Customer Question

My 15 year ole female cat has diabetes and been on insulin for about 18 months. She also has been diagnosed with spinal problems and some back leg issues related to the spinal problem. She has not been able to use a litter box for about 2 years so I have an alternative way to handle this. For the last few weeks she has had some difficulties with bowel movements. She makes one fairly decent size dump and then that is sometimes followed by several small drops--not diarrhea--. After she does these small drops, she becomes extrely agitated, holds her back leg out because she cannot find a comfort zone, and carries on for about 5-10 minutes, meowing and growling. I have taken her to my regular vet and made a trip to an emergency vet center when she was so agitated I thought she was going to die. The emergency vet gave me pain med. injections to bring home, and my regular vet put her on gabapentin liquids. I don't think either of these is doing any good because she still has the defecation problems and agitation. Mentioned has been compression and neuropathy, but at her age there is nothing to do except medicate. Any ideas? I don't know if she is in pain or not??? She eventually settles down until it's time for another little one-drop dump. I am frustrated beyond belief. Some days are worse than others.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I can help you with your question today. How often is she having these large bowel movements?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She usually takes one fairly normal dump, and this is followed by several smaller ones spaced out over minutes or a couple of hours.
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

Is this a daily process?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. It has happened recently for the last 2 days. But sometimes she only has one movement a day. Unfortunately, there is no real pattern. I go on a day-to-day basis with this.
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

OK, I wonder if she is having a problem when she strains to defecate. The pain medications that have been started were a good trial. Since these are not effective, I would try a stool softener for her now. You can use an over the counter human product called Miralax for this purpose. I would mix 1/4 teaspoon with her meals twice daily. The amount of Miralax can be adjusted as needed for increased softening or if her stools become too soft.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The 'main' dump she takes is pretty solid. But the little ones that follow are soft. Why does she gets so agitated when this happens? This is what bothers me the most. I can't touch her to try to help when she is like this. She is very much alert, she eats and drinks her water, she has no problem urinating. Could she be in pain from the straining? And why is she taking so many of these little one-drop dumps?
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

This is certainly not a common presentation for our patients, but I would consider the most likely explanation to be pain - just as your local vet is thinking. My only other thoughts at this time would be to check a stool sample for intestinal parasites and consider a trial on a hypoallergenic diet. We could also try a dose of prednisolone, which may help in general with intestinal inflammation, joint pain, etc.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Susan