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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7684
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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I have a 16 yr old cat and he has been having trouble going

Customer Question

I have a 16 yr old cat and he has been having trouble going to the bathroom with his stool, is very constipated. I have had him to the vet several times and they put him on lactlulose and also have given him enemas in the past. He is on Gabapentin 100 mg 3 times a day, also Prednisone 2 twice daily. He is on these meds because last year in June he was diagnosed with spinal cord cancer. I took him to the vets last Monday and they gave him fluids and lactlulose and still couldn't get his stool to move. Did an x-ray and said it was backed up and very large. They ended up having to surgically remove it and cut him open and his colon to remove all the hard stool. He is still at the vets and he has just started eating but not very well. The vet took him off a bit of the Gabapentin, thought it might help him to not act to groggy. They called this morning and said he finally had a bowel movement today and it was very thin, they have been giving him the lactlulose 4 ml three times a day even though he hasn't eaten that much. They said he looked different to the vet this morning and was acting mellow so she wanted to monitor him. I am worried that the surgery has caused him to be worse now and something is going on. Shouldn't he have been on a tube feeding to let the colon heal and them not feed him regular cat food? Also an antibiotic for infection? Also, shouldn't he have had a bowel movement before today, especially with the lactlulose? What do you think needs to be done from here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
Good morning, JACustomer. Whether he's fed orally or fed via tube, the food is still going to make it down to the colon (at the end of the GI tract). If he's willing to eat, we typically allow this to happen unless there's something at the front of the GI tract keeping it from happening. Antibiotics are sometimes started for infection. With a GI surgery, they probable have him on an injectable form. This may be given daily, such as sodium ampicillin, or given once that works for an extended period of time like convenia. If you know what medications they're giving him, I may be able to better help you determine if this is being given. The lactulose takes a while to work and if there was that much stool built up in the GI tract, your vet likely took the chance to empty as much as they could while the were in there (to give him more opportunity to recover without having to pass stool that was an issue). We do want to be careful about pushing hard stool through an area that's just had surgery. For this reason, it would likely have taken a day or better to produce stool and they're giving quite a bit of lactulose to try to keep the stool looser and safer on the bowels.It sounds like he's making improvements with the stool production and eating, which are both great signs. So long as he continues to improve, it sounds like continuing on the treatment at hand is going to work well for him. That's the route I'd take unless something else arises as far as symptoms go. Did my response help to answer all of the questions that you had regarding your companion?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are not giving him any meds at all, just the ones I mentioned that I took out there for him, Gabapentin, prednisone and the lactlulose. They are not giving him any antibiotics and haven't given him any, also no pain meds were given to him after the surgery. He is cut all the way up and down his stomach and the had to cut his intestines open as well. They said they cleaned everything out, all the stool that was backed up in his colon. I am afraid this surgery has made him worse, the cancer maybe in his spine being they cut on him and that will compromise the immune system from the anesthesia. He has struggled so much to be living with the spinal cord cancer and now this. I don't like the fact she backed him off the Gabapentin being a neurologist specialist put him on it and I have given it to him for the past 9 months. I don't understand what she means he is acting mellow and looks different to her, therefore she wants to keep him and monitor him.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He had the surgery on Tuesday and on Friday they said they did an x-ray and could see the stool in his intestines and moving on down which that is what they wanted. Then Saturday they called and said it was at the end and they could see it but it just hadn't come out and they wanted to keep him until it did. It didn't pass until today. Isn't that a very long time to come out? I am afraid maybe he can't push now or something, maybe the nerves are damaged and he can't push.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wanted to talk to a vet specialist, not a nurse, not happy with this.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
I'll opt out so you can speak with someone else. Best of luck with your pet.