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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21201
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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How to help with hard stools, Buffy and she is 14 years old,

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How to help with hard stools
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Buffy and she is 14 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Buffy?
Customer: Perfectly healthy

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

First, in regards ***** ***** feces to move out of the GI without a struggle, you can first try Buffy with a bit of milk. Milk can help our lactose sensitive kitties to get things moving (though it can cause self-limiting diarrhea in cats without fecal issues). Furthermore, daily treatment with an OTC hairball medication (ie. Catalax, Laxatone, etc) can be used to get things moving. This is available from the vet or the pet shop. It works to lubricate the gut and can facilitate the movement of hard feces out of the rectum. Alternatively, if she is really struggling just now, you can administer a small volume of Miralax (1 tsp per 24 hours), lactulose or mineral oil orally. If she is eating, these can be mixed into her food. If you have to administer via syringe, do take care to avoid aspiration ( since that would cause problems we'd best avoid).

In regards ***** ***** term modification, you can consider mixing a spoonful of canned pumpkin or a 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil into her daily diet. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. I would offer these with wet food to ease her eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into her (as canned food is 35% water). I would also encourage her to drink as constipation can be complicated by dehydration. Make sure she has fresh water and you can even offer low sodium chicken broth if she won’t drink.

Otherwise, since we all too often see fecal struggles related to arthritis (either because squatting is difficult or they hold feces longer to avoid the discomfort of going) in elderly cats, I do want to note that addressing this chronic discomfort can also help their fecal situation. Therefore, I would just note that you may wish to consider either treating her with fish oil or glucosamine/chondroitin. With the fish oil (Omega 3 +6), this would lubricate the GI as well as have anti-inflammatory effects on Buffy's joints. When offering this we tend to give 20mg per pound of their body weight and many cats have no qualms about a bit of fish flavor added to their food. And its available over the counter at your vet, pet stores, and local health food stores. Otherwise, with glucosamine/chondroitin supplementation, this is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). It works by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Often we can find this helpful in animals with arthritis and can sometimes settle arthritis induced constipation. Normally we give kitties 50mg glucosamine + 15mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, this too would be something to consider for her.

Overall, struggles to pass feces are quite often not a primary issue but something that obviously needs to be addressed for your lass. So, I would advise the above to address her current issue but advise some of our longer term options to keep this from being a regular struggle for her.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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