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Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  DVM
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She has issues with constipation. I'm wondering if a product

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She has issues with constipation. I'm wondering if a product like Metamucil would be safe to give to her on a daily basis to help with that?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: a female cat around 10 yrs old
JA: OK. Welcome! What's going on with your cat?
Customer: I can tell she has a hard time going to the bathroom. I gave her Miralax for three days (suggested by a vet) and after the third day she had a huge bowel movement and also passed a hairball. So hairballs may be contributing to it. But she's not a big fan of the hairball paste.
JA: What is the cat's name?
Customer: billy
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about billy?
Customer: Normally when she poops it's like pebbles. She may only poop every three days. When she had the huge bowel movement from the Miralax, they were huge long turds and some very dark coloration in it. Her food is kidney support from Hill's diet as her kidney enzymes were high. She drink a ton of water and her urine in diluted. When she tried to poop, she continually inches forward and does outside the littler box. On rare occasion she will also throw up after she is able to poop.
JA: Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did billy eat anything unusual?
Customer: Not that I'm aware of. It seems to me the throw up is related to the constipation.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The Miralax was recommended by a vet clinic as I didn't actually talk to the vet. My vet is located hour and half away. Guess I'm just wondering what some of my dietary options are. I've tried canned pumpkin but not sure that really helped.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She's been on the kidney support diet for a handful of years now. Has always, since a kitten, drank a lot of water.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
her "normal" poop is pebbles or a clump of pebbles.

Hi. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand that Billy has been having issues with constipation and you want to know if something like Metamucil will help. Is that correct?

You may receive a request for a phone call. This is automatically generated by the website, but you do not have to accept it. I am able to answer your question in this chat box if you wish.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Right. I read on WebMD Metamucil would be safe to give daily but I'm curious for another online opinion.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
this was relating to cats
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
To me some of the facts:
She drinks a ton of water - that's not the issue
She is on a kidney support perscription diet (dry and wet food) - I don't know if that is affecting fiber/her poop and has been on it for handful years
Her urine has been tested and is diluted
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She had blood work done just over a year ago - everything looked good and kidney enzymes were good so the vet felt the diet is helping her.

The kidney diet is lower in fiber, so although the diet is helpful for the kidney values, it is not a useful tool to soften the stool. Increasing the fiber will not have any affect on the kidney diet, so you will be able to continue using the kidney food and whatever supplement we decide to increase the fiber. You have tried canned pumpkin already, which is a common over-the-counter remedy. Over-the-counter psyllium husk and Metamucil can all be used to increase fiber. The veterinarian will have a product called, Lactulose, which is a liquid fiber supplement that is often used for cats and is relatively easy to give.

It is generally easier to dose Lactulose, but either way we go, we need to gradually increase the dose until we begin to achieve a soft-formed stool.

You may also consider adding mineral oil preparations (i.e. Petromalt) or senna or bran flakes one at a time to increase
bowel movements. In other words, there are many different options of fiber (soluble vs. insoluble) or mineral oil preparations that can be used. This is a trial an error approach. I have found that Lactulose often works the best, ***** ***** Miralax or Metamucil after that. Vomiting and constipation often occur together with underlying inflammatory intestinal disease, so you might want to talk more with your veterinarian about the possibility underlying inflammatory bowel disease. Does that answer your question?

If you have no other questions, I would appreciate very much a positive review. You may select up to 5 stars when ready. I will remain available if you have any additional questions.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
This is good information. Questions:Is the Lactulose something that can be purchased online or is it something only a vet carries?
In regard to the Metamucil - what would be a recommended starting dose??
In regard to the Miralax - my understanding that it being a stimulant laxative it is not safe to give on a daily basis?
The underlying inflammatory bowel disease - I would guess eliminating the constipation would help if that was going on? Because I can understand that developing and the GI becoming inflammed as a result of the constipation.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'm currently trying the oil preparations like the petromalt but for a cat that's not a picky eater, she isn't a big fan of it even mixed in with her wet food.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I guess one more question - the instructions on the hairball paste do not recommend a daily dose longer than 14 days. Would a small dose (like the size of a pea) be okay to give on a daily basis? If not, how often is that recommended?

Lactulose is only a prescription product, but you could order it from on online pharmacy. I do not believe it is available on Amazon or another online retailer. A starting Metamucil dose is 1-4 teaspoons in the food per meal - we adjust the dose to achieve the soft-formed feces consistency. Miralax is an "osmotic laxative" meaning it pulls in fluids into the intestines to make it softer. It is not a stimulant, but it can cause imbalances of certain electrolytes over time (because of trapping them in the intestines). Therefore, it is not ideal to use it over a long period of time. An inflammatory bowel condition can cause vomiting and constipation, so sometimes the constipation is occurs because of an underlying inflammatory condition. We should treat the constipation issue, but I would consider looking at other inflammatory intestinal diseases as well to make sure we are not missing anything and to prevent constipation. Inflammatory intestinal diseases may consist of inflammatory bowel disease or cancer, so it might be a good idea to have this discussion with your regular veterinarian to see if they recommend an abdominal ultrasound or biopsy.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I very much appreciate your time and all your information/suggestions.A question with the mineral oil pastes. That just serves as like a lubricant right? Nothing like a laxative? I have been starting to incorporate that since getting the hairball that passed with the Miralax. Most I can get her to eat in one doze is a pea size. Given that amount, how many times a week would that be okay to give?

That is correct about the mineral oil. It works as a lubricant, which has a long way to go to get to the colon. Some of it gets absorbed or broken down by the intestinal tract on its way to the colon, so it is not necessarily the best option to relieve constipation but it can be helpful. With a Miralax dose of a "pea size" I would think it is completely safe to give it daily and monitor the feces. If they are becoming liquid then we can scale it back to 2-3 times per week.

If they are not becoming liquid then there is little to no risk of having electrolyte disturbances.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
This is starting to feel better for me and what directions to go. I appreciate it very much. I think one last question. Confirming the kidney diet being low in fiber, I went to the store to look at some supplemental fiber options. Didn't like the extra ingredients in Metamucil, especially sodium. Really liked Benefiber, a wheat dextrin (gluten-free). Just want to make sure, in your opinion, that would be okay for her?(and trying to think when I noticed any hint of constipation, I want to say it was after her diet was switched), I went to the store to look into some options. Didn't like the extra ingredients in Metamucil. I liked Benefiber. In case you're not familiar with it, it's wheat dextrin for the soluble fiber source. My question is - I've never heard of this fiber source and just want to make sure I just want to double check
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I forgot to delete some of what I typed up. Please disregard the second paragraph.
I often recommend Benefiber. It will be safe to give.
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