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Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4055
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
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I have a 2 year old female spayed cat (7.5 lb) that has developed

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I have a 2 year old female spayed cat (7.5 lb) that has developed chronic constipation over the past month. She's been to our regular vet three times and the ER once. She's had a barium that showed no abnormalities or obstruction. Blood work is good. This past Thursday, the 6th, I had to take her in again.

She received a hot water enema, subq, the first session of her aquapuncture, Metoclopramide(which she's been on 1ml 3x a day since May 4th. Started her on lactulose 2ml every 8 hrs (she's had 6 doses since Thursday. He put her on Royal Canin dry Satiety, which she hates. I had to mix it into her Fancy Feast pate. Pet-tinic vitamin drops as well 2x a day.

He sent home 2 Pet-emas. Around noon today she began straining again and vomited her breakfast. She's not eaten since. She's passing the blackish green liquidy droplets again. We've given her one enema, but I don't think we did it right. I got it all in her but she shot it right back out at me and still hasn't had a movement. This was about 6 hours ago. She's vomited foXXXXX XXXXXght brownish stuff after straining. I've still given her her meds and have been forcing water with a syringe 3 ml at a time. She hasn't vomited in awhile Her abdomen is hard, down toward her pelvic area and her sides are awfully sunken. She's passing foul smelling gas as well.

Basically I'm wondering what we can do for her until Monday morning. Should we do the other enema now or wait until morning? I have one 12ml tube left. How do I keep the enema fluid in her long enough to soften the stool? How long does Lactulose take to work?

Thank you in advance for your time :)

Dr. Whitehead :

Hello there. My name isXXXXX and I am sorry to hear the Marshall is having some constipation problems. If she is still straining to defecate then yes i would try to repeat the other enema and see if you can get the stool to pass. When giving the enema you are inserting it rectally and administering the liquid. What you can then do is use a tissue or paper towel to try to apply gentle pressure for a few seconds to her rectum to keep the enema from coming back out but it is going to come back out rather quickly. Enemas aren't necessarily designed to soften the stool but they are designed to trigger the colon to contract and push the dry hard stool out more strongly. but it does bring some moisture into the colon during this process. The lactulose should soften stools within 24 hours or so also.

Dr. Whitehead :

Administering water is very important because dehydration will cause worse constipation. If you can get her to eat fancy feast i think this is good because it will also get more moisture in her GI tract and help the bowel movement through. the other thing you can safely add in on top of everything that may help quite a bit is miralax. which is an over the counter human laxative sold at most major pharmacies. Its a odorless, flavorless, tasteless powder that you sprinkle on her food each time she eats. I would start with two pinches per feeding until her bowel movements are more normal and back off if her stools become loose.


I have benefiber on hand, will that work the same way? I can get Miralax. Since she won't eat can I mix it in water in syringe?

Dr. Whitehead :

Yes definitely can mix it in with water in a syringe. Benifiber is ok but honestly i have found that out of all of the laxatives and fiber supplements miralax does the best in cats. So i would try the miralax mixed in water


Miralax and second enema it is then. If I keep her hydrated as possible will it be safe to wait until Monday for our regular vet? Or should we take her to the ER vet. It's far away and very expensive. We've already spent over one thousand for our non-pooing girl. If you believe her to be in imminent danger we're certainly take her to ER.

Dr. Whitehead :

Yes i think if you can keep her hydrated and if you can get any canned food, liquid from the can, any calories in her thats even better and you can wait until monday. If she gets any worse then i would definitely get her to the ER to get some additional help. But definitely try the miralax and keep her hydrated and offer her any food she will eat or keep in. Then get her in monday to get her re-evaluated


Alright. Thank you for your time Dr. Whitehead. I truly appreciate your help.

Dr. Whitehead :

You are very welcome. I wish you luck and i hope your girl feels better soon. She is lucky there aren't many people to spend that kind of money on a kitty and not to mention do enemas and deal with that mess.

Dr. Whitehead :

Please let me know if you have any further questions i would be happy to help


She's family. It's just what you do :) Thanks again.

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Hi Sarah,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Marshall. How is everything going?

Dr. Whitehead
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I ended up taking her to the ER a few hours after our conversation. 1:30 Sunday morning I think. She became so lethargic and dehydrated. They did IV and enema, the usual. Monday she had a large amount of runny, yellow feces twice during the day. One extreme to the other. But she has been drinking water on her own.


This past Tuesday - to our vet for aquapuncture and subq. Now she's not going again and I found vomit this morning. I've been giving her a couple pinches of Miralax on her food, and of course extra water. I'm going to up that amount (1/8 tsp) in a syringe before she eats this evening if she can hold down this morning's food and doesn't pass any stool. We're switching her to Cisapride, it's on order and hopefully will be here tomorrow. Worst case we'll do another enema here at home and/or have the vet do one tomorrow if it's another no-go.

What's new, though, is that the ER vet said that what was in her colon was soft. So the lactulose is dong it's job. It definitely appears to be a motility issue. Hopefully the cisapride will get those lazy bowel muscles working.


Thank you so much for your concern and following up with me. I'm off to the litter boxes. I swear I spend more time there than my cats do!

You are welcome just glad to hear she is doing a little better.