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Help with bowel

For those seeking advice on caring for incontinent pets and animals with kidney-related problems.

Help with bowel

Postby ljulian » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:29 am

Hello everyone,

My cat Yeti who was born partially paralyzed in the lower half of his body has always had problems with seizures, bladder control and walking. After, many agonizing years and many visit this forum and to the vet, we were finally able to control the seizures with prednisone and lots of baths to keep Yeti clean. We finally got the seizures under control and his back legging working real well. Now he is having problems with consitpation and cannot pass his bowels and he is dragging the lower half of his body. He no longer comes out to eat or play. He still has an appetite so we feed him in his bed, but he will not come out. We took him to the vet and they cleaned him out and we were told that his condition was getting worse. I have a hard time accepting that, Yeti went from doing 70% better to 0% overnight, it just seems too fast of a change. Since the vet visit, Yeti still has not passed a bowel on his own. We have tried enemas, some liquid meds the vet gave us (can't remember the name) and mineral oil. My son has even put a rubber glove on and tried to scoop it out. He has passed a little but he is still very full. Is there anyone that has had a similar problem or any advice as to what I might try? I was thinking of having x-ray done, but do not know if that will help.

Thanks in advance for all your help

I just read this post by CarolC, I guess I should have searched first cause I found some great stuff, anyway I will try some of the advice in it and If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know.


Re: Urgent advice needed for incontinent Manx!
by CarolC » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:05 am

Lactulose is something you can fine-tune. It sounds like you need to be giving him more. I would ask the vet for a small syringe so you can measure it exactly, you're going to want to be precise. With lactulose, and measuring it exactly right, you can get any quality of stools you want and with consistent results. I assume you are feeding him canned food and not dry. If he is getting dry food I would switch him to canned.

You can do enemas at home. I know they say it is better to do it in the vet's office because it is a mess and cat's don't like the procedure, but you CAN do it at home. My aunt (a very stylish woman) gave her cat an enema twice a week for years. She and my uncle took him to the garage, spread the Wall Street Journal on the car, and gave it there.

There is a medication that increases intestinal motility. It is called Propulsid (cisapride). I would try that rather than put him down.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/cisapride.html

In addition, giving sub-q fluids can help these cats, and this is something else you can do at home. I have a cat I am giving fluids to twice a day for another condition, it is not that much trouble and takes very little time. If you want links on that, please let me know.

There is a technique that you can learn if you cat is fairly calm. You can learn to manually massage the colon to move feces along toward the exit. It is especially easy if he is not overweight. You simply cup his abdomen with your hand in a lobster claw and reach up on both sides with your fingertips and squeeze. You can learn to feel the colon (it will probably feel "harder" than you expect) and by squeezing you can actually break the feces into sections and help it move toward the exit. If you see some in his anus that is not coming out, you may be able to get it out by putting on a latex glove, dipping your finger in vaseline and reaching in and sweeping it out. Some people would cringe at the idea, it really isn't that bad.

They can do surgery for megacolon. What they do is simply remove the section of colon that has enlarged. Afterward, your cat will probably need to go to the litterbox more often but he will not block like he has been doing.

I hope something in this message helps.CarolC
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby critters » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:24 am

Buddy used lactulose very nicely. You have loads of info; hope you can find the right combo quickly!
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby CarolC » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:10 am

Hi ljulian,

Some other ideas include feeding wet food rather than dry (though it sounds like he needs more urgent help than this) and some people have found that adding plain canned pumpkin (no spices) to the food helps. In addition, I read about one cat that was helped by feeding milk (ask your vet first, you read a lot of things on the Internet). Some cats get diarrhea from milk, so I guess it was helpful in that case.

You may find more ideas by searching the web for feline megacolon. As I recall, you can't just let the constipation go because it isn't simply uncomfortable, before long the old food in the colon spoils and releases toxins into the cat's system, which can be fatal. It really becomes an emergency.

If you need emergency surgery to remove part of the colon, here are some funding sources.

http://www.carecredit.com (emergency loan, very good terms, they let you know right away if you are approved and most emergency vets accept it, and most people I've heard of have been approved)

http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/ (Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance)

http://www.catsincrisis.org/ (Cats in Crisis)

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=8162 (other sources)

I do hope this works out for you. :angel:
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby ljulian » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:36 am

Thanks again you guys for all your wonderful info.....your awesome. Yeti, did pass some stool this morning. I gave him 2 tsp of mineral oil last night and I think it helped, but he's still full. We will be going to the vet tomorrow to discuss the lactuloce (which he has already tried, but maybe needs a larger dose) and the cisapride. Carol the pumpkin you mentioned, right now I'm just trying to get him to pass all the poo, but once I get him cleaned can I use the pumkin as a preventive?


Thanks again,
Ljulian
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby CarolC » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:30 pm

The pumpkin should help keep him regular but I agree with your priority right now to get him cleaned out. I've tried the pumpkin here but went back to lactulose. To me, the pumpkin seemed inconvenient, you always had to have it on hand, put the left over in little storage containers and refrigerate it, open a new can when it started to get old. Plus it runs about a dollar a can. With my small dog I ended up throwing away a lot of pumpkin because we couldn't get a full can used up before I started to worry it had been sitting in the fridge too long. It is so much easier to give the lactulose. And much neater. And cheaper. You buy a bottle of lactulose for under $20, and with a small pet one bottle will last you for months. No running to the store or keeping tabs on whether you are running out. No storage containers to wash. No mixing it into food. Also, my dog likes the lactulose and if I put a little in a dish she will lick it clean, whereas she was not thrilled with plain pumpkin. With my cat I need to give the lactulose with a syringe, but that is easy enough--the only inconvenience is washing the syringe. But that is just my experience, some people love it and find it really helps so I think it is worth a try.
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby ljulian » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:34 pm

Thanks CarolC for the info. I started messaging Yeti's colon and I think it may be working, he went three times yesterday :D

Thanks again your great
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby ljulian » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:21 pm

YAHOO!!!!!! The vet said Yeti was totally cleaned out and did prescribe the lactulose and cisapride. The only other issue now is that he no longer can use his back legs to get around and I can tell it really bothers him. Does anyone know where I can get a low to ground wheel chair that allows him to lay down if he wants but narrow enough so he can hide in his box. The opening to his box is 9" wide and 9" high, the box it self is 25" deep and 14 1/2" wide. We made it out of a plastic storage bin and he loves hiding in it. Thanks again for all your help
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby critters » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:12 pm

Cats are notorious for hating wheelchairs. :mrgreen: Can you make one? Ari's was a pain in the butt to make, but not that hard. I'm NO engineer, apparently!! :hysterical:
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby ljulian » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:01 pm

HI Critters,

Thank you for responding to my post. Do you have a pic of the one you made so I can get an idea? Thanks again
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby critters » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:32 am

Here's the link, but it's showing an error message. http://handicappedpets.com/wiki/index.p ... sabled_cat
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby ljulian » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:32 am

Oh well thanks anyway. Let me know if you come across any pics. Again, thanks from the bottom of my heart if it wasn't for all for you I would have put Yeti to sleep.

XOXOXO
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby CarolC » Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:10 am

http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... sabled_cat

They had to move the wiki to new software because of spam. All the articles are still at http://www.handicappedpets.info but it looks like the redirect isn't working yet.
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Re: Help with bowel

Postby ljulian » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:23 am

Thanks CarolC, that gives me a good idea on how to make one :D
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