Dear Sweetie’s Mom:
I’m so sorry that you and Sweetie are going thru this. I know it is a scary thing for both of you. Try to stay calm as Sweetie will pick up on your stress. I know it is hard right now, but try to be patient because it often takes a long time for things to get better, especially for an older cat. You’ve already seen her urine continence return. Give the bowels time to heal.
Right now, you may need to have Sweetie sedated and have her cleaned out. As someone said, the diarrhea may not really be diarrhea, but rather she is so impacted right now the only thing that will pass is what little water is in her colon. Constipation is not a good thing to let go for very long because it can lead to mega colon.
Diarrhea can also be caused by antibiotics – for my cats clavamox is almost always a problem by the 3rd dose. Some cats if given too much cisapride can also have diarrhea and cramping.http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... A=2014&S=2
Side Effects If too great a motility effect is created, diarrhea and cramping may result.
There are two excellent yahoo groups dealing with megacolon and irritated bowel disease (IBD) but both groups address other gastro-intestinal issues. Both groups are very compassionate and very up to date on treatments, suggestions and tips. They also offer the emotional support that cat parents going thru something like this need.
The weight loss bothers me, but some of it could be from just the stress of surgery recovery. However, if she is impacted, she is very uncomfortable and cats with constipation will not want to eat. The cisapride is to help move the food thru the digestive system, but usually it is used in conjunction with lactulose which is a stool softener.
What diet do you have her on? Each cat is different when it comes to diet and keeping things moving – some do better on a high fiber diet, others find that a low residue diet making smaller feces passes thru the colon easier. Either choice should be the highest quality diet you can afford. The food should be preferably without grain, but most especially corn. The food should have no dyes or preservatives in it. Canned food is much better than a dry diet because of the higher moisture content. Many people on the IBD and megacolon groups have found that a ‘raw’ diet almost totally clears up their constipation and/or diarrhea problems. It used to be you had to make it yourself, but now many pet stores offer a high quality frozen variety that you just slice as needed.
It is imperative that the stool be kept from getting hard and dry. If Sweetie is dehydrated I would talk to my vet about giving her subQ fluids for awhile. (you know how to check by liftin skin at back of neck. The skin of a hydrated cat pops right back. But if it goes back slowly Sweetie is very dehydrated. )
I know you’ve seen your vet and a surgeon. Surgeons are very good at what they do – surgery – but they are not really good with ‘after care’ suggestions. You, I’m sure, like your vet very much, but all vets can’t be good with all things. Possibly Sweetie’s condition is not one of his strong suites and he is at a loss of what else to suggest. Maybe you could consult with a second vet that he might be able to recommend who is more versed on cats with paralysis and intestinal issues.
I know you are frustrated right now and very worried, You are scared and upset that Sweetie is so uncomfortable. It seems like it has been a long time for her to recover, but it’s only been a little over 8 weeks and it doesn’t sound like you’ve been helped much with the different things that might help Sweetie and you.
As others have said, there are different medications you can try, low residue foods that Sweetie might pass more easily, extra hydration if she is dehydrated. You can have her little bottom area shaved by your vet, especially if she is long haired, and that will help with odors and ease of giving her a bath and drying her. She can wear baby diapers part of the time when she is out having family time so that your home is kept cleaner. She can spend the night in the kitchen or a small tile bathroom that is easy to mop if she has an accident. There are many things that can be done and people here will help you with that by letting you know things that have worked for them.
Please give it some more time. Talk to your vet and if he doesn’t know, ask him to suggest another vet who may have more experience with Sweetie’s condition. Consider joining the mega colon and IBD yahoo groups. Even if you aren’t comfortable posting at first about Sweetie, it gives you access to their archives which often are a wealth of information and links posted by others.
Do stay here with us and do post of your concerns. This is a very compassionate and experienced group of people all of whom have been where you are now. It was hard at first and we too were scared and frustrated, but thru the friendship of the posters here we made it thru it. Now many of us care for several cats or dogs with paralysis or incontinence. (Sweetie is walking, right?).