FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

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

Post by FAITHANDHOPE » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:12 pm

Hi, everyone. I'm hoping for some advice on dealing with a fecal incontinent kitten. He is almost 6 months old and I've had him about two months. He has no sphincter muscle control at all and he becomes constipated about once a week. I feed him strictly canned food for the moisture content and I add Benefiber (currently 1/4 tsp. twice a day) to it. When he does pass stool, it is soft but formed, although very small in diameter. The other problem is that he constantly leaks "dots" of wet feces, even when he's constipated. My vet thinks he either has a congenital problem (possibly nerve related) that caused this, or his constant elimination problem has created scar tissue and a nerve problem. Which came first, we don't know. I've tried different foods, he's had a round of Metronidazole and is currently on 5 mg. of Prednisone once daily. I am seeing no improvement at all and his constipation is getting worse. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Faith and Hope

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Bendy Kitty
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by Bendy Kitty » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:21 pm

have you ever tried expressing him? I had a brain damaged girl i expressed 2x day, she would have constipation problems if left to go on her own. years ago I had an incontinent kitten and I wish I had been better at expressing him, I think it would have made things easier.

Expressing not only makes sure they pass whatever is in their colon, it also limits accidents because you are clearing out their colon regularly. benfiber is good stuff, i had to give my incontinent kitten ducosate sodium (stool softener you can get at any drug store) to help him when he became blocked. the intestine will lose elasticity over time if it is always full of stool and then it loses the ability to move stool along so its important to keep things moving as best you can.

you can try adding a little bit of pumpkin pulp to his canned food (another thing i did for my guys) to help keep a good consistency. just make sure it is plain pumpkin and not the pie filling, which has sugar in it.

hope this is helpful.
good luck with your kitten, please keep us updated!

Bendy
In loving memory of Bendy Cute Kitty 9/15/00-4/23/12

Meet the cats at Bendy's Home http://www.alittletlc.com"

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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by Christine » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:16 pm

Welcome to our site and please be patient. You have just heard some great advice from one of our wonderful cat experts..(just check out Bendy's website to see how many cats have been saved and made healthy by his mom. More will be chiming in soon. Just keep trying and coming back with more questions. It will happen.
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mumpkees
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by mumpkees » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:05 pm

Hi and welcome to HPBB.

20 questions time: Do you have a picture of your little one? Do you have any history or background on him? Was he a shelter rescue or did you find him? Does he have a tail? Is it possible that he could have been HBC (hit by a car), stepped on, kicked or thrown from a window or car? Any of these things could also have caused damage. Is he able to urinate and empty his bladder fully on his own? I.E., does he get in the litter box, dig a hole, squat and pee a full stream? Are you sure of this and that he is not just getting a bladder so full that he leaks a puddle when he is sleeping?

The questions above are important to know. A 'congenital' problem could possibly be the case if he had no tail. Cats born with no tail (manx breed or not) sometimes will have nerve damage. An 'elimination' problem could possibly a condition called mega colon that happens when a cat is continually unable to move feces thru his colon and expel it. Eventually the colon becomes flaccid and stretches making 'pockets' where the feces builds up and becomes hard and difficult or impossible to expel.

Any of the other things I mentioned - being kicked,thrown, a car accident could also have damaged his bowels and nerve endings.

I ask about the ability to fully empty his bladder on his own because with both congenital problems and accidents, the ability to empty the bladder can also be compromised. A bladder that is not fully emptied can also become flaccid and it will fill and leak. This is not good at all because not only does a bladder not fully emptied become a breeding ground for bacteria and results in infections, but it can also rupture. And if it has become flaccid and you try to express it, it will be very difficult and could also rupture.

Bendy Kitty mentioned expressing the bowels (poop on demand). This is very easy to do and many of us who have cats with a poop problem do this once or twice a day. (If he is not able to empty his bladder, the bladder also is easily expressible). The first thing a lot of people say is, is this a quality of life for a cat or dog? Either or both of these procedures literally takes less than five minutes three or four times a day (depending upon age). The rest of the time, both you and kitty go about your normal day's activities. Cats and dogs who have potty problems can live the same life span as a normal cat or dog. Many on this forum have been expressing since they rescued a kitten or puppy and they now have cats and dogs in their teens. I can tell that you are committed to your little man and want to do all that you can to help him. Learning to express him will help both of you - him to keep healthy, you to keep your home clean. It will take a little practice, but poop expressing is very easy to do.

There are many different options available for keeping the stool soft. Bendy mentioned one. There is also lactulose - Critters should be posting soon and she'll tell you about her experience using that. The thin small diameter stools sound to me like he may not be getting enough fiber. It is good you are feeding canned food for the extra moisture. Insufficient moisture in the stool will cause it to be hard and dry and difficult to pass. When we had KaiWind we experimented with a wide variety of foods - both wet and dry and wet and dry in combination. We tried high fiber foods and low residue foods until we were able to get an easy to pass stool. Each cat is different and it may take a little while to get the combination of food and/or lactulose, pumpkin, etc.

The wet drops of feces could be 'leaking' around the stool that is staying in his colon until he is able to pass it on his own. The formed stool is drier so the stool further up his colon that hasn't compacted leaks around it. Keeping his colon empty will help prevent some of this.

Many of us who have incontinent cats will diaper them when they are having family time. Most of us have found human baby diapers to be both easier to work with and cheaper than diapers made 'specifically' for cats. It may be a bit of a challenge at first to both get the diaper on him and then keep it on him, but even KaiWind after falling over on his side and telling me that he'd never walk again, eventually gave up and said it wasn't worth it to lose his play time and family time. When I was at work, he spent his time in a room that I could easily mop and wipe up so that he didn't have to wear his diapers. He'd get a quick nightly bath and blow dry which he always enjoyed sharing with Mandy. Then he'd pop on his diapers and off he'd go to do regular cat stuff.

The Metronidazole probably has killed all the good bacteria in his gut, so that may be adding to his constipation problem. He may need some lactobacillius to restore the beneficial bacteria to his guts. Prednisone also can cause constipation.

What foods have you already tried?

Hope some of this gives you some food for thought and ideas. Please do not hesitate to ask questions. We will all try to give you ideas and suggestions.

/mari and the many disabled, rear paralyzed, mobility challenged, incontinent and other special needs mumpkees
/mari
Spiritcat and the Mooseheart Mumpkees of southeastern Texas

FAITHANDHOPE
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by FAITHANDHOPE » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Bendy and Mumpkees,

Thanks for your input. Since my original post, we've been back to the vet. Did bloodwork which showed nothing. Did an X-ray which showed his colon jam-packed with feces. My vet thinks he has congenital megacolon. I have another cat with this condition, so I am familiar with it. He is too small for the enema catheter so my vet is using a syringe used for medicating a cow's udder (the probe diameter is smaller than a thermometer, so it sounds worse than it is!). I watched him administer this to Pita (acronym for "pain in the ___"!), and he accepted it well. He has had two days of treatments with some success. He was eating and playing last night. We have ordered Cisipride which should arrive tomorrow. He has been placed on a high protein, low fiber diet (Iams ProActive kitten canned food, the highest protein canned food I could find).

To answer Bendy, no I have not tried expressing his colon but would be willing to do so if necessary when it is cleaned out.

To answer Mumpkees (more than) 20 questions!:

Sorry, no picture. He is a short hair flame point with dark blue eyes. He was from the shelter. He and his sister were added to another litter and they were in foster care until a couple of months ago when I learned of his predicament. The foster mom said it had been going on for quite some time but no one had treated it (YIKES!). In fact, she moved out of her bedroom because of the mess this kitten made and slept on her living room sofa. Yes, he has a tail. The X-ray showed no injuries. He urinates in the litter box and empties his bladder without a problem. After the round of Metronidazole, he was given cottage cheese to replace the good bacteria in his intestines. I fed him Purina One Sensitive Systems dry, thinking it had solved the problem, but it actually had worsened his constipation. He has also been on Friskies and Fancy Feast canned.

This is the latest. I will keep you posted. And a small bio about me - I have my own 501c3 for special needs animals. I have 6 CH kitties, blind, deaf, 3 legged, 2 legged, no kneecaps, seizures, FeLV and FIV (and 3 cats with both!), etc., etc., etc. My total is 90ish (13 dogs, 4 birds, and the rest cats) which I care for by myself, so you can see that I am stubborn and will see this through! I have been on this site for several years and enjoyed reading the communications, but have never posted until now.

Thanks,

Faith and Hope

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critters
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by critters » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:10 am

FAITHANDHOPE wrote: . I have 6 CH kitties, blind, deaf, 3 legged, 2 legged, no kneecaps, seizures, FeLV and FIV (and 3 cats with both!), etc., etc., etc. My total is 90ish (13 dogs, 4 birds, and the rest cats) which I care for by myself, so you can see that I am stubborn and will see this through! e
You DEFINITELY belong here at HP!! :mrgreen:

Lactulose is a tasty liquid softener many people use with spinal cord injured critters, which might help. It's easy to adjust the dose up or down as needed.

:hysterical: The name Pita!!

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LisainCAN
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by LisainCAN » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:37 pm

critters wrote:Lactulose is a tasty liquid softener many people use with spinal cord injured critters, which might help. It's easy to adjust the dose up or down as needed.
Agreed. Also canned pumpkin works the same.

Britchick04
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by Britchick04 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:11 pm

I know it has been a long time since you posted, but my kitten is having the EXACT same issues that you posted about in 2011. Did this turn out to be a lifelong problem?

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critters
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by critters » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:58 am

:strobe: Britchick! I'd update my lactulose suggestion to Miralax. It seems to be as effective and a lot less messy (not to mention non-RX).

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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by petparentsmicka » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:32 am

You may have never heard of fecal incontinence, but it is a very real issue for some kittens. A result of such things as spinal injuries and intestinal disorders, fecal incontinence causes a cat to lose control of her bowel movements. Needless to say, this medical issue is very distressing for both the cat and the owner.

Symptoms

A cat with fecal incontinence will experience one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Scooting on the floor. This may indicate a condition involving the anal sacs/glands
    Defecating where they shouldn’t such as inside the home
    Bloated abdomen
    Tenderness or aversion to being touched near tail, loss of tone and voluntary movement of the tail
Your veterinarian will need a full history of your cat’s health, including a history of symptoms. If you think you may know what is causing your cat’s incontinence, for example a recent back injury, share this with the vet.

Along with a proper physical examination, with a focus on the muscles of the anus and sphincter, your vet will want to run a complete blood profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and a fecal analysis. If an infection or parasite is present, it will most likely turn up through one of these diagnostic methods.

Once your vet has discovered the underlying cause of the fecal incontinence, he or she will opt for a treatment to resolve it if possible. For instance, if parasites are the culprit, medication will be administered to rid your fur baby’s GI tract of the parasites.

If it has been determined that your cat has food allergies, you may try alternating their diet.

Some pets with rectal abnormalities will benefit from surgical reconstruction. For those suffering from back end paralysis, there are a couple of strategies you can try. Once outside, you can try and induce defecation by pinching the tail or pelvis, or by applying a warm washcloth to the anus.

Those cats who are incontinent because of a behavioral issue will need proper training, along with a low stress environment in which your cat feels safe and non-threatened.

And finally, there are also drug treatments such as opiate motility-modifying drugs and anti-inflammatory agents that can help as well.

As we mentioned earlier, this condition can be very trying and stressful on everyone involved. Understand your cat is not trying to “be bad” or upset you. They can’t help it. Many owners become fed up and banish their fur baby to the back yard or garage. But this is often a stressful situation to the animal, particularly if it is too cold or hot outside

Britchick04
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by Britchick04 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:08 pm

critters wrote::strobe: Britchick! I'd update my lactulose suggestion to Miralax. It seems to be as effective and a lot less messy (not to mention non-RX).
Yes, that’s what he on. I agree! Thanks for the tip.

Britchick04
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by Britchick04 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:25 pm

We’ve been to 5 vets and they can’t seem to diagnose the issue. No mobility problems or colon obstructions. All the test come back negative. He’s on cisipride, miralax and just finished antibiotics. He gets enema’s almost every week. His stool is soft. He strains in the litter box. Sometimes it will come out in ribbons.

The only trauma...he ate clumping litter when he was with his foster family. But the vet surgical specialist said he should be well recovered by now.

The vet surgeon thinks he has a food allergy and isn’t recommending surgery.

Any thoughts on diet? He is less distended and irritated on the fancy frozen home made food JustCats (grain free, gluten free). He didn’t do well on Royal Canin Recovery RS.

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critters
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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by critters » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:25 am

Hmm. :? Recovery is very calorie-dense, so I'm not surprised that caused a problem. Have you tried the prescription diets, like i/d? i/d is supposed to be for GI problems. If it helps, maybe something cheaper would work almost as well. If his poop is soft, what's with the enemas? Can he not push it out? If he can't, have you considered expressing his poop, just as if he had a spinal cord injury?

I think he may be one of those tough nuts to crack with this!! Do you have vet/vets willing to put in the time to help? Not all are willing to do so.

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Re: FECAL INCONTINENT KITTEN

Post by CarolC » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:49 am

At the end of this article you can see videos showing expressing the bowel. Most of the videos are of cats.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18586

How old is the kitten? Does he have a normal length tail? Is he able to move it normally?

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