Re: Cat won't eat or drink after visit to ER
posted at 11/3/2013 10:36 AM EST
Thought maybe you might find this article helpful, from today's Herald:
Dear Dr. John,
I recently became the owner of a young kitten that has been very healthy until recently when he developed a constipation problem with some bleeding. I took him to see a veterinarian, and after doing a fecal examination that revealed no parasites, the kitten was placed on a cat laxative and a higher-fiber food.
The problem persists and, despite two more visits, the kitten continues to get blocked up and has a swollen and bulging backside.
The vet’s office also did an enema to help clean him out, but the problem just seems to come back. What might have caused this problem initially, and what else might be done to resolve the problem? — M.B.
It is hard to know what may have caused the initial problem of constipation in an otherwise normal and healthy kitten, but usually it is dietary related with either a change in food or eating something that bound him up.
In older cats, underlying health issues such as megacolon may lead to chronic obstipation/constipation, which, as the name suggests, is a large dilated colon that has trouble emptying naturally. In these cases, stool softeners, specific diets and other medications may be needed as well as possible surgical intervention.
If your kitten or any cat is constipated long enough, the inability to defecate can lead to atony or lack of nerve stimulation to the intestines. When this happens, the body cannot eliminate naturally, and physical or medical means are necessary to empty the area.
In the case of a young kitten, I would start by making sure the stools are softened after the use of enemas or digital means are used to empty the colon. Initially I would turn to lactulose to soften the stool, feed the cat a high-fiber prescription diet, possibly add Miralax, and then possibly use a drug such as cisapride to help stimulate peristaltic movement of the intestines to help move the feces along. The odds are that this will all work out, no pun intended.