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Hi All,

I have an on-going problem with my cat (Spud) and hope some of you may have some useful info - anything would be much appreciated! My cat is a male rescue cat. He is approx. 4.5 years old and we have had him for about 1.5 years. He was very skinny when we got him. However, since we have got him he has put on a lot of weight and recently it seems all to be in the abdomen area causing most guests to our apartment to ask if he is pregnant. He is an indoor cat (we live on the 48th floor and have tried taking him out on a lead and it doesn't work - he goes mental).

In the last year, he keeps on getting constipated and over the past few months it seems to be happening every 10 days-2 weeks. We give him lactulose twice a day and have recently started giving tablets (cisapride) prescribed by the vet once a day. The vet has also prescribed some high fibre biscuits. These are all he eats as he has completely gone off his wet food in the last 6 months (he just licks the liquid and then leaves the rest of it). He gets very annoyed though if he doesn't get biscuits and so seems to be eating a normal amount of food (although not enough to be so obese looking).

We bought him a water fountain to encourage him to drink more water but he doesn't like this. He is drinking a lot of water from his normal water dish though.

Usually, when he's constipated, we hear him howling in his litter tray (he hasn't been able to pass any faeces for 3-5 days at this point). He then comes out and is sick. We give him an enema, he manages to pass a lot of faeces and then go normally again for around a week but then the same thing happens again and this has gone on for weeks now.

The vet has taken Xrays and can't find anything else wrong with him. The vet has said the last straw would be to remove his colon which we really don't want to do (and he doesn't have megacolon yet). The vet also can't recommend anything else to help him.

Any suggestions would be welcome as we are really worried about him and paying a fortune in vet bills when it doesn't seem to be helping him.

Thanks very much,
Karen
 

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I'm pretty sure that being overweight promotes constipation because there is all that weight on the colon and such, so getting him to lose weight should help.

Unless I'm reading this wrong, the only thing he is eating are the high fiber biscuits? Those could not possibly be a complete diet, so you need to get him to eat other food. It sounds like he is addicted to the biscuits, so it may be wise to switch them out for canned pumpkin so you can get him back to eating his wet food, that will help a lot also.

I would not get his colon removed, it's not reversible and I think should only be used as a LAST resort.

I also don't know that I would give him THAT much lactose. It makes the food move quickly through the body and so its harder for the adequate amount of nutrients to be absorbed. Also the body can become addicted and not be able to function without it. "Chronic laxative use can impair the ability of the digestive tract to function normally."

Once you get him back to wet, you can just add water to the food to ensure he is getting enough moisture.
 

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This is something written on someone else's thread, maybe it'll help:

Dehydration is a common cause of constipation, and both dehydration and constipation can make a cat feel very ill and inappetant. So it's extremely important to make sure that Andie maintains proper hydration. If Andie is badly dehydrated, you should take her back to your vet for IV or subQ fluids in order to rehydrate her properly. Once she is adequately rehydrated, you should be able to maintain proper hydration at home. To that end, you should permanently eliminate ALL kibble from her diet (kibble is dehydrating) and add warm water to her canned food to make it a gruel that she can lap up. You can also place more water bowls around your house and/or buy a pet fountain if she likes running water. Cats also love to drink water out of fish bowls. If you implement all of those tactics and Andie still can't maintain good hydration, you should have your vet teach you how to administer subQ fluids at home so that you can provide the extra hydration that she may need.

It is, of course, possible that she does have some sort of bowel obstruction other than feces that she can't pass on her own, though that is typically more a problem of younger cats who ingest toys and other inedible objects.

Assuming, however, that she is just badly constipated, it's important to note that lactulose will not soften constipated stool. Lactulose WILL soften newly forming stool, but it won't do anything for dry, constipated stool that is already in her system. It is more of a prevention than a cure. For constipated stool, a lubricant laxative (hairball remedy) is generally more effective, though it may not be sufficient to help her resolve a really bad constipation. When one of my cats has become badly constipated, I have found that a vet-administered enema was necessary to clear the system of impacted stool. You should discuss an enema with your vet ASAP, because Andie can possibly get into much more serious trouble (hepatic lipidosis) if the constipation and inappetance continues.



Both pain and stress can elevate glucose (both of which Andie is experiencing right now), so I wouldn't worry about that blood value under these circumstances.



If she were my cat, I would get her back to the vet right away for an enema and more fluids. Time may only cause more stool to back up in her system and make matters worse for her. She needs to get cleaned out before the lack of eating causes serious trouble for her liver.

Laurie
 

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If he still licks the liquid from his canned food, I'd suggest finding a tasty canned food (pate', not gravy and 'pieces') and mix water with the food (equal parts, or even two parts water to one part food). Mixing it in a blender would be great, but at least try to mix it well enough so that the food doesn't separate from the liquid; when he licks the "soup", he'll get both. It's both a good way to hydrate him and to help him lose weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for all of the replies. We will try the canned pumpkin and see if that helps. We have tried to give him more exercise by building him a cat tree, playing with him regularly and giving him a run in the hallway area, but it's still not enough.
 

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Have you thought about maybe trying to add some raw food to his diet? If he is having issues with other foods it may be a consideration. I would deffinately stick to wet foods though. I agree on the canned food soup , and I would eliminate the dry stuff completely.


I would try the raw foods though before colon surgery, that sounds like a "last ditch effort because we are not sure" thing the vet is trying.
 
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