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Constipation in Cats

Treatment

 

If your cat is dehydrated or obstipated (has difficult to manage constipation or does not respond to medical treatment), then it will need to be treated on an inpatient basis. Fluid therapy will be given, and if your cat is taking any medications that may be causing the constipation, they will be discontinued and/or replaced.

 

Dietary supplementation with a bulk-forming agent (such as bran, methylcellulose, canned pumpkin, psyllium) often is helpful, though these agents can sometimes worsen fecal distension within the colon. If this occurs, you will need to feed your cat a low residue-producing diet.

 

After your doctor has determined that your cat is sufficiently rehydrated, manual removal of the feces, with your cat under general anesthesia, will be conducted. If the impaction is not too severe, enemas may help to loosen or dislodge the impaction, but generally, the impaction must be removed manually. Your veterinarian may do this by hand, or with forceps. If the condition has been chronic, your veterinarian may need to perform a surgical procedure to remove part of the colon. This type of surgery is known as a subtotal colectomy, and may be required with recurring obstipation, or when circumstances suggest that the colon has been irreversibly damaged.

 

Living and Management

 

Monitor the frequency of your cat’s defecation and stool consistency at least twice a week initially, and then weekly or biweekly. Contact your veterinarian if you notice very hard, dry feces, or that your cat is straining while defecating. You should contact your veterinarian if you note diarrhea, since this can quickly lead to dehydration. To prevent a recurrence, feed your cat a veterinarian-approved diet and be sure to keep your cat active.

 

 

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