Dyschezia and Hematochezia in Cats
Dyschezia is a condition in which defecation is extremely difficult or painful, and hematochezia is symptomized by bright red blood in the stool. Both conditions are visible symptoms of an underlying disease that causes inflammation or irritation of the rectum or anus. Hematochezia can also be concurrent with diseases of the colon.
Symptoms and Types
- Crying and whimpering during defecation
- Straining to defecate
- Inability to defecate
- Mucosal, bloody diarrhea
- Hard feces
- Lumps around the anus
- Draining pus tracts around the anus
- The anus is blocked by mats of hair and/or feces
- Stricture or spasm
- Anal sac abscess or inflammation
- Draining tracts around the anus
- Rectal or anal foreign body
- The anus is blocked by mats of hair and feces
- The rectum is hanging out of the anus
- Traumas – bite wounds, etc.
- Rectal polyps
- Mucocutaneous lupus erythematosus (an immune disease)
- Idiopathic megacolon (disease of unknown causes, where the colon expands with feces instead of releasing the feces normally)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Infectious parasitic agents
- Allergic colitis
Extra-intestinal Disease (outside of the intestinal tract)
- Fractured pelvis or hind limb
- Disease of the prostate
- Perineal hernia (a hernia around the anus)
You will need to give a thorough history of your cat's health and onset of symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your cat, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis. If an underlying disease is causing inflammation or infection of any part of the intestinal tract, the complete blood count should show this.
Your doctor may also use x-ray imaging to visually inspect the abdominal space. This diagnostic method can detect many of the disorders that affect the digestive tract, including foreign bodies in the stomach or intestinal tract, or internal fractures. An abdominal ultrasound can deliver even greater visualization than an x-ray, enabling your veterinarian to detect disease of the prostate, or masses in the lower abdomen.
Your veterinarian may also employ another useful diagnostic procedure to visually inspect the internal space and to take a tissue sample for laboratory testing. A colonoscope or proctoscope, both of which are very slender instruments that are designed to be guided into and through the body's internal pathways – in this case the rectum. These instruments have micro cameras attached at the end so that your veterinarian can see the internal space, and that can also be equipped with a tool for taking a tissue samples for biopsy. These tools are especially useful for the diagnosis of inflammatory diseases or cancer.
Most patients with dyschezia and hematochezia may be treated on an outpatient basis unless the underlying condition is severe enough to require supportive care. For example, dehydration or internal bleeding will need to be brought under control before further treatment can be undertaken.
Balloon dilation can be used to relieve strictures of the intestinal canal. This method widens the canal gently and gradually, using a balloon, so that blocked feces can be released.
Rectoanal diseases, such as hernias of the perineum (the space between the genital and the anus), or rectoanal polyps may need surgical correction. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and/or laxatives, depending on the underlying cause of the disease. Laxatives can be used to ease defecation if rectoanal disease is present.
Living and Management
Your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments as necessary to continue treatment of your cat's underlying condition, to evaluate your cat's progress, and to modify the treatment as it becomes necessary.
The term for the hip and related area
The term for a colon that is enlarged abnormally
The condition of having a part of a body part protruding through the tissue that would normally cover it
The area between the vulva and anus or scrotum and anus
A product made of fluid, cell waste, and cells
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
The very end of the large intestine
Passing stool with blood in it
A condition characterized by difficulty with normal defectation
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
The end of the gastrointestinal tract; the opening at the end of the tract.
The exiting of excrement from the body; bowel movements.
A medical condition in which the body has lost fluid or water in excessive amounts
The widening of something
The whole system involved in digestion from mouth to anus
A localized infection, usually a lesion filled with pus. Can be large or small in size.