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Constipation (Severe) in Cats




Most patients affected with megacolon should be hospitalized for initial fluid therapy, both to rehydrate the body and to correct electrolyte imbalances. The colon can then be gently evacuated. Your veterinarian will administer anesthesia to your cat, and then manually inject warm water enemas and water-soluble jelly, allowing for the easy extraction of feces with a gloved finger or sponged forceps. If the problem is recurrent or especially severe, and is not responding to medical management, as in the case of irreversible colonic inertia, surgery may be necessary to repair the colon. Most cats are cured of recurrent megacolon after undergoing subtotal colectomy surgery.


Living and Management


For cats suffering from megacolon, exercise and activity are strongly encouraged for the health and strength of the digestive and abdominal muscles. A low-residue diet may also help to prevent recurrences of megacolon. Sometimes a high-fiber diet helps as well. Another alternative is to supplement your cat’s regular maintenance diet with veterinarian approved fiber supplements or canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). Avoid feeding bones to your cat (e.g., chicken, fish) to protect against potential injuries to the colon when pieces of bone are swallowed.

Image: surawach5 via Shutterstock


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