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Narrowing of the Anal or Rectal Opening in Cats

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Once your veterinarian has differentiated between other conditions and strictures, treatment will involve relieving the cat's pain and encouraging elmination of any waste still remaining in its intestines; this is done by using stool softeners, enemas, or drugs. Cats should be given plenty of fluids prior to the administration of the enema; some cats require anesthesia prior to the procedure.


Corticosteroids may also be given to regulate inflammation, but not before your cat is fully examined for the presence of an infection, since corticosteroids can have an adverse effect if infection is present.


The underlying cause of the stricture will then be treated in order to widen the cat's narrowed canal. If an infection is found, your veterinarian will prescribe medications -- either antifungals or antibiotics -- to eliminate the specific infection your cat has.


Surgery may be advisable for widening the narrowed opening. This can be done by using a balloon-like device to open the canal, or for milder strictures, a temporary stent may be used. For more extensive lesions, partial or complete removal of the canal may be required. Antimicrobial drug therapy may be prescribed to prevent infections during and after surgery.


If a cancerous tumor is found to be present, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be called for.


Living and Management


Be attentive to any recurring symptoms or signs in your cat. If the original cause of the stricture was cancer, symptoms of metastasis will be of concern. Some complications of medical management include ineffective treatment, diarrhea, dehydration, and adverse effects of medications.


If the veterinarian chose a balloon dilation procedure for the cat's treatment, be aware deep rectal tears, hemorrhaging, or full-thickness tearing of the intestinal walls may occur. However, cats with smaller strictures are usually treated easily and managed with balloon dilation.


Surgery may also result in fecal incontinence, secondary stricture formation, and opening of the wound site. Cats requiring surgery will usually have limited prognosis due to frequent complications.



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