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Gallbladder removal and Colectomy

Cutenesscat
November 5th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Hi there everyone,

I have a 14 year old male Tonkinese cat who has just been diagnosed (by X Ray) with gallstones, and the vet says he needs his gallbladder removed. (He has not been eating well over the past 2 – 3 weeks, and prior to this he loved his food).
The vet also says that he has "mega-colon", and we are advised that he needs a colectomy.
He is otherwise a strong cat in good health.
Is it possible to have both these procedures done in one operation? .... and could they/ or either of them be done by Laparoscopic Surgery?

Can these procedures be done by a “regular” Veterinarian, or should they be undertaken by a Veterinary Surgeon who has special training in surgery, and also has experience in gallbladder removal and colectomy? I live in the Toronto area.
Advice,... especially by a Veterinarian would be very much appreciated,

As the cat is not eating well, he needs to be treated soon.
Thank you so much.

Chris21711
November 5th, 2008, 01:15 PM
I can't help you with the gall bladder issue, but my 13 yr old chubby cat Herbie has Megacolon and I manage it with some supplementation, from information that has been provided to me by very knowledgeable members of this board. Hold off on making any kind of decision until you hear from them. I have pm'ed them your link and they will get back to you some time today.
Growler is normally on at night and Sugarcatmom is in and out throughout the day.

They will help you tons :thumbs up

Cutenesscat
November 5th, 2008, 01:56 PM
Thanks Chris21711,
Vet suggested I use Hills w/d....it did not work, so I now make my own food. The vet says fiber, fiber, fiber!...so I mix lots of vegetables.(my vet does not believe in low residue diet).
I have tried Lactulose, Metamucil, pumpkin, ground flax seeds, flax seed oil, etc. etc. The ground flaxseed and Lactulose worked for awhile. And now nothing.
Day after day I follow my sweetheart like a shadow each time he goes to the litter box, and watch with all fingers crossed, and a prayer on my lips, but alas nothing....and off we go again to the vet for another enema.

Now he is hardly eating anything,... so unlike him. He used to raid the other kitties dishes while they ate, to make sure he didn't miss anything.
The vet says that gallstones are causing him to not feel well.
He is such a sweetheart gentle cat.

Chris21711
November 5th, 2008, 02:28 PM
http://www.grizzlypetproducts.com/salmon_oil/salmon_oil.html
Growler has suggested to me to give this to Herbie you will find it in the freezer section of the Pet Food Store, it says it is for dogs but perfectly safe for cats too.

Last year Herbie was at the Vet's for 3 days and had 16 enemas during that time. He is starting to go through it again right now, so I'm hoping this salmon oil with the Lactulose will do the trick. Another drug I have had to use is Cisipride, 3 times a day. If the salmon oil doesn't do the trick this time I might have to go that route again.

From what I understand the Colectomy is quite a dangerous procedure here is oodles of information on it provided to me by Sugarcatmom

http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2003&PID=6622&O=Generic

They will be on later today for sure, so just hang in there :cat:

Cutenesscat
November 5th, 2008, 03:23 PM
Right now, the cat is hardly eating, so I must deal with the gallbladder issue first.
I think I should maybe get a second opinion, just to be sure.
Can anyone recommend a really good Veterinary Surgeon in the Toronto or surrounding area, who is experienced in, and who deals with these kind of procedures? (Gallbladder removal and Colectomy, ...diagnosis and surgery) ...And is anyone able to answer some of the surgery questions in my first post.
Gallbladder removal in cats does not seem to happen very often.
I need some guidance. What to do?... What to do?..... for my sweet cat!!!
Thanks very much!!

sugarcatmom
November 5th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Vet suggested I use Hills w/d....it did not work, so I now make my own food. The vet says fiber, fiber, fiber!...so I mix lots of vegetables.(my vet does not believe in low residue diet).

Not all cases of megacolon benefit from increased fiber. For some cats, it's actually less stool bulk that's required, in which case a balanced raw diet is ideal. What sort of vegetables are you using? Can you post your cat food recipe here?

I have tried Lactulose, Metamucil, pumpkin, ground flax seeds, flax seed oil, etc. etc. The ground flaxseed and Lactulose worked for awhile. And now nothing.

Slippery elm bark powder might be worth trying. Also Miralax or, as Chris21711 mentioned, cisapride. Are you adding extra water to his food with the Lactulose? Because it pulls water into the intestines, it's important to make sure there's extra water available for this to work.

A colectomy is pretty serious surgery and I'm not sure I'd want to go that route without being very sure there weren't other options. And if you do opt for that, I would absolutely go to a specialist: http://www.theveterinarian.com.au/clinicalreview/article757.asp
To enhance success and minimise complications, colonic surgery should only be performed by the experienced or preferably, specialist surgeon.
Here are some more links on constipation in cats:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=constipatedcats
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_constipation_and_megacolon.html

Now he is hardly eating anything,... so unlike him.

It's crucial that he eat. Can you try something like plain meat baby food (no onions), or yogurt or low-sodium canned salmon? If the gallstones are causing him pain, maybe he needs to be on pain-meds (although this can be a balancing act as some meds also cause constipation)? Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

sugarcatmom
November 5th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Right now, the cat is hardly eating, so I must deal with the gallbladder issue first.

Constipation can also cause inappetance in cats. When was the last time he pooped?

I think I should maybe get a second opinion, just to be sure.
Can anyone recommend a really good Veterinary Surgeon in the Toronto or surrounding area, who is experienced in, and who deals with these kind of procedures?

Your vet should be able to recommend someone. If not, contact a local emergency clinic to see if they have a recommendation.


Gallbladder removal in cats does not seem to happen very often.


I had a cat that needed his gallbladder removed (by a specialist), but not for gallstones. His bile duct was blocked. He recovered fine from the surgery, but was also diagnosed with severe IBD at that time and unfortunately had to be euthanized 6 weeks later. I strongly suggest you get a referral from your vet to see a specialist.

Stacer
November 5th, 2008, 04:15 PM
cutenesscat, here is a link to Toronto's Vet ER and referral hospital. They will more than likely be able to direct you to the vet that will best be able to help your cat.

http://www.vectoronto.com/

Love4himies
November 5th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Here is a small article on megacolon, sugarcatmom is correct, your kitty should not necessarily have a high fibre diet.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1322&aid=3471

http://www.vetinfo4cats.com/cmegacol.html

growler~GateKeeper
November 5th, 2008, 08:28 PM
Try some of the Grizzly (http://www.grizzlypetproducts.com/salmon_oil/salmon_oil.html) pure salmon oil on the food, few drops twice a day, this should help with the constipation issue and also with the not wanting to eat. Most cats cannot resist the taste of salmon. :D

The other thing to consider is - has he actually eaten enough to be able to produce anything in the litterbox?

See about picking up some Nature's Variety Raw (http://www.naturesvariety.com/raw_products) start with the frozen chicken, most cats love chicken.

The Veterinary College at Guelph, your vet or the local emergency vet should have a recommendation on a veterinary surgeon.

Cutenesscat
November 6th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Thank you All..... growler, Love4himies, Stacer, sugarcatmom, and Chris21711 for all the info. I have read through all the links.

Stacer, I have the Toronto Vet ER card pinned on my notice board in the kitchen, I thought they were just an emergency clinic, I did not know they did referrals as well, so thanks for that!!

Chris21711 and growler: The Grizzly Salmon Oil, sounds like a good product, but I thought that Rosemary was a real no-no for cats...toxic for them?

sugarcatmom: I have been getting him to eat a little. I made a chicken & veg soup and pureed it so it is very smooth, and he has been having a little of that morning and night.

His pattern for pooping has been once every few days, when his colon is full, he then gets the whole lot out, so I think the fiber does help him.

The vegetables I use are: green beans, carrots, zucchini, peas, sometimes butternut. Occasionally, when I use frozen veg, there is some corn kernels in the mix. Broccoli and cauliflower were not a hit, neither were rice or grains when added.:yuck:
I do add water or chicken "broth" to the food.

Lactulose: "Are you adding extra water to his food with the Lactulose?".........
I give him Lactulose orally, morning and night, not always at the same time as when he is eating, ......should I be doing this differently?

You are all absolutely correct about going to see a specialist/and getting a 2nd opinion.
I have asked my vet for a referral, and will keep you posted.

Thank you all for your help!!!! :thumbs up:thumbs up

growler~GateKeeper
November 6th, 2008, 11:24 PM
growler: The Grizzly Salmon Oil, sounds like a good product, but I thought that Rosemary was a real no-no for cats...toxic for them?

I think you are thinking of the 'Rosemary Pea' Plant that is toxic to cats.
Rosemary extract is found in most holistic & allergin safe (even the :yuck: vet food) catfood.

From: http://www.naturapet.com/tools/ingredient.asp?alpha=R&id=200

Rosemary Extract
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub of Rosemarinus Officinalis.

Rosemary, along with its cancer prevention properties, is a highly effective preservative.

From: http://www.felineinstincts.com/orderNow/kronchsalmonoilpumpforcatsanddogs.html

Rosemary extract is safe and has lots of health benefits (Rosemary helps digestion and is recommended for cats (and humans) with digestive tract and liver problems.

Cutenesscat
November 11th, 2008, 08:16 PM
Turns out my kitty has Pancreatitis!!
For the last five days he has been at the Small Animal Hospital, at the University of Guelph.
They have been so amazing. Can't say enough good things about them. They have done all sorts of tests, and have given my cat the very best of care. He is still in the hospital. I am so glad that I took him there.
They say he needs to be on a no(low??)fat and high fibre diet - (No Fat for Pancreatitis, and High Fibre to treat the constipation).
I think they are also going to put him on cisapride.
Does anyone have any recipes for such a diet which you could please share with me, or please tell me where I could look to find some?

CaptainOlimar
November 11th, 2008, 08:21 PM
So, he doesn't need an operation? I hope not.

I'm glad you had such great care at the Small Animal Hospital!

Others will be along to give you good advise.

sugarcatmom
November 11th, 2008, 08:32 PM
So glad you have a diagnosis and that your kitty is being well looked after. Here is a link for you about pancreatitis that might have some useful info: http://felineoutreach.org/EducationDetail.asp?cat=Pancreatitis
One thing is that a low-fat diet isn't automatically the best choice for pancreatitis cats. For dogs and people, yes, but not necessarily felines: http://www.walthamusa.com/articles/marks2.pdf

TREATMENT
The clinical picture of pancreatitis in cats differs
markedly from that in dogs. Most cats diagnosed with
pancreatitis have a more chronic and indolent form of
the disease, with vomiting or diarrhea being relative-
ly uncommon presenting complaints. Because of
these dissimilarities, therapeutic recommendations
for the cat are quite different from those for the dog.
Many cats are anorectic, and fasting the cat for an
additional 3 to 5 days to “rest” the pancreas will be of
little to no clinical benefit. In addition, there is little
clinical evidence to support excessive dietary fat
restriction in cats with pancreatitis.

Having said that, there is a canned food that is lower fat and high protein. The Merrick line has some flavours that many caretakers of p-cats have good success with. I don't know of any home made recipes, sorry.

Cutenesscat
November 11th, 2008, 08:42 PM
They think he can be treated with medicine and diet, and that he does not need any operation - Thank Goodness!!:pray::pray:

sugarcatmom thanks for all your help!:)

CaptainOlimar
November 11th, 2008, 08:54 PM
I so glad for you both! :)

I have a hard time not being cynical when a vet suggests a major operation that a cat doesn't need.

RUSTYcat
November 11th, 2008, 11:38 PM
Cutenesscat-
I suggest that you share that Waltham paper with Guelph....

sugarcatmom would not appear to be off the mark re dietary needs... Dr. Marks continues...Most cats with chronic pancreatitis can be fed a
commercial complete and balanced canned diet formulated
for maintenance of the animal...

sugarcatmom- can you provide the source for that paper? The references at the end ("Suggested Readings") are a little dated (most recent 1996)...Waltham conferences appear to occur every 4 years, the last in 2006.

Cutenesscat- one thing I don't get is the X-ray showing a stone in the gallbaldder - has this been rejected? I'm going to send you a Private Message with links to a current case of a gallbladder stone (gallbladder successfully removed) preceeded by major gastro problems that's been carefully documented on another forum. That cat's mom has been preparing her own meals...perhaps you could connect with her. That has been the only case of a gallstone I have "encountered" in the last 2 years.