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Dry stool and new regimen suggestion?

RubyShooZ
September 1st, 2009, 12:16 PM
Greetings.

I'm new here and I've been marveling (researching, checking out many of the links too) at all the great advice that you folks have to offer since some of you know through your own personal experiences with your own furry families. I started reading this forum in the past few weeks when it became apparent that our kitty Elijah was going to have to go to the vet for the third time to get his insides cleaned out again. (broken pelvis about two years ago) He has been to the vet three times now and had two enemas and once they had to manually remove fecal matter since he'd become impacted.

Our vet suggested Science Diet w/d and he's been eating that (both dry and canned) since then. He also suggested giving him mineral oil once a day, benefiber in his water (about a tsp. a bowl) and a stool softener. He'd suggested giving him Laxatone but Eli wouldn't touch it even when it was spread on his paw he would just shake his paw; not wanting to lick it at all.

Since the vet's suggestions don't seem to be working as well as we'd hoped (and now I find out how dangerous the suggestion of mineral oil was) I've been reading all over the forum here looking for clues on what to give Eli so that this doesn't happen again. One of the things I've gotten quite clearly is that he shouldn't be eating dry food. Since he's been home from the vet we've been watering down the canned food and giving him some slightly watered down baby foods. (chicken, turkey and ham) We still have the dry food out because our other kitty, Klous won't eat canned. We've also switched from giving Eli mineral oil after reading here of the dangers of it to giving him Alaskan Salmon oil and now we've got a bottle of Laculose (which we just got yesterday for $40.00 and don't know how that will go over w/him but it's supposed to be given twice daily)and bought him a water fountain which I don't think he's using so he's got a bowl with the benefiber in it too. Where would slippery elm bark fit in here; in place of something else or ... ? I just don't know.

I guess my question(s) is/are complicated since there are so many factors involved. I don't want to write an essay here but I don't know how else to put all this. Is giving him baby food alone good enough or does he really need to be eating the Science w/d canned food in order to get the taurine that I know he needs? Should we quit giving him the stool softener and replace it with Laculose; they do the same thing, yes? Should I be giving him benefiber still and how does he get enough since he doesn't seem to drink much water in the house? (We have

a pond outside and he may be drinking from there) He goes outside and does eat mice regularly; how many I don't know though and might he be getting taurine from the mouse (and bird) eating? I'm not sure I'm prepared to cook food for him since I'm a vegan and shudder at the thought of touching meat.

Are we on the right track? Are we doing overkill? Does anyone have any suggestions, comments, ideas? Any help would be much appreciated and I offer my thanks in advance.

sugarcatmom
September 1st, 2009, 02:15 PM
Hi RubyShooZ, and welcome to pets.ca! I'm sorry that Elijah is having poop problems. As I'm sure you know, the broken pelvis could very well be part of the issue, but diet also plays a big role. Sometimes the answer is more fiber (which is why the vet suggested W/D), but often it has more to do with moisture content and consuming LESS fiber. How long has Elijah been on the W/D? Has he been constipated since being on it? What was he eating before?

Baby food alone is definitely not a balanced diet. A few tsps a day are fine if you need it to get some supplements into Elijah, but not as a main food source. My suggestion would be to ditch the W/D (both canned and dry) because it's a lousy food for a carnivore to be eating, and find a quality grain-free canned food like Wellness or Nature's Variety or Innova EVO 95%. There are also some good pre-made frozen raw diets you can get in higher end pet food stores (I'm a veggie too, so I understand your not wanting to touch meat - the frozen raw is as easy as opening up a can).

Instead of Benefiber, try the slippery elm bark powder a couple times a day (start with 1/8-1/4 tsp). It works to equalize the water balance in the gut and can help with dry stools. Stick with the salmon oil, and possibly think of adding some Vetbasis gel (http://www.vetbasis.com/prod_cat_hairball1.asp) as well (doesn't contain any petroleum products).

Other than that, is a holistic vet an option for you? They can sometimes see things from a different perspective and may have some more ideas to try.

Khari
September 2nd, 2009, 06:57 AM
Hi and welcome to the forum!!!

To me it sounds most likely that the broken pelvis is the culprit of the constipation. Has your vet also xray'd him to rule out Megacolon? This seems to occur in cats that break their pelvis. My female cat Lexus had major constipation issues. The lactulose and added fibre (ie. pumpkin) stopped working for her very quickly. I find that a low fibre grain free canned food (max 1 to 1.5% fibre content) works best for her. It doesn't bulk up her stools so it is easier for her to pass. She has had to be put under to remove obstuctions quite a few times. Her constipation has progressed into megacolon. This is where the colon has been stretched and the muscles can not push the stools out on their own. I give her a combination of Miralax (you can buy it over the counter at a pharmacy - I heard Walmart sells it in the medication section off the shelf - much cheaper than buying at the vets office) and I have to give her a motility drug called cisapride. The Miralax is a much better stool softner than lactulose. It has been a life saver for many cats on the Feline Megacolon group on Yahoo and for Lexus. Miralax is a tasteless/odourless powder that you mix into the canned food (with a bit of water). The cat doesn't even know it is there. Lactulose draws water from the entire body to soften the stool. Whereas Miralax draws water from the intestine only. I would get rid of the benefibre because it can sometimes have the opposite effect from softening the stools.

For some extra support with the constipation and to speak with some people that have had cats with pelvis accidents with this condition please join http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline_Megacolon/ This group has been a life saver for many cats that have constipation issues and megacolon. Me being one of them :) :) :)

quincymycat
September 2nd, 2009, 09:18 AM
Hi guys,
I don't want to hi jack this thread, but it is along the same lines that I could use some feedback.
My Quincy (now 8 year old Maine Coon) had a severe neuro prob last January and has had to be on prednisone for quite awhile and is still on the ending of weaning off it. Prior to that, there were no probs with his BM's. A couple of months ago, he had to have an evacuation of his colon because he was so backed up, enemas would not even work. I am still killing myself with guilt over this because I am sure I should have realized there was a problem before it got that far. (another story for another time)
Currently, he is on benefibre, 1tsp each morning in his food, cisipride 5 mg once a day and lactulose to help if necessary. I have for a while been walking a tight rope trying to make sure all things balance to make nice easy to pass stools, but it is getting nerve racking. Yesterday when I went to Global foods to pick up cat food for the gang, I asked about probiotics to help him more naturally. I was told to use the product "WYSONG ADDLIFE CANINE AND FELINE FOOD SUPPLEMENT" each feeding. I just used it for the first time yesterday, and unfortunately, unlike the benefibre - which I still add to Quince's food, this stuff has a very strong smell and he seems to be less anxious to eat with it in it.
Has any one tried this product and if so, what were your results? I am going today to pick up some of the Miralax that was recommended as well. I also received the recommendation of the slippery elm from my breeder.
I don't think we are looking at mega colon here, just a really streched colon that may still need time to re adjust. I also think that once I get him off the pred completely that may help as well.
Any suggestions any one can offer me as well I would greatly appreciate.
Thanks, Deb

Khari
September 2nd, 2009, 06:14 PM
My Quincy (now 8 year old Maine Coon) had a severe neuro prob last January and has had to be on prednisone for quite awhile and is still on the ending of weaning off it.

Right off the bat I am going to suggest you read the following links regarding B-12 Methylcobalamin. The website with Jasper's story is about Diabetic neuropathy but if you read around it may pertain to your situation :shrug:

http://laurieulrich.com/jasper/

http://www.harpsie.com/constipation.htm#methylcobalamin

http://www.delano.com/ReferenceArticles/Methylcobalamin.html

I am still killing myself with guilt over this because I am sure I should have realized there was a problem before it got that far.

Please DO NOT kill yourself over this. Most of us as pet owners do not know the signs and are not aware. I have to admit though that I felt guilty for Lexus's situation b/c I entrusted my 10 year vet over my cats lives. And he misdiagnosed her with enlarged anal glands for 2 years. It wasn't until she had the symptoms again (which occured every 2-3 months) that I finally took her to another vet. And he said right off the bat that the problem WAS NOT her anal glands. It was a huge blockage/constipation. So, thankfully we could start treating the correct problem (constipation). Over the next couple of months she had to have several manual evacuations and enemas while sedated. And unfortunately her colon was too stretched out from the severe constipation that went undetected for 2 years :sad::sad::sad: I felt so BAD.....so now I am aware of every little thing that happens with my kitties. I even keep a litterbox diary so that I know she is passing a regular stool. I now even do this for my other kitty as well. People say that the litterbox habits of a cat are a good indicator of your cats health. I've also learned so much on forums like Pets.ca :thumbs up:thumbs up

Currently, he is on benefibre, 1tsp each morning in his food,

I would suggest you get him off of this and start him on Miralax. You may want to talk about the Miralax with your vet before you start. Most people tend to start their cats off on 1/4tsp 2x's a day. And adjust accordingly.

cisipride 5 mg once a day

I am not sure why your vet has him on Cisapride if it is not Megacolon? Cisapride is used in cats as a motility drug when the cats muscles are not working on their own to push out the stool. I have heard this on the Feline Megacolon group as well. Where a person's kitty has been diagnosed with major constipation and are put on Cisapride. But once they start with the Miralax they can immediately stop the Cisapride. This is because it was not a motility issue. It seems to me (and my opinion only) that as soon as the lactulose (or in your case benefiber) isn't very effective any longer the vet throws in the cisapride. My vets would not start Lexus on the Cisapride until they confirmed (by xray) that she did have megacolon. Please be aware that once you start the Miralax you may be able to stop the Cisapride. Something for you to think about :):)

I don't think we are looking at mega colon here, just a really streched colon that may still need time to re adjust. I also think that once I get him off the pred completely that may help as well.

I will keep Quincy in my thoughts and pray for him that this is not megacolon :pray: On the feline megacolon group I mentioned in a previous post (with a link) it seems that quite a few members have maine coon cats that have constipation / megacolon :shrug: You should join the group for some wonderful guidance and support!

What do you feed Quincy? Does this Wysong supplement you bought have any fibre in it? If so, what is the percentage?