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Constipated Cat

Bumbelina
August 21st, 2010, 01:05 AM
Hi,
My cat just came home from the vet yesterday. She had been throwing up and her ears would get extremly hot after eating. The first time I brought her in the vet said she just had a sensitive stomach and sent me home. Well she just kept getting worse over the weekend and on Monday I brought her back in. After performing x-rays they found that she was EXTREMLY constipated. The vet had to perform two enemas on her and then rehydrate her via an IV. I then was told to bring her home and give her cisapride for the next 28 days and that she could've just been constipated or she may have megacolon. Well I am now feeding her small amounts of DD as prescribed by the vet and she seems to be feeling better, although she is sleeping a lot. My question is how do I avoid Ashe having to go through this again as not only is she an extremly shy cat (they had to put her under to empty her bladder because she wouldn't urinate while at the vets) but the whole thing was hard on both of us. Many tears were shed on my part and $1000 of money I really don't have was spent. Has anyone had this happen to their cat and it not been diagnosed with megacolon and if so how did you keep it from occurring again?

Thanks

sugarcatmom
August 21st, 2010, 12:06 PM
Yikes, your poor kitty! Hopefully another episode like that can be avoided.

What were you feeding your cat before the D/D (dry? canned?)? Is the D/D wet or dry, and what reason did the vet give for choosing that product (it's typically "prescribed" for skin issues)?

One of the main causes of constipation in cats is dehydration, and cats fed mostly kibble tend to be chronically dehydrated. So the best thing you could do is feed a species-appropriate (ie, meat-based, little to no grains) WET food diet. Slippery elm bark powder can be helpful in maintaining balance in the moisture content of the intestines. A few drops of aloe vera juice (without sodium benzoate) might help if reduced motility is the issue.

Here is some good info on feline constipation for you to check out:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=constipatedcats

And some info on diet in general:
www.catinfo.org

How old is your cat? Did the vets do any blood work along with the urinalysis, and do you know the results?

Bumbelina
August 21st, 2010, 10:48 PM
Ashe is seven and I have always fed her Whiskers, usually kibble but soft at least once a week. However I had purchased Chicken flavoured Whiskers at which time she started to vomit occasionally. I thought perhaps it was the ingredients in that specific flavour and went back to her regular flavoured Whiskers, meat flavoured, but she started to throw that up occasionally. So I then went to IAMS with soft food every other day. The vet did do blood work and everything else is fine. She did however say to stay with the DD she originally prescribed when she thought all Ashe had was a sensitive stomach. I mix a wee bit of the DD kibble in with the canned soft DD. It's the only way she'll eat the kibble and the vet said it's important for her to eat kibble as well as soft food. Thank you so much for the links. I was so worried about her and we only have one vetrenarian clinic where I live that I didn't get much face time with the vet to ask all the questions I had. Ashe seems to be getting back to her old self. She still hasn't pooped but the vet said that it could take three or more days as her bowels were completely emptied.

Thanks again

Shaykeija
August 22nd, 2010, 08:50 AM
That is so strange. Piper was on whiskers forever, the only thing he would eat. He started to vomit a lot so we threw out the bag of food and bought another. Same thing. I suspected something wrong and put him on another brand of high end cat food. Took a while to find something he would eat. He has lost a little weight and is doing fine on this new food. Hope your cat is better soon.

sugarcatmom
August 22nd, 2010, 12:14 PM
I thought perhaps it was the ingredients in that specific flavour and went back to her regular flavoured Whiskers, meat flavoured, but she started to throw that up occasionally.

The ingredients are actually almost identical, so it likely wasn't that. They are also very poor quality, so I'm glad to hear you're not feeding it anymore. Here's what's in Whiskas Meaty Selections:

Chicken by-product meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Corn gluten meal, Animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT), Wheat, Rice, Natural chicken flavour, Wheat flour, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Caramel Colour,

Corn, wheat, rice (these would be appropriate ingredients for fattening up livestock, not keeping an obligate carnivore healthy) carmel colour (so the food doesn't have the disgusting grey pallor it normally would, which would scare away the people who are buying it - cat's don't care what it looks like), chicken by-product meal is close to the poorest quality meat you can find in pet food. And most companies have stopped using BHA/BHT as a preservative because it has links to causing cancer. Quite likely this food was playing a big role in your cat's state of ill health. At the very least, it wasn't contributing to good health.

She did however say to stay with the DD she originally prescribed when she thought all Ashe had was a sensitive stomach.
I mix a wee bit of the DD kibble in with the canned soft DD. It's the only way she'll eat the kibble and the vet said it's important for her to eat kibble as well as soft food.

Your vet is very wrong about kibble: it's actually more important that your cat stay away from it! The truth is that most vets don't know much about feline nutrition beyond the propaganda they receive from pet food company reps. Doesn't it seem like a bit of a conflict of interest for them to be recommending the very foods they're selling? While you're reading the links I posted above, you should check out this one too: http://catnutrition.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/dry-food-and-vets/

With your cat's best interests in mind (and ultimately your wallet as well), I would strongly suggest ditching all dry from her diet (take back the D/D for a refund, saying your cat won't eat it), and finding a good quality wet food, preferably without grains. I don't know what's available in your area, but Wellness is a good brand to look for.