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MOOSEDRY March 1st, 2008 03:13 PM

cat not pooping
hi all.

looking for advice for my eleven year old cat, patsy. her appetitie had been decreasing gradually over the last week (started last sunday nite suppertime). when she stopped eating for a full 24 hours, i took her to the vet. they did full blood work (came back fine, plus no diabetes). they took an xray, which showed nothing except a pinched area in her large bowel. yesterday afternoon they made her drink barium, and took xrays every so often to clock its progress. as of this morning, the barium stool is completely in her large bowel, and there are no signs of foreign objects - even the pinched area opened up. she has been prescribed metoclopromide - 5mg, 1/4 pill, 3 times a day. now we just need her to poo! she is peeing, and is not dehydrated. i have her quarantined from my other two cats so i can check her litter. the vet said she needs to poo in the next 48 hours (by monday morning), or we'll have to try something else. i'm also giving her tonic lax to try to help move things along. i'm at work all day today into this evening, but i came home on a break to let her out of the room for a bit (don't want depression setting in, as she may stop eating completely again). the other two have been locked away so i can still check the litter situation. anyway, when i brought her home last nite and left her in the room for a few hours, there were white spots under where she was laying (so, some of the barium must have come thru as i was told it would be white). she is eating a few mouthfuls at a time (yay), and is otherwise alert and happy.

just wondering if anyone has any other advice as to what we can do to get things moving... is there such a thing as an enema for a cat?

tracy : )

badger March 1st, 2008 03:53 PM

Yes, cats can be given enemas (by the vet) but hopefully you can avoid it. Try giving her a little pumpkin (not the pie filling, the pure kind that comes in a can). Some cats love it, others not so much, but if she'll eat it, it can be quite effective.
I would also recommend canned food or if she will only eat dry, adding water. The more liquid she takes the better.
Lactulose is another medication that I have given to constipated cats in the past, also very effective.
Here's hoping she 'produces' soon so another trip to the vet won't be necessary.

MOOSEDRY March 1st, 2008 06:01 PM

thanks, badger
thanks badger. i just got home from work and read your response. i'll pick up some pumpkin and the laxative tomorrow. how long can a cat go being backed up like this? the vet said that if nothing happens in 48 hours we'll have to try something else.

tracy : )

badger March 1st, 2008 06:34 PM

Ask him about lactulose, it works pretty fast. My old Badger used to get royally 'bunged up' on occasion and lactulose never failed. You use it just long enough to get things rolling. Not eating was never an issue ;).
I keep a close eye on his ah, litterbox activities and if he is really struggling and his stools are very small, I add a 1/2 teaspoon of unflavoured Metamucil to his wet food, which generally takes care of the problem. When it doesn't (rarely) I use Lactulose.
Barium is constipating, so that may be holding things up.

PS The vet has to prescribe Lactulose, it isn't OTC.

rainbow March 1st, 2008 06:37 PM

She needs food in her to help her poop. The vet will probably give her an enema if she doesn't poop on her own.

Another member here (Growler) who is very knowledgable on cat nutrition recommends giving Heinz Organics or Earth Organics butternut squash baby food instead of the pumpkin. She says cats seem to prefer the taste better.

Sugarcatmom (the cat guru here) may also have some other suggestions.

Good luck with Patsy. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

MOOSEDRY March 1st, 2008 07:52 PM

rainbow and badger
thanks so much you guys for all the advice. i didn't know that barium could be constipating - that may be part of the problem. quick question for you. i was patting patsy and feeling her belly and "other" areas to check for swelling, and the areas to the right and left of her rectum feel hard and swollen. could her anal glands be impacted, and could this be part of the problem? i'll be so happy when my regular vet is back on monday morning. she has been away this past week, and although the other vets are good, she's the one i trust the most for knowing what is going on.

tracy : )

Element~5 March 1st, 2008 09:49 PM

Enema's aren't that bad, especially if they are done properly. They can be somewhat invasive, but you're pet would prefer it over not being able to have a BM at all. Good luck and keep us posted ;)

growler~GateKeeper March 2nd, 2008 01:50 AM

Rainbow thanks for the relay of info re butternut squash :thumbs up

[QUOTE=MOOSEDRY;555698]the areas to the right and left of her rectum feel hard and swollen. could her anal glands be impacted, and could this be part of the problem?[/QUOTE]

The anal glands are located to the left & right and slightly lower than the anus @ the 4 o'clock & 8 o'clock positions with ducts that open onto the anal surface. It is much more common for dogs to have anal gland issues but cats do get them as well.

If there is a very very strong fishy odor in the area of the anus then the glands are in need of expression either natually from the cat pooping or manually by the vet. :yuck:

In order for her to natually express them she needs to have a normal to slightly hard poop, though they are not always expressed w/every poop.

It is possible though more likely the glands (if they are) are backed up because she's not pooping rather than the other way around, with impacted glands the cat will still try to poop but will be painful.

The glands are also sometimes expressed in situations where the cat is fearful/upset/surprised (similiar to skunks spraying)

Has Patsy been acting like she needs to poop? Straining at all?

Has she ever scooted her bum along the carpet? Showing discomfprt while trying to sit or Licking her anus excessively? These along with the odor will alert you to her need to have the anal glands looked @ by the vet.

MOOSEDRY March 2nd, 2008 05:55 AM

still no poo : (
hi all.

still no bm from patsy, although she was in the litter box thru the nite crying and scratching, so she obviously wants to go. she is still eating little bits at a time every few hours of canned food. regarding the anal glands, i was wondering because, years ago, patsy had an abscess in one of them.

also, i forgot to mention that patsy is normally a very "pukey" cat when it comes to hairballs, and i realized that i haven't seen anything on my floors since last week (this whole drama began last sunday nite). since they didn't see any foreign objects in the xray, perhaps it is hair that has her backed up.

again, i'll be so relieved when my regular vet is back tomorrow. i'll be taking patsy in for first thing in the am. i'm going to ask about an enema, because patsy hasn't pooed since at least thursday. it's possible it's even earlier in the week, as i was working thursday nite so i had to get my friend to pick her up and bring her home. although she put her into a room alone with one of my litter boxes, she didn't check to see if the box was empty, so i have no way of knowing if the poo in the box was hers or one of my other two cats. like one of you said, i'm sure she'll prefer the enema to having no bm. she's already put up with so much, i'm sure an enema will seem like a cake walk.

poor patsy! she's had one heck of a year. she had seasonal asthma last year in june, and my vet was away. the doc i saw gave her the short acting shot instead of the long one, and long story short, she suffered needlessly for about a week and a half as i ran around trying to find solutions (even ordered a mask online thinking she needed a puffer). she's not chronically asthmatic, just seasonally asthmatic.

so, pats was just in the litter box a minute ago, crying, and still no poo. the poor baby. she must be miserable. the only encouragement i have right now is that she otherwise seems pretty good - no vomiting, no lethargy, still eating (a little), drinking, peeing, etc. [B]those are good signs, right you guys?[/B]

my other two are wondering what the heck is going on. i have them locked away together in a room to give patsy a break from quarantine. this is going to be the longest 24 hours of my life!

thanks for all the support. it means a lot.
tracy : )

MOOSEDRY March 2nd, 2008 08:43 AM

a little relief for now
hi all.

well, patsy still hasn't pooed, so i called my reg vet at home just now to see what she thought. she said i shouldn't bother to continue giving her the metoclopromide as it didn't seem to be doing anything. she is going to see patsy in the morning (she is in at 10 am). she said everything else sounds okay, and that the lack of vomiting, the continued eating, etc., are all very good signs, so she doesn't think it is disastrous. she said she'll likely try a laxative first to see if that does the trick.

will keep you all updated as things progress. thanks again for your support and help. you are all pet angels!!!!!! :angel2:

tracy : )
(and patsy - meow!)

growler~GateKeeper March 2nd, 2008 11:23 AM

[QUOTE=MOOSEDRY;556012]still no bm from patsy, although she was in the litter box thru the nite crying and scratching, so she obviously wants to go.[/QUOTE]

Poor girl is definately constipated :grouphug:

Watch when she heads for the litterbox, if she is licking her lips while straining or if she vomits while attempting to poop then a trip to ER or a home call to the vet would be a good idea, this shows shes having too much difficulty trying to pass it.

:goodvibes: Patsy

MOOSEDRY March 2nd, 2008 12:54 PM

thanks growler
hi growler.

thanks for the advice. trust me, i've been keeping a close watch out for any vomiting, as they told me that would require an emergency trip. my regular doc sounded pretty positive, so i'm keeping my hopes up that she will be able to help. this is the first time i've ever had a constipated cat. so, once they give her relief this time, is there something i can add to her diet to ensure this never happens again? the doc mentioned adding mineral oil to her food. would this be a good way to prevent this from happening again?

thanks again.
tracy : )

growler~GateKeeper March 2nd, 2008 01:08 PM

Have a look at this thread it pertains to Patsys' constipation issue as well as mineral oil [url][/url]

I would use either butter as mentioned in the above link and/or butternut squash babyfood pure pureed from either Earth Organics or Heinz Organics to regulate the amount of water in the poop

MOOSEDRY March 2nd, 2008 01:34 PM

mineral oil
thanks for the link, growler. that makes lots of sense. i cook with olive oil, so i'll opt for that instead.

you're the best!

tracy and patsy :cat: : )

growler~GateKeeper March 2nd, 2008 01:40 PM

thanks :o

you might even want to give her a wee tiny bit today (maybe 1/4 teaspoon or less) to try to ease her bowel system since she has tried to poop already

:goodvibes: for Patsy

sugarcatmom March 2nd, 2008 01:44 PM

You could also try Slippery Elm Bark powder, which is useful for normalizing the water balance in a cat's intestinal tract. Here's a link to check out: [url][/url]

Do you normally feed dry or wet food? Cat's are more prone to constipation when fed only dry as they tend to be chronically dehydrated.

Here's some more info on feline constipation (although I don't agree with everything in it, such as the use of petroleum jelly - but it does otherwise have some helpful tips): [url][/url]

:fingerscr for normal pooping from now on!

MOOSEDRY March 2nd, 2008 08:51 PM

3 Attachment(s)
hi there.

thanks for the post. you helped me months ago when patsy was having the asthma problem too (poor thing has had a rough year - she always gets sick when my reg vet goes on vacation!). this forum is lucky to have such dedicated members as you guys. anyway, in answer to your question, i feed my cats: breakfast = canned, lunch = dry, supper = canned (small portions, of course). i like to see them eat a little dry to keep their teeth healthy.

patsy and cline (don't laugh - i didn't name them, hubby did) are my eleven year old "twins" ("tuxedo" sisters from the same litter who look alike), and punkin is my four year old baby (who we really should have named "monster" - she's so naughty - LOL!). hopefully, this post will let me add photos in this order: patsy, cline, punkin.

thanks all, from this cat house to yours. will let you know more tomorrow after i see the doc.
tracy : )

growler~GateKeeper March 2nd, 2008 09:31 PM

All your babies are gorgeus :lovestruck:

MOOSEDRY March 3rd, 2008 05:40 AM

thanks, growler. i think so, too. well, lo and behold, there was poo in the litter this morning - yay! i'm one happy mama. i'm still taking her to the doc this morning for a check and advice, but everything is great!

love and support to all who responded!
tracy :cloud9:

sugarcatmom March 3rd, 2008 11:24 AM

[QUOTE=MOOSEDRY;556509]thanks for the post. you helped me months ago when patsy was having the asthma problem too (poor thing has had a rough year - she always gets sick when my reg vet goes on vacation!). [/quote]

Aww, poor Patsy. How is her asthma doing?

[QUOTE=MOOSEDRY;556509]in answer to your question, i feed my cats: breakfast = canned, lunch = dry, supper = canned (small portions, of course). i like to see them eat a little dry to keep their teeth healthy. [/quote]

Good to see some canned in the mix. You might be surprised to hear that dry food actually does nothing for a cat's teeth, and may in fact harm them. Because they're designed for tearing meat, not grinding dry nuggets of cereal, the kibble basically just shatters when bitten (and is often just swallowed whole). Then these sugary bits get trapped between teeth or under the gum-line and allow bacteria to flourish, resulting in tooth decay and gingivitis. If dry food was so great for teeth, then why are tooth extractions and dental cleanings so common when most cats are fed dry to begin with?

The best thing for a cat's dental health is to either feed raw meat chunks (with bone is even better - chicken necks are great for this) or learn to brush their teeth ("ha ha" you say! - well I hear ya. There's a great instructional video [url=]here[/url] on how to do it with the least stress).

Anyway, you have some darn cute kitties there. May they all have long and happy lives, without anymore poop problems!!! :D

MOOSEDRY March 3rd, 2008 01:32 PM

hi all.

well, the doc thinks that patsy's problems started with her pancreas, as there was pain in that area earlier in the week when the first vet saw her, now not so - didn't even flinch this morning when the doc manipulated her abdomen. she was also basing this on the bloodwork patsy had done, which showed no liver or kidney problems, but did have raised white count levels (hope i'm recounting this correctly - i know she had raised levels of something?).

she also thinks patsy never really had a constipation problem, she just wasn't pooing because of the decreased appetite (in other words, nothing going in, nothing coming out, and because i have three cats, i couldn't really be certain when was the last time she pooed - i'm only certain about from thursday nite at around 9pm up to last nite at around 10pm, but it could have been earlier in the week). the poo she passed last nite passed the fecal test with flying colours, and was soft and moist, normal size, not hard & dry, which it should have been if she was constipated.

so, she has started her on a special diet: canned "recovery", canned "sensitive" and dry "gastroenteric", which she says should prevent future troubles - it's high protein, low fat. i'm also allowed to give her cooked meats (chicken, beef, fish, etc.).

i didn't know that about dry food - thank you so much sugarcatmom - i always thought dry food helped their teeth. i'll only give them small amounts of the dry and rely more heavily on the canned. the gastroenteric dry is really tiny - looks like kitten food.

anyway, mysteries solved. patsy's asthma is fine, she only gets it in june (she's an outdoor cat), and the shot that fixes it does the trick - she only ever needs the one (i know other cats need this shot a few times thru the year, right?).

thanks so much to [B]everyone[/B] for advice and support. you guys sure do know your stuff!

hugs from me and my patsy girl :D

growler~GateKeeper March 3rd, 2008 10:58 PM

Glad to hear everything is good with Patsy :thumbs up

Might I suggest looking into some holistic grain-free foods not the :yuck: prescription foods. Have a look at the ingredients I think you'll see which is better ;) Wellness, Evo, Innova, Eagle Pack Holistic, Orijen, Nature's Variety, Merricks are all excellent foods. Raw in my opinion is even better :2cents: :D

rainbow March 4th, 2008 01:51 AM

Glad to hear that Patsy is doing better. :thumbs up I agree with Growler about the food......check out the Food Forum here for some good info. :pawprint:

krdahmer March 4th, 2008 10:46 AM

Glad to see Patsy had a poop! I've been reading but haven't been able to reply (cats on keyboard:rolleyes:)! And your babies are beautiful! :lovestruck:

MOOSEDRY March 4th, 2008 02:04 PM

thanks again for all the suggestions about food for my patsy girl. would that food also be appropriate for my other two (patsy's eleven year old sister, cline, and punkin, four). i just find it very hard to feed them different kinds of food. feeding all three the same is a heck of a lot easier.

tracy : )
i think my babies are beautiful, too - thanks!

krdahmer March 4th, 2008 02:07 PM

With 6, whenever one has required a special diet, I've just put them all on it as like you said it's much easier. Just check with the vet to make sure but I don't think it could hurt your others unless they have different special needs.

MOOSEDRY March 4th, 2008 04:38 PM

6 cats!
gosh.... 6 cats. how do you afford it? between the asthma episode last year and now the pancreas thing with patsy, i'm praying that nothing else goes wrong with my girls for the next while! the tests alone to determine what is going wrong are enough to break you - then you have to cover treatment on top of that. does anyone know of a good pet insurance plan that has reasonable premiums?

tracy : )

sugarcatmom March 4th, 2008 05:04 PM

[QUOTE=MOOSEDRY;557493]thanks again for all the suggestions about food for my patsy girl. would that food also be appropriate for my other two (patsy's eleven year old sister, cline, and punkin, four). i just find it very hard to feed them different kinds of food. feeding all three the same is a heck of a lot easier.[/QUOTE]

Yup, you can feed them all the same food. If pancreatitis really is the issue with Patsy, you might want to be careful with the high fat varieties like Wellness and Nature's Variety. Unfortunately the trade off to get lower fat tends to be higher carb, which isn't ideal either. I've heard that Merricks is a good option for pancreatitis kitties.

You could certainly try the other brands (in small amounts at first) and just keep a close eye on her for signs of discomfort. Or maybe mix them half and half with something like Pro Plan Salmon & Rice, Chicken & Rice in Gravy, or Turkey & Giblets (all very low in fat - just not the highest quality ingredients). Hopefully this was a one-time incident and Patsy's pancreas won't give you any more trouble. :fingerscr

GSDog March 4th, 2008 07:28 PM

how about mineral oil? :thumbs up

MOOSEDRY March 4th, 2008 08:21 PM

food - yay!!!!!!
oh my gosh. i have learned [B]SO MUCH [/B]about feeding thru this thread. i can't thank you all enough. i feel like i did an okay job up until now (my eleven-year-olds are quite spry with a healthy coat, good teeth and bright eyes), but dealing with a serious illness is a whole different ball game. the subsequent diet becomes puzzling, especially in a multiple cat situation - hooray for your advice.

i'm so happy to know that i can safely feed the other two whatever i give to patsy to address her pancreatitis. [B]so[/B] good to know what to shop for. that whole "menu foods scandal" scared me to [B]death[/B]!!! makes you wonder what's safe to buy. i can't imagine what those poor people went thru finding out they had unknowlingly poisoned their own pets - i know i'd be [B]sick[/B] over it. blessings and prayers to them to heal. :candle:

i'm thrilled to report that my patsy girl seems to be rallying at a slow but consistent rate - i continue to see improvement :fingerscr poor baby lost 4 pounds over this, so i expect this will be a gradual climb back to health. she's very sooky these days towards me - wants to be by my side all the time - so sweet!!! :cat:

thanks to all for making me feel so welcome and supported. it was really appreciated.

tracy &
"the girls",
as hubby and i refer to them

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