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Old March 27th, 2008, 01:09 PM
cleothecat cleothecat is offline
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Exclamation Considering subtotal colectomy for cat

I have a 17 year old cat that is very healthy but for chronic constispation which has finally resulted in an obstructed bowel. She is on medications but if they don't work I am considering a subtotal colectomy. I would appreciate comments from anyone who has gone through this procedure with their cat. I am especially interested in knowing about complications, post-operative pain, and whether the cat needs to be confined for any time after surgery due to "dribbling" feces everywhere versus using a litterbox.

thankyou. cleothecat
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Old March 28th, 2008, 01:42 AM
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I do not have any experience with subtotal colectomy but wanted to ask what you are feeding Chloe? Have you tried different foods?

Are you feeding dry or canned? If you are feeding dry please switch to canned, it is far better for her & does contain more moisture. If you are feeding canned have you tried adding water to the food? Even if she is drinking enough water alone, she still needs water with her food.

Has Chloe had a blood panel & urinalysis in the last 6 months? Every cat over the age of 7 should have them yearly & over 12 should have them every 6 months.


My cat will be 17 in May, Duffy has kidney failure so constipation is an issue I'm dealing with as well. I'm adding approx 1-2 teaspoons of water to her rawfood every meal. Duffy's Homeopathic Vet has recommended adding Flaxseed to her meals to lubricate the poop to make it easier to pass. I take a tsp of ground flaxseed (non-gmo) in a glass dish add approx 2 tsp of hot water & stir to make it "slimy" add a little ~ about the tip of the tsp ~ couple of mm deep, to the canned/raw each meal. You can then store the rest in the fridge.

Also recommended to balance the moisture level in the bowels is a 1/4 tsp of Butternut Squash pure pureed babyfood by either Heinz Organics or Earth Organics added to each meal. Measure out a 1/4 tsp into each space in ice cube trays freeze them, dump into plastic bag, then you can just take 1 portion out of the freezer when needed. Warm the food in hot water in the sink to melt the squash, mix & serve. Cats prefer the taste of butternut squash over pumpkin, which also can be used & freezing is recommended because if the jar is left too long in the fridge it will go bad.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 08:48 AM
cleothecat cleothecat is offline
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thanks growler

Thank you for your tips. I will certainly use them and appreciate you taking the time to write.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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I don't know how much research you've done or what stage you're at with Cleo's condition, but here's some info, with pros and cons.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...megacolon.html

Unless your cat is a very spry 17 with no other chronic health problems, I would be extremely cautious about the surgery. Not saying exclude it, just be aware of the possible consequences.

But if Cleo is well enough to try some of the other methods - that you have not already tried - I would go there first.

Growler gave you some excellent suggestions, btw.
If you try them, use one remedy at a time and give her several days on it before abandoning it for lack of results.
Another thing I use occasionally on my constipated cat is 1/4 tsp. unflavoured Metamucil mixed into wet food every morning. The cat must get lots of liquid with this method. Feeding exclusively canned takes care of that.

I really recommend talking to your vet as well to make sure these methods are safe to try on Cleo, even though they are technically harmless.

Last edited by badger; March 28th, 2008 at 11:39 AM.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Both Growler and Badger have given excellent suggestions. Another fibre you can try is pysillum husk. sugarcatmom may be able to give additional advice. She is another one of the cat gurus on this forum.

I personally would not put my 17 year old cat through such major surgery unless I have exhausted ALL dietary avenues.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Your vet may not be a fan of these more gentle remedies. You don't need his permission , but you do need to know if any of them will compomise Cleo's health further. You don't say how sick she is - whether everything is onandoff normal or she is running a fever, name of meds, etc - so it's a bit hard to judge.
I'm hoping Dr. Lee will drop by, I'd like to know his thoughts on this.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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How is your kitty doing? Have you made any decisions?
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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:02 PM
cleothecat cleothecat is offline
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cleothe cat

Thanks, all. Cleo is a spry 17 year old. This is her only health problem. Her bood work is normal but for a slightly elevated potassium. The only thing the vet commented on regarding her xrays was "kidneys somewhat small." She has been on lactulose and cisipride for 6 days. I added the flax seed with vets ok. She won't eat the butternut squash. I have tried the other fibers mentioned in the past but they did not help. So, I have changed her diet to all wet food (she used to eat wet and dry). She has not had a bowel movement since she was cleaned out 6 days ago. I do appreciate your taking the time to respond and ask about her progress.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Poor kitty :sad:.
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Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

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Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:48 PM
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I'm sure you're thoroughly fed up by now - and worried. Have you considered acupuncture?

http://www.petshealth.com/dr_library/felconstip.html
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Old March 31st, 2008, 09:19 PM
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it may take a couple days more for your kitty to respond with the all wet food and the flax seed and other suggestions, especially if shes had an enema. i hope you are able to see some improvement soon.. plse let us know
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Old March 31st, 2008, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger View Post
I'm sure you're thoroughly fed up by now - and worried. Have you considered acupuncture?

http://www.petshealth.com/dr_library/felconstip.html
Badger excellent suggestion

Another suggestion to go along the homeopathic line is Chiropractor/Massage Therapist for cats - this was the next step my homeopath vet suggested we go if the flaxseed didn't help for Duffy which it is . Often times the spine can be out of alignment (result of injury, accident, born that way) & that will result in other organs also out of alignment.

Personally I would try the homeopathic route first before surgery

continued
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Old April 5th, 2009, 11:09 PM
PandasMom PandasMom is offline
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Considering subtotal colectomy for cat

My cat will be 14 in August. She had some constipation a few years ago and I can her some Laxatone and that was that. Then just over a month ago I noticed her straining and gave her some more. It seemed like over night I noticed she had lost weight. She was still not going after two days. I took her to a doctor. After XRays and blood work(she was completely full and everything was very hard and she has the very begining of kidney disease.) I changed her diet per the vet and was giving her cicapride and lactolose 2 times a day. 6 days later no better. I took her back for another enema. I was told to start giving both medications 3 times a day and also was sent home with an IV bag and needles and had to give her fluids every day. This went on for and additional 4 cleanouts. Each time she went I only saw 1bowel movement afterwards and not much came out. The last time there was nothing. I took her in again and she was cleaned out and after speaking with the vet we decided that this was not working and Panda was at the point that when I walked in the room she hide from me. We decided to go ahead with the subtotal colectomey on 4-2-09. We expected her to stay in the hospital for 2 nights but on Friday I was told Panda was doing great and could go home that evening. She can home with a color on so she couldn't get the the Fentenal patch on her back. She was a little out of it all day Saturday but today she has been great. I was told not to put her in any rooms with furniture that was priceless as she might not be able to contol her bowels. She has gone 2 times , solid, but not much. This has all been because she is unable to push out her stool and we are now hopping that she will in the future. I know she is not out of the woods yet but feel that I had only 2 choices and she is not ready to be put down. I have no children and she is my baby I have had her since before her eyes were open. I will do anything for her. There were a few hours that I thought I had made the wrong choice. It is probably too soon to really tell, but I know I did the right thing now.

PandasMom
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Old April 6th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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I definately understand what you are going through. I have been going through this similar situation with my 9 year old female cat Lexus for a while now too. At first my vet and holistic vet were treating it as severe constipation. I have tried everything - she has always been on wet food with added water. I had her on a raw diet and it seems that it made the situation even worse unfortuantely. Some things would work for a bit but then she would be back up to 4-5 days without passing a stool. She has had to get several enema's and sedation to be manually extracted with severely hard stools. Lactulose stopped working for her a long time ago. I was giving her a stool softner called PEG 3350 in Canada - otherwise known as Miralax. It is a great stool softner. But if your cat is at the stage of Feline Megacolon no amount of stool softner will work. Because Megacolon is a motility issue. This means the muscles are not working to push the stool out even though they may be soft. And sadly to say Lexus got an xray last week and she does have megacolon. I would suggest a Cisapride/Miralax combination for you. It has been reported by many people in our situation (including myself) that added fibre actually makes the situation worse. I am a member on a forum called Feline Megacolon (I joined it for Lexus's constipation issues) that are a great help and are going through what we are going through. They are a great support network and may be able to help you further....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline_Megacolon/

Good luck and let me know how everything is going!

Has your cat gotten an xray? Because like my situation it may be more then just chronic constipation. I would ask for an xray first. How much of the Cisapride and lactulose are you giving each day? I would give the Miralax a shot with the Cisapride before any drastic surgeries. Is the stool severly hard each time? Because that to me would mean that the lactulose is NOT working. Because the lactulose is a stool softner. You can go into the files on the group I suggested above and look up the difference between Miralax and lactulose.
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Last edited by Khari; April 6th, 2009 at 06:58 AM.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 09:20 PM
PandasMom PandasMom is offline
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Considering subtotal colectomy for cat

Well, here I am again. I was told and I read all the bad things to expect after Panda's surgery. The not having control of her bowls.... What I wasn't prepared for was still not having a bowl movement. For the first few days it was to be expected. She was a little groggy but still eating and almost being her old self. When she would go to her box I was right there with her. She was only having maybe a poop an inch long or so. (Sorry for being so blunt) For the first week I was shocked that she didn't have the loose stool I was told about. She had bowl movements but not anywhere near what they should have been for what she was eating . I have was told to continue to feed her what she would eat. This past weekend she had no bowl movement at all. I started to give her the prescription can food to give her a little more fluid. She hates it and barely eats. This morning she was in her box no less than 10 times with no satisfaction. I called the vet and am taking her in tomorrow morning.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 12:46 PM
PandasMom PandasMom is offline
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Everything is Wonderful

Well it has been just over 3 months since Panda's surgery. The first week things were tense as she was still healing. But within 2 weeks she was back to her old self. She never had an accident which I was told to be prepared for. She had loose stool, but only in her litter box. That only lasted for a week or two. She came home with a 4 by 4 patch shaved on here back for a pain patch. Her hair has grown back to were you can only tell if you are looking closely. We have decided not to give her the fluids under her skin as when we have she screams. It is just not worth it. She does drink alot and urinate alot because of the kidney disease. All in all we are so glad that we had the surgery. Her energy has been amazing. She is now running around hoping from one piece of furniture to the next like she is 4 years old again. I can not say enought about the Cat Vet Clinic on West Alabama in Houston Texas.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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I am glad Panda is feeling her frisky self again. You are a good mom.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:09 PM
Pumba Pumba is offline
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PandasMom:

I am currently going through the same problem with my cat, Pumba, who I love so, so dearly. The vet has given me the same situation where he needs the surgery, which I can not afford. She sent me to another vet where it was half the price, again I can not afford.

I have been shedding tear after tear for my little guy and there is no hope for him. I'm just a wreck knowing here soon I will have to put down my little buddy.

Pumba has been the most awesome kitty and he is so loving. Every morning his little adorable face greats me on the other side of the pillow, his purrs put me to sleeping next to me every night and he's at the door every day when I come home.

The thought of putting him down to rest has done nothing but bring out massive tears. I'm going to be so lost without him, no more having little guy around anymore

His condition is so bad, and the fee is too much for me

I'm just mad at the world right now....along with the ex-wife alimony payments making this a really tough choice.

Pumba has been with me for 12 years, my son picked him out and I just fell in love with him the first time I set eyes on him. He was a birthday present..and God I just love him so much...

Sadly the horrible decision comes...I will hold him in my arms and say my goodbyes... and I'm crying again now.... I can't bare to put him down but this fee is too much... I just know I'm going to be a wreck in the room with him as he slowly goes to sleep with daddy holding him ......

Well, your story touched me and I'm happy that your kitty is with you, at least someone out there got saved. Animals are the greatest thing on Earth.

- Pumba's Daddy


Quote:
Originally Posted by PandasMom View Post
My cat will be 14 in August. She had some constipation a few years ago and I can her some Laxatone and that was that. Then just over a month ago I noticed her straining and gave her some more. It seemed like over night I noticed she had lost weight. She was still not going after two days. I took her to a doctor. After XRays and blood work(she was completely full and everything was very hard and she has the very begining of kidney disease.) I changed her diet per the vet and was giving her cicapride and lactolose 2 times a day. 6 days later no better. I took her back for another enema. I was told to start giving both medications 3 times a day and also was sent home with an IV bag and needles and had to give her fluids every day. This went on for and additional 4 cleanouts. Each time she went I only saw 1bowel movement afterwards and not much came out. The last time there was nothing. I took her in again and she was cleaned out and after speaking with the vet we decided that this was not working and Panda was at the point that when I walked in the room she hide from me. We decided to go ahead with the subtotal colectomey on 4-2-09. We expected her to stay in the hospital for 2 nights but on Friday I was told Panda was doing great and could go home that evening. She can home with a color on so she couldn't get the the Fentenal patch on her back. She was a little out of it all day Saturday but today she has been great. I was told not to put her in any rooms with furniture that was priceless as she might not be able to contol her bowels. She has gone 2 times , solid, but not much. This has all been because she is unable to push out her stool and we are now hopping that she will in the future. I know she is not out of the woods yet but feel that I had only 2 choices and she is not ready to be put down. I have no children and she is my baby I have had her since before her eyes were open. I will do anything for her. There were a few hours that I thought I had made the wrong choice. It is probably too soon to really tell, but I know I did the right thing now.

PandasMom
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Sadly the horrible decision comes...I will hold him in my arms and say my goodbyes... and I'm crying again now.... I can't bare to put him down but this fee is too much...

Well, your story touched me and I'm happy that your kitty is with you, at least someone out there got saved. Animals are the greatest thing on Earth.

- Pumba's Daddy

Please join the Feline Megacolon group on Yahoo here at this link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline_Megacolon/ before you make any drastic decisions....this group has been a life saviour for SOOOO Many cats.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:37 PM
Chris21711 Chris21711 is offline
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Pumba, my cat Herbie has Megacolon, surgery has been suggested twice by our Vet...I have declined the surgery and continue to cope with his situation.....What kind of remedies are you using?

Khari has given you an excellent site to visit I suggest you check it out.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 02:44 AM
Pumba Pumba is offline
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I will check this site out. Currently Pumba is not eating and has lost a LOT of weight. I just love him so much and I have been trying all sorts of things like different foods, mineral oil, list goes on and right now he's really backed up and not doing well.

I love my little buddy, I just want him better... I miss his little happiness around the apartment sooo much
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:33 AM
Chris21711 Chris21711 is offline
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Has Pumba been to the Vet to get the impacted stool removed manually? This would be the first step. Has he been checked for other ailments that may be the cause of no appetite?

From what I understand Mineral Oil should "not" be given orally.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 10:00 AM
Pumba Pumba is offline
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The last stool removal he had they removed 2' of stool from his system with my old vet, which cost me over $300. He seemed to be fine after that and she had recommended I give him Mineral Oil in his food but none of that worked. He has lost his appetite and turns away from food. My old vet seemed questionable so I am with a new one now, but their costs are so high

My last visit to my new vet showed no signs of appetite issues but his blockage has caused him to lose his appetite sadly.

My new vet gave me a number for another vet that could do the surgery on him for half the cost (she quoted me $3,000, this other vet would be $1,500) but it is still out of reach for me. I applied for the CareCredit but was turned down, my credit has been destroyed since my divorce. My new vet did give me pain medication to help comfort him the best I can until I bring him in to lay him to rest, which I am trying hard to avoid but his current state is just not good.

This morning I laid next to him in bed to comfort him and he did get up a little later to try and go to the bathroom but wasn't able too. He has lost a lot of weight and watching him walk to the bathroom...he's not doing well, it just teared me up.

His latest X-Rays did show a lot of blockage and his intestine area with the blockage was weighted down lower than normal.

What really angers me is yesterday my vet said they would allow me to do payments laying him to rest along with the fee of keeping his ashes ($150). I wish they would work with me on the surgery fee!

With alimony payments and my student loan, I am unable to give him a better longer life. This all started with him about a year and a half ago, and I have tried all sorts of foods, even the special food from the vet (which he really didn't like). From special foods, special ingredients in his food like the Mineral Oil and such, the operation would be the only real cure for him, and that option is not possible.

I just keep holding him and giving him tons of love, lots of prayers for my little guy as I love him so much.

Last edited by Pumba; December 4th, 2010 at 10:18 AM.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 10:36 AM
Pumba Pumba is offline
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Originally Posted by Khari View Post
Please join the Feline Megacolon group on Yahoo here at this link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline_Megacolon/ before you make any drastic decisions....this group has been a life saviour for SOOOO Many cats.
Thank you Khari, I have posted a message over there in hopes I can help my little guy.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 06:36 PM
Chris21711 Chris21711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumba View Post
The last stool removal he had they removed 2' of stool from his system with my old vet, which cost me over $300. He seemed to be fine after that and she had recommended I give him Mineral Oil in his food.

It is beyond me that this Vet could remove 2' of stool and send you home with no medications to help Pumba.....so very weird

His latest X-Rays did show a lot of blockage and his intestine area with the blockage was weighted down lower than normal.

Pumba must be experiencing terrible discomfort associated with pain.

I just keep holding him and giving him tons of love, lots of prayers for my little guy as I love him so much.
With all due respects, tons of love is not going to help Pumba, he needs Veterinary intervention. If it were me and there was absolutely no way I could muster enough money to help Pumba, I would do the kindest deed possible to end his suffering and not let him waste away in pain.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 08:45 PM
ayame4cayts ayame4cayts is offline
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Surgery or humane release may be your only options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris21711 View Post
With all due respects, tons of love is not going to help Pumba, he needs Veterinary intervention. If it were me and there was absolutely no way I could muster enough money to help Pumba, I would do the kindest deed possible to end his suffering and not let him waste away in pain.
Hi Pumba,

I'm so sorry to read about your kitty, my own cat Ragamuffin is going through the same thing (again) and I know how horribly distressing and expensive it is. My wishes are with you and Pumba.

You don't share much on what steps or medications you might be using or what you've specifically discussed with your vet, besides mineral oil (did the vet recommend that? That was never one my vets suggested). But I can tell you, talking in depth with your vet is vital in helping you understand your options and what is going on with your kitty.

With my Ragamuffin she initially started showing signs of constipation in early 2004 when she was only 2 1/2 years. I was seeing a holistic vet at the time and we started by making some dietary changes and I put her on raw food. Raw food, although it's not made from mice, rats or birds like they'd eat in the wild, most closely resembles what they'd naturally eat (commercial kitty food has really only been around for 100 years so their dietary needs are virtually unchanged and commercial canned or kibble often doesn't give them what they need). It allows them to absorb the most amount of nutrition from the food and therefore much less unneeded filler will need to be eliminated via bowel movement and the stool will hopefully be smaller and easier to pass. She also placed her on lactulose, a laxative and slippery elm bark, an her herbal supplement to help keep her stool loose. For a time this helped, but the problem just continued to persist and eventually worsened - meanwhile we tried B-12 shots, nux vomica (another herbal stool loosener), psyllum husk (fiber for loose stool), I even started giving her warm water enemas at home, and she'd occasionally need to go in for medical enemas. In September of 2005 things went totally out of control, she was placed on Cisipride (pills that she hated taking and cost $50/mo), was already on the lactulose, kept having to go in for enemas and even needed to be sedated so they could manually push out the stool, all of which quickly escalated in cost, but still weren't making the problem go away. Then she was finally diagnosed with Megacolon and the vet I was now seeing in the new town I moved to brought up surgery. In December she underwent a subtotal colectomy and although it was expensive ($2200) it was an unbelievable success! It was an amazing success, after a few weeks of somewhat loose stool, her body adjusted and everything was essentially normal with just some occasional poopy discharge on her bum that I needed to bathe off.

Sadly five years later this has started up all over again. I only noticed her straining to have a bowel movement on Sunday, I immediately added fiber to her food & gave her a few water enemas at home, but since she didn't eliminate in 48 hours I had her in to the vet by Tuesday. She's since had several enemas, x-rays and the vet manually extracted stool and sadly they've determined the part of the colon that was left in the previous surgery has gone Megacolon as well and her only real opton is another surgery to remove the remaining part of the colon. I'll be speaking with a surgeon (I'm now in another part of the country, so it's a whole new round of vets!) tomorrow to schedule this.

I wanted to share all this because if somehow you are able to afford surgery you should insist on a full colectomy (where the entire colon is removed) vs. the subtotal colectomy (where most of it is removed, generally they leave what's called the sphincter valvem which is what Ragamuffin had). Frequently cats with Megacolon that only have some of their colon removed end up having their remaining colon stop working somewhere down the road (and although I'm not a vet based on the description of your cat it sounds like he has Megacolon, at the very least you should bring this us with your vet and discuss it) and I only feel frustrated that the original surgeon didn't remove the whole thing. I don't know why that's what he did, my current vet said the surgeon I'll be going to would have taken it all, but without seeing the xrays she couldn't say for sure why he went that route, especially as from her experience cats recover remarkably well from a full colon removal and their bodies have an amazing ability to adjust and function essentially like normal afterwards. I am grateful she's been healthy and pain-free for so long, but it is frustrating she has to endure this misery again and I have to shell out another small fortune to help her.

Like you I really can't afford it, but I do have good credit and therefore credit cards with high limits so I'm grateful I will be able to do this for my girl. I know not all of us can. But I hope some of the medications I mentioned and some of the information I've shared will help give you a place to start discussing this with your vet and allow you to research this topic yourself. But I have to agree with Chris, if you are unable to afford surgery and medications aren't working, as heartbreaking as it is, you have to think about Pumba's needs. Being constipated like this is extremely painful and the fact that he's lost so much weight shows how serious this issue is. It won't go away on its own and as you know it will kill him and it will be painful while it happens.

We do the best for animals to the best of our ability and the number one thing to remember at the end of the day is that their happiness or misery is in our hands. You obviously love Pumba very much and as hard is it might be to say goodbye, our duty is to make sure we never make them suffer; that our gift for an animal's unconditional love is making sure we never keep them living in agony. No one wants to say goodbye, but Pumba will be so grateful to you that you don't keep him hanging on in agony.

I send my prayers to you and Pumba. If have any questions about the meds and other things Ragamuffin tried please contact me. Best of luck to Pumba and you.
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