By Bruce in North Dakota, USA
Intro by Michael: Occasionally chronic constipation is due to an enlarged, sluggish colon that is not working properly; it doesn’t contract to push the feces out. This condition is called megacolon. Feline megacolon requires constant treatment.
Bruce, a welcome visitor to PoC, devised a treatment for his cat who he believes suffers from megacolon or at least chronic constipation. I have published his comment below. I hope it proves helpful to cat caretakers who have to deal with this difficult and worrisome problem (page on home treating feline constipation).
Cass another visitor made this useful comment about her Singapura cat:
I finally took him in – x-rays indicated severe compaction from a condition known as Megacolon. The vet explained that cats who eat a lot and are overweight tend to produce this condition where the colon gets ‘worn out’ and doesn’t push the digested food through, but continues to extract moisture from the matter. What finally does get pushed out is hard and almost sandy in texture. It was quite difficult to get him ‘cleaned out’. She even had to do some hand extraction as far as she could reach – not much fun for either of them. This procedure happened twice. Then later: I now use Lactulose syrup from my vet, 1/2 dropper full twice a day and it works great. My cat takes it with aplomb. He doesn’t get a choice!
This is what Bruce said about his treatment:
Intro by Michael: this is the experience of someone I don’t know. Please read it and digest it but don’t take it as necessarily the best treatment or a workable treatment. It’s what one person says.
ROUND ONE fought and won! Understandably, the terms “Catastrophe” and “Cat-Ass Trophy” are interchangeable – and both seem quite appropriate.
Itchy Brother seemed to understand what we were going to do last night, but he talked me into waiting until daylight hours. We spent a pleasant night, with him snuggled into his favorite position on my legs, purring quite loudly.
I prepped the syringe by washing it and lubricating the plunger so it operated smoothly, and ran a bit of emery-cloth on the spout end to smooth the sharp edges.
The enema solution I prepared was 50% vegetable glycerine (note from Michael: this is widely available on the internet), and 50% slightly warm water for the first “injections”. The syringe is 10cc, and it worked like a charm. I held him in my lap on his back, his head on my chest, pressed his back legs up to his chest with my left forearm and used my right hand to insert the tip (after wiping a bit of glycerine on his bottom for lubrication)
Not knowing much of the exact anatomy of the feline rectum, I was ever so careful as I inserted the tip, and found that pressing the plunger just a bit (to expel some liquid) as I did so helped in “aligning things” and pushing past the two sets of sphincter muscles.
I full expected him to resist or squirm, but lots of conversation and eye contact was used, and he actually started purring as I administered the solution!
The first plunger-full just went right in, so I refilled it quickly and gave him two more in quick succession. He was still purring, so I thought “what the hell!” and gave him two of pure glycerine (I think Olive or Coconut Oil would be as suitable), followed by three more of warm water with a shot of coffee in it (hey – don’t laugh: I read that coffee enemas are all the rage with the British royals!)
That seemed about the limit of Dr. Itchy Brother’s patience, so we took a break. I tried massaging his abdomen, but he didn’t care much for my “deep massage” technique, so I just put my hands under his belly and kind of jiggled him up and down.
That was kind of “weird”: the first few “jiggles” his belly felt quite firm, and then – I am going to guess everything went past the impaction – his belly went soft and I could actually hear the water start sloshing around as I jiggled him!
(he acted quite comfortable and content as I did this, ever so gently of course)
He started to act like he was ready to evacuate after about 10 minutes, quite a long time I was thinking. I set him in the tub, he started scratching at it, squatted, and expelled about maybe 25cc of liquid.
The liquid was clear to start, and then turned only slightly “muddy”. He was done as far as he was concerned, so I picked him back up and administered four more syringes of warm water and glycerine, and jiggled his innards around again, a bit more aggressively.
This time, he acted a bit distressed, and vomited when I set him back in the tub. He salivated quite a bit first, and then puked about 3/4 of a cup of his morning meal of dried kibbles (yes, he needs wet food, I know)
Itchy expelled maybe another 20cc of mostly clear liquid, hopped out of the tub, and as I was wiping the tub he simply EXPLODED by the door, all over the floor.
All told, Itchy eliminated maybe 3/4+ cup of very, VERY hard feces, and likely half or more of the liquids I administered to him, in the form of a heavy slurry.
I picked him up, took him outside and let him go run under a car parked in the grass next to the house. I watched him squat a bit, but could not see what he eliminated and just left him to relax and recuperate. As I walked away, he let out a very loud holler, and I am guessing he had a large mass pass.
Later, I will move the vehicle and look, and do hope to find some real “prizes” there. I just checked on him, and he is sunning himself and looks quite content.
I am pretty sure that Itchy was suffering that condition called “megacolon”, and that he was rapidly approaching that final hour with it, the point of no return. He has been mostly “plugged” for quite a while, a number of months. I have read that manual removal of the impaction (surgery), antibiotics, hospitalization and many return visits to the Vet are almost always the prescribed course of action for this.
Well, folks: If you are like me, and without the resources to fund such a medical adventure, please know that this rather aggressive home treatment seems to have done the trick!
I will repeat this process, every two days, until he starts using the litter-box productively again.
Thank you ever so much for allowing me to share Itchy’s treatment plan and these positive results with the world, dear Michael Broad!
I had no idea if it was going to work, or if I was going to fail and cause the miserable demise of my best friend in the world.
(and thank you God, too!)
Possible Symptoms of Chronic Constipation:
- bloated appearance
- pick at food
- blood tinged watery brown stool (looks a bit like diarrhea)