Any help for constipated cat?
October 10, 2006 10:40 PM   Subscribe

Mom's older Siamese cat has unusual ailment for over 1yr. Anal opening spasms shut causing backup necessitating repeat deostipations by vet. Any other suggested treatments?

Cat is over 12 yrs old, and this process is trying for him(and Mom). Laxatives and pain meds haven't helped,since problem is at exit rather than colon. Vet is at a loss for new ideas...
posted by swiffa to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
posted by the cuban at 10:46 PM on October 10, 2006

the cuban: Euthanasia.

I want to tell you to ignore that. I really do, because it seem snarky and heartless. But as a serious lover of all things fuzzy and especially all things that are Siamese cats (whom as long as I live, will exist in my household) I have to say that if the animal is suffering, don't keep it alive for your sake. I've seen it done and it's not fair to the animal.

Really. There comes a point where you are just doing what ever is necessary to keep a broken pet on life support and it is suffering. Don't do that.

That said, my best girl, a little Siamese named Taffy lived to be 19. Siamese are a tough breed and tend to live long lives, so don't assume it's down for the count. But follow the Vets advice no matter how heartbreaking it may be. If the Vet advises you to that nothing can be done, don't try to stretch it's life out. It will only cost you and not benifite the pet you are trying to help. On the other hand, if the Vet advises some dietary suggestions that could keep her alive for a few more years, don't assume that it's bullshit. I have personally seen pets that should have died (from this or that) that are still walking around my house and costing me money (Which I happily pay since they are no longer sick :)

Based on your description of the problem, the Vet isn't sure. Try another. Failing that, make the cat comfortable and if necessary, let it go in peace. It will hurt. A lot, but it's better than making it suffer.

Honestly. I'm sorry that you are at this point. Do what's right for your pet.
posted by quin at 11:12 PM on October 10, 2006

Look for a vet who specializes in internal medicine and/or contact the nearest veterinary school (if you're in the US, contact the AVMA, if you're in Canada, contact the CVMA). I would definitely attempt to find someone who knows more about this problem than your current vet does because there may well be a treatment for it (no vet can stay 100% up to date on every single thing).

Failing that, I agree that you might consider euthanasia. I had a cat with megacolon, which resulted in chronic constipation, we had surgery done to remove her colon, it worked beautifully and she had many happy years afterward, but had the surgery not been an option, or if it had failed to solve the problem, I would have put her to sleep. Animals live in the here and now for the most part, they don't understand "I will feel better later", they understand "I feel like crap now" (and they don't understand "I'm being taken to the vet to be euthanized tomorrow" either), so while I feel it's ethical to have surgery done which has a good chance of having a positive impact on quality of life in most cases, I do not think it's ethical to keep an animal alive whose quality of life sucks and will continue to suck for the forseeable future. Quality of life is everything to animals. I'm sorry your mom and her cat are going through this.
posted by biscotti at 5:35 AM on October 11, 2006

A little googling has shown that humans with this condition are getting botox shots to releive the spasms, it seems like a muscle relaxer and a change in diet might help a lot too. I have sick cats and it is amazing what some of the presciption diets can help.
posted by stormygrey at 7:11 AM on October 11, 2006

More, have you noticed any traces of blood in the poop? It seems that anal fissures are the most common cause of these spasms. It is treatable with both medication or surgery.
posted by stormygrey at 7:14 AM on October 11, 2006

I'm no vet, but is there some way you could leave a tube up there so it couldn't shut? I don't think that's a long-term solution. Maybe it'd give it just enough time to heal or just enough time for the old dude to kick the bucket from something other than sepsis, which seems like the least you could do for him.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 10:42 AM on October 11, 2006

Definitely get a second opinion, and whatever happens, good luck to you and your mom. Sick pets are hard.
posted by walla at 11:13 AM on October 11, 2006

Having owned cats for most of my life, I wasnt intending to be snarky or heartless.

A quick, good death would be better than faffing around with repeated, stressful trips to the vet, tubes and botox injections.
posted by the cuban at 11:52 AM on October 11, 2006

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