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My Cat Has Megacolon....his story.

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
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Newton

987091
 
 
Purred: Mon May 4, '09 5:06pm PST 
Hello Everyone,
I am a new forum poster. I have used this website for various tips, advice and just enjoy the beautiful pictures of cats. The reason I am posting today is because my beautiful Newton has been diagnosed with Megacolon. Newton is a seven yearl old male. He is the sweetest most loving cat I have ever had. This is his story, if it can help one cat owner out there, then it will be worth it. About two years ago Newton got sick with a UTI. At the same time the vet informed me that he was impacted with feces! WHAT, how could that be? Newton is an inside/outside cat and has always done his business outside. I had no way of knowing. My vet had to put him out and manually disimpact him. He was traumatic for both of us. The vet put Newton on a low dose of Lactulose and for the past two years Newton has been fine - or so I thought. I admit that I got a bit lax with giving him the Lactulose over time. I am totally embarrassed and sorry for that. One month ago Newton had to be rushed to the vet because he was vomiting and scooting all over the house. As it turned out he was once again impacted and this time it was serious. It took not only a manual evacuation, but several enemas, and two days in the hospital. I have never seen him so weak. He had lost approx two pounds probably over a couple of weeks. Until the very last moment he showed NO signs. As I said earlier he is the most layed back sweetest guy you ever want to meet. My vet sent him home on 3 ml of Lactulose twice daily and 1 ml of Cisipride twice daily. We talked about the surgery for megacolon, but that will be a last resort should we need too. My sweet boy has been home one month and is eating like a pig, taking his medicine like a champ, pooping fabuously and just basically feeling like a new man. Dont get me wrong, it took some time to get him used to having medicine twice a day. I give him the Lactulose mixed in Fancy Feast cat food or baby food. He loves it. He has learned to take the Cisipride from a syringe, I dont even have to hold his head anymore. I will admit I am scared. I dont want him to have to get that sick again. My vet seems to think that we can manage him with meds and give him good quality of life. Would I put him through the surgery if I needed too, I really do not know. The reason I am telling you this long story is that Megacolon can be managed with meds, the cat can have a good quality of life. Right after Newton was diagnosed a woman I work with said to me, "oh a cat diagnosed with Megacolon is a death sentence". Well I am here to tell you that is not true. Dont let anyone tell you that. Do your research, read everything you can get your hands on. Learn about this condition and how it needs to be handled on a daily basis. It's not easy, its a total commitment - giving meds twice a day, monitoring bowel movements and litter pan activity. I will not give up on my sseet Newton, I will make his life comfortable. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions. Thanks for reading my very long post. And please keep my Newton in your cat prayers.
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Chibi

Proud mother of- the Gang of- Four!
 
 
Purred: Mon May 4, '09 5:15pm PST 
What is megacolon? Mega means large--does he have an unusually long intestine with little motility? I'm asking because ME, the Human, has this problem and can't "go" without meds. I have the longest intestine any gastroenterologist has ever seen, and I have zero intestinal motility. No, I have not been given a death sentence. Since I seem to have a similar condition, I am filled with sympathy for you and your cat. You sound like a responsible cat owner--you'll be all right.
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Newton

987091
 
 
Purred: Mon May 4, '09 5:26pm PST 
Hi Chibi, thanks for your reply. Megacolon in a cat is a condition where the colon has lost it ability to contract and push the feces into the rectum, thus the feces collect in the colon and become very dry and rock hard. In other words the colon has lost its elasticity. The medication Cisipride helps to make the colon to contract. This is how it was explained to me. The cat becomes impacted with rock hard feces and cannot push it out...the cat can become so backed up that they vomit. That is usually one of the first signs that something is wrong. They loose their appetite, become lethargic, scoot alot, are in and out of the litter box attempting to poop....it is very uncomfortable.
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Sky

Little Prissy- Timid Booty Girl

moderator
 
 
Purred: Mon May 4, '09 5:26pm PST 
Purring for you and your little one. You are doing the right thing.

Cats hide their diseases so much of the time and you never know until it is almost too late. I always wish they could tell us when they are feeling under the weather.

hug

Miss Daisy

I'm a happy- girl!
 
 
Purred: Mon May 4, '09 5:49pm PST 
We'll add Newton to our kitty purrayer list. He does look like a sweetie!!little angellittle angel
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Spooky

Master of the- silent meow
 
 
Purred: Tue May 5, '09 7:31am PST 
Is Lactulose the syrup? When Spooky was attacked by a dog, the bites broke the pelvis and tail by the sacrum. That area is very nerve-dense and it affected her anal tone and bladder. She's been on Bethanicol to stimulate the bladder, and a liquid stool softener - not sure of the name. She's doing well on the meds. Hopefully she'll be able to discontinue them before long, but no guarantees.

She hated the liquid so much I tasted it to see if it was very bitter or something. Turned out to be as sweet as corn syrup. Guess she doesn't have a sweet tooth. big grin

While hers is hopefully not a lifetime condition, it's another example of relatively long-term medication continuing to do its job and make the cat comfortable and healthy. I'm glad you posted!
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BooBoo

headed for the- light.
 
 
Purred: Tue May 5, '09 8:14am PST 
Yes, lactulose is the syrup; it is pure milk sugar; the lactose in milk can give cats diarrhea, and this medicine is a much more concentrated form. For those of us who need it, it's a great thing. I hate it as well. Supposedly we cats can't taste sweets, so there is definitely something else in there that I hate. since I absolutely won't eat any kind of canned, human, or baby food, Meowma has to mix mine up in a little half 'n half--obviously, she doesn't have to worry about me having bad side effects from the milk.
I don't have to take the other stuff, but the vet has warned that if I get impacted again I could have to, so Meowma is being extra extra careful not to skip my milky snacks twice a day, and looks at my litter box carefully. Thanks for posting this--if Meowma gets slack I will remind her about your story!
Chibi, Megacolon is a grossly enlarged colon caused by stretching and overfilling when the kitty can't poop normally, and it has become chronic. If the kitty goes outside, they have a bigger chance of developing it, because as mentioned, the humans might not even notice that he's not pooping, or even the vomiting that can happen as a result!
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Newton

987091
 
 
Purred: Tue May 5, '09 2:44pm PST 
BooBoo,

Great reply with lots more info. Yes the Lactulose is awfully sweet and I have read that cats DO NOT like sweet. Newton takes his mixed in Beechnut babyfood. The first stage one totally pureed. ONLY use the Turkey in Broth or Chicken in Broth. He also takes it mixed in Fancy Feast cat food. So each day he gets one dose in babyfood and one dose in cat food. The Cisipride, which is to aide the colon in its mobility function is a compound that I can only get from a certain pharmacy - they actually mix it with salt & a fish flavoring which the cats love. The pharmicist told me he could do the same thing with Lactulose, make it more salty and fishy tasting...it might be something you can talk to our Vet about. So far, I have not had to go that route because the babyfood works great. The cats like the babyfood because it has a very strong smell. Believe me I have read everything I can get my hands on regarding constipation and Megacolon. To be quite honest, sometimes I wonder if he truly has megacolon or was just very very bound up. Hard to tell...but I will do what the Vet says - its working and that is the most important thing.
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Lexus

930985
 
 
Purred: Tue May 5, '09 4:42pm PST 
Hi Newton,

Thanks for posting your experience. My girl 9 year old cat was diagnosed with Megacolon after an xray at the beginning of April. It has been quite a rocky road for her since October. I was going to my regular vet for 12 years...trusted him to do the right thing for my cats. About 2 years ago Lexus started pooping on my bed, couch, floor and throwing up near the litterbox. I took her to the vet and he diagnosed her with enlarged anal glands and proceeded to extract them. Every 2-3 months she would have the same symptoms and the vet would extract her anal glands (even at times he would say they were not overly swollen). Finally I had enough and when Lexus started having the same symptoms in October I took her to a new vet. immediately the vet said he DID NOT THINK the problem was her anal glands. He felt her abdomen and said he felt a huge obstruction. He put her under and manually extracted her and gave her an enema. He said there was ahuge hard ball that he extracted that he suspects was sitting in there for a longtime. He gave her lactulose which we had to contiinue to up the dose. It wasn't working very well. Since her little incident she had to get about 4 more enemas and manual extractions. I started her on Miralax in Canada it is called PEG 3350 (instead of lactulose). it worked so much better to soften her stools. So, if the lactulose stops working for you I want you to know that their is another stool softner that may do the trick instead.

When Lexus was diagnosed with Megacolon at the beginning of the month she had a horror story when starting the cisapride. The vet wanted me to start her on 1ml 3x's a day with the Miralax. After just 2 doses she had the worst diarrhea I have ever experienced with a cat in my life. She got it all over the furniture and we were up all night. I gave my first 2 baths I have ever given to a cat in my life. It was a tough night. So, I immediately lowered the dose and have upped it very slowly over the last month. We have found a happy dose for both the Cisapride and Miralax. Miralax is a tasteless, odourless powder that you can mix into wet food.

If you ever feel like you need some support for your kitties situation I have joined a group called "Feline Megacolon" on yahoo groups. Their support has helped me through this tough time...
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Samantha - Rainbow- Bridge

Fluffball
 
 
Purred: Wed May 6, '09 1:30am PST 
Megacolon is definitely not a death sentence. Sammie was diagnosed when she was approximately 3 years old - I say approximately because I got her as a young adult and didn't know her exact age - and she lived to be approximately 16. It can definitely be managed.
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