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Constipation In Cats

Education > Cat Health & Behaviour 28th January 2020

Don was having difficulties pooping and regularly constipated for days. When medical therapy no longer helps her, our surgeon Dr Dennis Choi performed a subtotal colectomy to remove the non-functioning part of her colon. We also discovered that Don has a narrow pelvic canal likely due to a traumatic accident from her street days.

“The most rewarding part of my job is when our patients leave our clinic healthy and happy!” These words from vet nurse Ai Lin ring true for our vets and team members.

There are many causes of constipation such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Painful defecation due to arthritis
  • Obstruction due to hairballs and other foreign objects
  • Tumours
  • Neurologic disease
  • Pelvic deformity

Constipation is life-threatening if left untreated. If you notice your cats straining or crying to defecate, dry hard stools, or no stools produced for a few days, bring them in for a health check. Many constipated cats respond well to dietary changes, laxatives, stool softeners and enemas. For some cats, medical therapy becomes ineffective over time.

Repeated episodes of constipation can cause the muscles of the colon to become stretched. As the colon enlarges, faecal material accumulates in the distended colon (becoming dry and hard) resulting in severe constipation called obstipation.

Subtotal colectomy is a surgery to remove the non-functioning part of a colon. Patients like Don may have soft stools following surgery. This will resolve with time and they will start having normal bowel movements.