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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19684
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat is struggling to deficate and then only passing small

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My cat is struggling to deficate and then only passing small soft stools. I gave her plain chicken diced up but she threw it all up in the night. She still has an appetite and isn't in pain when I touch her stomach. Could it be a hair ball?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She is a little more lethargic than normal but otherwise wants to eat (isn't consuming as much as she normally does) and is putting when petted.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
purring
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she had these signs?

Are the soft stools a normal size or just small volumes? Any blood?

Can she keep water down?

Are her gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

You noted touching her stomach, but if you press on her belly, does she have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, toys, etc)?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
she seems to be drinking ok. She doesn't go out much.. Just our small yard. The stools are small and soft.. Like mini cow pats.
Ive just checked her gums and they do seem a little pale.
She's quieter than normal and not eating her usual quantity..Will Hoover up a dreamy though!
She is showing no sign of tensing or discomfort when I press and massage her tummy.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She is actually drinking very well
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Also no blood
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It's been since Thursday
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

Now Maggie's signs do raise a few concerns. Though just to note, if the gums are a bit pale, we do need to keep an eye on this. Maggie is an older lass, so we'd be less wary of blockages for her, but if those gums pale any more than that would be more of a worry for her. Otherwise our main concerns for small soft stools is that she may be pushing these passed a different type of blockage (ie worms, masses in the gut, past compression from masses or enlarged livers outside the gut) or may be due to an inflammatory or infectious colitis (which can cause loose stool, straining, and nausea).

With this all in mind and since it has been going on a while, we do need to tread with care. So, we can start some supportive care but if she develops any of those signs I noted or isn't settled by the time her vet is open, then we'd want to have her checked for those above concerns. Otherwise, to start, if she appears very nauseous (any more vomiting or appetite loss) and hasn’t just vomited, then you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be: Milk of Magnesia (0.25tsp every 8 hours), or Calcium carbonate (60mg every 12 hours).Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

As well, you can consider starting her on a easily digestible diet like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and help firm her stools. You can even add 0.25tsp of Benefiber to canned foods to bulk up her stool further (which will help push hairballs through) and help with fecal regularity. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning her slowly back to her normal diet.

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to try to soothe this. If she cannot keep that or water down at keeps straining, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-nausea medication, treat for any blockages, +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you.
I also forgot to mention that I have her a worm treatment last night (drops to the back of the neck)
I hope that isn't going to do more bad than good!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome,

If she did have wormer last night, that could have triggered her nausea at least. Otherwise, we'd not expect it to be playing a role in the other signs. So, we'd want to monitor and use supportive care. But again hairballs don't quite fit, so we do want to try the above in case and to support against those other concerns, but if she isn't settling then we'd want her vet to have a feel of her to make sure there is nothing else impeding her passing normal stool and triggering her straining.

Best wishes for Maggie,

Dr. B.

Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
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Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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