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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20903
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My elderly cat has been sick several times and seems unable

Customer Question

My elderly cat has been sick several times and seems unable to go for a poo. Poo is, however, leaking out the back of her. That said, she seems fairly happy in herself but sensitive when you touch around her hind quarters.
She is overweight and we have recently changed her food to a diet biscuit. She does have plenty of water..
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has she has these signs? How long since she had a normal stool?

What does her vomit look like?

Can she keep water down?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Was she on canned food before?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This has been going on since yesterday morning, it's perhaps two days since she was going to the toilet properly. Her vomit was initially thick but latterly much watery. But she has often been sick like this. It's not unusual with her. She does keep water down and she wasn't on canned food before, she's been on biscuits only for a long time now. Her gums seem normal and she seems much less sensitive around her stomach than she did yesterday.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I am quite concerned about Missy. To see her fecal signs raises worries of a gut blockage. This can be from hard feces, non-edible items if ingested, or even abdominal organs/masses compressing the gut. In all cases, if severe enough this can often lead to secondary vomiting as we are seeing here.

With this in mind, we need to tread with care. If she is vomiting, it makes our situation complicated since it is not safe to use oral Gi lubricants in vomiting cats (as they can aspirate the lubricant into the lungs and this can cause serious harm). So, that needs to be addressed first. To do so at home, you can try her with a small dose (0.25tsp of Milk of Magnesia or 60mg Calcium carbonate every 12 hours). Though if she cannot keep those down, its a red flag that we need her local vet involved to use injectable anti-nausea medication and allow us to treat.

Though if we can get her settle, we can start offering canned food (since its 35% water and can help hydrate the gut and reduce constipation issues) if she will take it. As well, we can start giving a few doses of OTC cat hairball treatment daily. This is our safest GI lubricant option if there is a vomiting risk (though if we can settle that then we can add Lactulose or liquid paraffin to canned food to help). The aim of the lubricants is to help move any hard feces through the gut for her and get her signs all settled. Of course, if this doesn't settle that for her, then those other concerns would become more of a worry and we'd need to again have her local vet involved to palpate +/- xray her GI to see what is causing her distress. If it is just impaction of feces, then an enema can be given at that stage. Though if the others are present, then your vet can advise you on options to help reduce their effects on Missy's gut and help keep her comfortable.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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