Constipated Cat -- Surprising Folk Remedy (no joke, but slightly too much information -- forewarned!)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    So Harley has yet to have a bm since coming home from surgery last week. This is day 6 post-op. I know he needs to go... his little anus is pooching out, but it's just not budging.

    So I called my mom to ask her sage advice, and she told me that she was told years and years ago (I kid you not) to use a burned out paper match as a suppository for her dogs! She said it's always worked for her dogs. She's even done it just before travelling by plane with dogs to make sure they'd fully evacuated before getting on board for a long flight.

    So wish me luck as I go try to light a match under my cat, so to speak. I'll let you know how it goes... hopefully OUT. :tongue:
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It works because of muscular and CNS stimulation of the anal nerves. Don't do it. If the matchstick breaks you and the cat are in a world of hurt. You can give a cat a small dose of Miralax in canned food to get things moving without causing irritation and cramping.

    Don't fool with home remedies on a post surgical case of constipation. Call the vet and ask what to do. If s/he okays the matchstick trick; fine. If not, ask for a safe laxative to use.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, that was a joke! Ever tried inserting something into that end of an uncooperative cat? Thank goodness he has that e collar on or I might have been bit!

    GN, it's not a wooden matchstick, it's a paper one. And I couldn't get it all the way in.

    I next tried an infant glycerin suppository... whittled down considerably. That was a no go. I think the problem is that I don't have enough hands... maybe wrapping him in a beach towel would work better...

    The vet tech suggested I use a rubber glove with some lubricant to extract the stool myself. If I can't get a skinny little cardboard strip in there, then I'm sure not going to try forcing my finger in there. Makes no sense to me.

    Miralax is a good idea. I'll call tomorrow and ask about that since I've got it on hand. The only problem is getting him to drink enough... I'd probably have to syringe it in with water. He's not wanting to drink or eat as much lately and I'm thinking the constipation is part of the problem.


    They offered to have me bring him in for an enema, but frankly, my husband is already sick over the money I've spent. I really hoped this was something I could solve here at home...
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I agree with Gn. Try giving him a tummy rub instead, maybe with a warm, moist cloth. Just make sure not to go near his surgical area.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The problem is that when they did the surgery, they were working in the same area where the nerves to the anus run, Combine that with it plain hurting and it doesn't take much to wind up with a bunged up cat.

    Don't try to shove ANYTHING up there as the tissue is very delicate, that includes keeping your fingers out of the works. Unfortunately, the best advice is to take him in for an enema. You don't want to try this on your own. It is way too easy to do serious damage.

    You have to get him unbunged as the longer he stays constipated, the greater the likelihood of him doing permanent damage and winding up with megacolon which is stretching of the colon to deal with a fecal impaction which you've already got going on.

    Think encopresis which has come up on this board on occasion. Cats can get it too.

    I understand about the extra cost, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to the initial surgery.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is hysterical to those of us not having to do it!

    I once had to teach a neighbor girl (spell that new mom) how to take care of a constipated baby. First try normal things like a bit of prunes or prune juice, that doesnt work, go more drastic to a infant laxative drops, but I always suggested before ringing the doctor for a rx to wash your hands and put on a rubber glove and put some vasoline on the tip of the pinky finger and just rub the vasoline in there for a few seconds. Normally that worked like a charm.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    M was always constipated as a baby. A little corn light syrup in the formula always did the trick. I do mean a little. I think it was 1/4 tsp to a quart.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    A tiny bit of molasses also can work. Mix a few mls of that in 1/8th cup of warm water and syringe it in. Again, ask your vet since the cat is post-surgical.
  9. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Have you tried Laxatone? It primarily is used to prevent/eliminate hairballs, but I believe it's used in higher doses as a laxative. It looks and smells like molasses, and the cat just licks a big glob of it off your hand -- much easier to deal with than the other end of the animal! :redface:
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The actual active ingredient in Laxatone is Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) Cat's cannot taste sweet flavors and quite a lot of them won't touch Laxatone.

    When Iv'e used it; I've always smeared it on the fronts of the forelegs. They will lick it off of there even if they don't like the taste. Don't put it on the paws like some people advise--the cats just track it all over the place.

    That said; at six days post surgery especially for surgery that involves the pelvic floor muscles and nerves; I'd contact the vet before doing anything more. Speak to the actual vet, not a tech. For tech to recommend manual removal of an impaction is highly irresponsible. This is a medical issue well beyond what a tech should be fooling with.

    Screwing up on something like this could damage the anal area and leave you with an incontinent cat at best.

    Best of luck,

  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, GOOD NEWS! Later that evening, Harley had a lovely bm :) He actually jumped in the tub and used that... I think that having the sides to push/squat against worked to his advantage. So we are now BOTH relieved! :tongue: The little bit of stimulation he got from my fumbling around must have been enough to get things going. I appreciate all the words of advice and understand the concerns.

    Can't believe he has to wait an entire week more before they'll remove the stitches and he has to wear the collar that whole time. I can tell it's got him down having to wear it and be stuck in the bathroom all day. I can only visit with him so much, Know what I mean?? We let him out for a few minutes to visit with our other cat, but had to separate them because they were wanting to rough-house right away.
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear the kitty is now empty...I'm sure he feels much better.
  13. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Glad Harley is feeling better.