Constipation in Cats (cont.)
A fecal impaction is a large mass of dry, hard stool that can develop in the rectum due to chronic constipation. This mass may be so hard that it cannot come out of the body. Watery stool from higher in the bowel may move around the mass and leak out, causing soiling. Affected cats often pass blood-tinged or watery, brown stool. This may be mistaken for diarrhea. Fecal impaction is confirmed by digital examination by your veterinarian using a well-lubricated glove.
Treatment: The removal of impacted feces requires both a laxative and an enema. As you may imagine, giving a cat an enema is no easy task, so it is best left to a veterinarian or a veterinary technician. For a severe impaction accompanied by dehydration, fluid replacement is necessary before attempting to remove the impaction.
This article is excerpted from “Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Copyright © 2008 by Delbert Carlson, DVM, and James M. Giffin, MD. All rights reserved.