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Emails and Letters

MEGACOLON

IN CATS
































Please Note:

The purpose of this website is purely for the education of those who may have concerns about Megacolon. The stories and information contained on this site is in no way a substitute for the advice and knowledge of a vet. Be sure to contact your vet for the best possible diagnosis and possible treatment.

EMAILS & LETTERS

I just wanted to give you a thank you for having available your website about Megacolon in cats. I wasn't even searching for that condition on the internet, instead just trying to brainstorm what is wrong with my 19 year old cat, that has been crying persistently for months, and all the tests/x-rays/blood tests came back normal. I don't think the vet would have diagnosed this if I hadn't done a cold search in the internet, and without your informative web page(s), he's on the road to healing and smooth poops :-)
Mudface (my cat) is my child, and I was almost to the point of considering putting him down, but now, the future is definately much brighter.
Hugs to you! -Heidi

Heidi, letters like yours is what keeps us going! I am really surprised that your vet did not think of this earlier. Hopefully Mudface and you can be one step ahead of your vet and keep him educated!
So happy for Mudface that you were able to find the root of his problem.
Sue

I found your story about megacolon. Now my manx is a stubby he does have some tail. Does this affect stubby's as well? I'am printing this for future ref in case there are and problems in the future. Thank you cause i have never heard of this before. I know that they can have problems with their backs and hips but i thought if they did not have problems in the beginning that they would be okay in later years. I would very much like to keep in contact with you and keep abreast of any further problems Manny might have. I would like to tell you about him he is just about two years old and like i said he is a stubby he is also a polydactyl having 24 toes in all 7 on the front and 5 on the back and just so very hyper. He loves my lap and won't leave me alone while i'am on the computer. I have 2 others a long haired calico whose name is Lillianne she is such a dear after being the kitten from hell. She had mellowed greatly after getting Manny. And then there is Amberlee she is a stray that i adopted from a lumber yard were i used to work she is orange and white and has long hair also.
Look forward to talking to you in the future.
Debbie

Hi, Debbie!
You may keep in contact because I love cat lovers!
On the site about Megacolons, you have read the story of TeeTeeSprinkles. She has a short, but deformed tail, it curls like a chow dog and is hard. Paula and I think that there is something wrong from the tail deformation, not just being manx. Perhaps TT was supposed to be a manx, but the tail formed anyway.
As you may have already read from other sources, Manxes are actually deformities, and everything just is not as it should be. My Bunny has no sphincter muscle control and when the vet tested her, he pinched her anus and she did not 'pucker' and that is why she dribbles as she pees. When they have this problem, they also do not have too much muscle control over expelling the contents of their colon and it gets 'backed up' and causes the colon to expand. Even though she can now poop on her own, it is huge and almost looks like a dog's.
BTW, megacolon is not limited to Manxes. Any cat can get it if they become constipated too long. So, it would be a good idea to keep a check on the others' habits too. Also you can feel for an impacted colon...run your hand over the backbone area over the soft belly and use your fingers and thumb to feel the upper belly (this is where the colon is) If it is hard feeling there, just under the backbone, then you may have a problem starting. You should not be able to feel the contents of a normal colon. If you feel something hard, then feed them some pumpkin pie mix mixed with the food. For your cat's safety and comfort, he should be given an enema to expel the hard contents first. Or call your vet for his remedy. Sue
Hi, I just read about your cat and am interested in learning how your cat is doing. I am currently trying to find the correct treatment for my cat, Riley. The vet believes he has this condition. What did you find to be the most effective treatment? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
(Bunny's full story was sent to Lauren. This was before we started this website and we were just answering questions. It was because of so many inquiries that we decided a website would be better for everyone involved.)
Hi Sue,
Thanks for your email! Things seem to be working out with my Riley!!! First I was giving hime cisapride and lactalose and that wasn't working - so we were just going to up the doses of both and see. Well, since cisapride has to be special ordered, I was only giving him the lactalose and amazingly - that has been sufficient! He is successfully defecating everyday. I tried to give him the pumpkin pie a few times but he wasn't receptive at all. But all seems to be going okay. It's been about 2 weeks and so I am praying it will continue. The lactalose is so much less expensive then the cisapride and all I do is mix it with baby food and he slurps it up.
I hope all is well with your kitty and again, thanks so much for all the information

Glad to hear your kitty is doing fine. My Bunny will eat the pie mix straight from the can. Did you try it that way, or mix it with food? It is by far the cheapest. Lactulose is good and thank goodness it is not that expoensive. I have an Rx that is open-ended, no expiration date, but I have not used it in months.
BTW, can I put your information on my site too? I would like everyone to know it is not a death sentence for these poor unfortunate kitties.
Thanks, Sue
Sue, I haven't been on line in a while. You can definitely put my info on your site. To date, Riley is still doing well on just the lactalose!
Thanks for your help! Lauren


Hi..
Got your addresses from Cat Help Line. Please share your knowledge of Cat Constipation with me.
1. My cat "Mia" is seven years old. She looks wonderful, healthy and shows no sign of discomfort.
2. However, she only uses the litter box every 3 or 4 days. This has been going on for many months. A "Vet" had prescribed some sort of laxative. It did not work in any way whatsoever.
3. I went on the net yesterday for info, and found out that margerine may work for constipation and hairballs. I started giving her a small teaspoonful yesterday, along with Pounce hairball treats.
4. She did go to the litter box last night, but I am not sure if it was the margerine, or 4 days were up. I intend to give her some margerine with each meal, and if nothing happens in a week, will go to the Vet again.
5. Any suggestions?
As I said, she doesn't appear to show any signs of pain or discomfort, but then again, I don't know what to look for. I would imagine that if there was pain, she would not eat well and hide in a corner... but this is not the case. She has a wonderful appatite and plays (runs around) quite normally. I would never have questioned this matter but other folks say that cats should go to the bathroom several (at least once) times a day.Is this right?
Thank you, I await your replies...
Paul

Hi, Paul, kitties have different bathroom schedules, just like people, however every 3-4 days seems too far in between. (I have a 5 month old that goes about every hour, lol).
Anyway, please visit my website on Megacolon. Paula (Catnut31) and I wrote it just for these circumstances. She had surgery done on her kitty, while I am doing it by diet. Ours both were diagnosed with Megacolon. I am hopeful you can catch yours before it gets to that stage.
If you have any other questions, if the site did not answer you fully enough, please write back. We are trying to get as much info on the site as possible, so your comments, good or bad, would be appreciated.
Thanks, Sue http://pages.ivillage.com/rxforcats/megacolon.html
I did go to your website for info on megacolon. That was an education. It appears that this is a possibility with my "Mia".
I shall definately take her to the Vet this weekend and see what she has to say. I will let you know the results.
Thank you so much for the quick reply.
Have a good day,
Paul


Sue
I have a 7 week old kitten who I have taken to the vet because of vomiting and constipation. The vet gave him a enema and that took a couple of hours to produce faeces. Wasnt that much. I have given him cows milk which the vet suggested to see whether that did anything it hasnt as yet. I have also sprinkled metamcil on his food but so far he has only faeced a little bit. Do you have any other suggestions. I am worried that he might have megacolon. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Jade

Hi Jade.
I am sending you a site to go to for some more info on Megacolon. http://pages.ivillage.com/rxforcats/megacolon.html Paula and I are starting one because of our involvement with the condition and also because of others who have had the same problem. It is just in the first stages of development, so I hope we have enough information on it to help you. Please let us know how your kitty is progressing. Your doctor did not mention it could be megacolon? Hmmmm.......
I would love to hear exactly what the kitty's problems are, what exactly has been done, etc. Did your vet tell you how to check for problems other than just straining?
My first thought would be to get some pumpkin pie mix into your kitty to soften the colon contents. Is he eating well?
Please read the site and tell me if you think it will help you. Also let me know what needs to be added to it to help others. Thanks!!
Sue

Our cat, Topaz, an 18-lb. beautiful white 4-yr.-old cat with blue eyes, was just diagnosed with megacolon this past Thursday. We have been doing research on megacolon, as we had never heard of it until now. We came upon your web site and read about your experiences. We just want you to know that we are so glad that you took the time to put what you have learned on the web for others to learn from. The vet put Topaz on a high fiber canned food and Metamucil. Topaz would only take a bite or two and then quit. After reading your information, we decided to buy some pumpkin. Topaz loves it! We mixed it with his food and Metamucil last night and this morning, and he has since pooped once on his own! Of course it is too early to tell how things are going to work out for him, but right now we are grateful for the pumpkin! We cannot imagine Topaz letting us give him enemas, so we are hoping the pumpkin will keep us from having to do that! Our concern is that even if the diet will work for him, what do we do when we have to go out of town, etc.? As your article pointed out, you cannot be sure that by boarding him at the vet's he will get the proper care. And that gets expensive, too. We have an appt with a specialist next week just to get a 2nd opinion and to investigate the surgery route. We certainly want Topaz to live a long and healthy life. He is a precious cat that I found about a year and a half ago along the roadside. He had a plastic bag taped over his head. After getting his shots, etc. he became the "library cat" at the elementary school where I am the media specialist. He lived in the library all last school year, but my new principal does not allow furry animals in the school, so Topaz came to live with us at our house with our other 4 cats (only 1 other one inside), Schnauzer, ferret, and rabbit. We love him and are committed to doing our best for him. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us.
Janet (and Dale)


Hi!
My almost 10-year-old siamese, Singe, had the megacolon surgery this morning. All looks well this afternoon. This has been a harrowing experience for us both. He first presented with the disease in late July and we have been trying to medically manage it (meds and enemas) ever since with terrible (and very expensive) results.
Thank you for a very informative site. You have given me lots of hope and encouragement. Our local vet says none of her clients with megacolon kitties have ever opted for the surgery, preferring to simply euthanize. This was not an option I wanted to persue unless absolutely necessary.
Kudos to the University of Georgia Small Animal Teaching Hospital. They have been so supportive.
Again, thanks for informing me and giving Singe another chance!
Vicki

(A side note. Poor little Singe did not make it through recovery. He had many things against him that the vet did not take into consideration. He was not inthe best possible condition for any type of surgery. He did not have a blood test beforehand to check for proteins in his blood and the reconnection site did not seal. Our sorrow is greatly felt here. ^Singe^ )

Hi!
My cat Chico has megacolon. My vet had done enemas and manual evacuation. My poor cat was going through hell and my vet suggested I "put him down". I went onto the internet and did research. I went back to my vet and asked if we could try the Rx therapy and he refused. I found a vet who would and changed vets. My cat is doing GREAT on the Enulouse/Propulsid therapy. He even comes and finds me when time for his medication. We feed him Eukanuba low residue/pumpkin/metamucil recipe we mix up every few days and keep in the fridge.
I think he developed the condition because of having been hit by a car (accident in my driveway unfortunately) a year prior and also because of the very hot dry summer I think he got dehydrated. He's an outside cat (I have 38.... five indoor and 33 outdoor barn and feral cats.. all rescued)... None of my other cats have ever had this condition. He looks great, is active and I think is going to be fine. D


I would appreciate any information you can provide, and if you are responsible for the website, or know who is - thank you so very much. Reading it has given me hope for my little kitty. And that means more than I can say.
Sincerely,
Sarah M.

Hi, Sarah and Ivan!
This is Paula, TeeTee's mom (the kitty who had the surgery), and right off the bat, I'm so sorry you and Ivan are having a tough time with megacolon. I know the frustration and the worry you're feeling all too well, believe me!
We've heard from a few people who've opted for the surgery for their older cats, some have done extremely well, but there are three I can think of whose cats didn't survive the surgery. However, that's because all three had underlying conditions when the surgery was done, and no, or inadequate, bloodwork was done ahead of time.
Ivan's age definitely doesn't rule him out as a surgery candidate, especially if his bloodwork is all in normal ranges, so don't be afraid to consult with the veterinarians in your area to discuss the surgery for Ivan. Megacolon usually hits at around this age, so it's really not that uncommon for 'senior' cats to have this procedure done.
I'm going to list some important things to make sure you find out about and have done before the actual surgery takes place. I've learned some of these personally, and the others are from the experiences of people who've written to us:
1. Choosing the vet... make sure this is a veterinarian who's done the procedure several times, and who is aware of the very latest in surgical recommendations for megacolon.
2. Ask them what kind of post operative care they'll employ for Ivan. I highly recommend that Ivan be kept for three days post surgery, supplied fluids and antibiotics during that time, and then released from the clinic/hospital after that. He should also be fed a low residue diet in that time, a highly digestible diet that produces as little stool as possible so that the suture area gets time to heal up properly.
3. Thoroughly discuss Total vs. Subtotal colectomy with your vet before the surgery. Ivan may do well with some of his colon left intact, but if there's no colonic function going on, it might be better to remove all the colon and not risk any colon left in become diseased at a later time.
4. Pre-operative bloodwork...definitely make sure they do a good and thorough round of it ahead of time, the day before the surgery, particularly paying attention to blood protein and white blood cell count. A normal on both those means that the suture area should be able to seal up appropriately with enough protein in the blood, and an abnormal WBC count needs to be corrected before surgery, as an elevated or low white blood cell count can affect the outcome of surgery. There's always a risk with any surgery, but doing all of this ahead of time can insure that it's the lowest risk possible:)
If you and the vet do all this before Ivan's surgery, he should have the best outcome possible:) As I said before, the people we've heard from before had cats with pre-existing conditions before choosing the surgery. I believe one had liver failure, and another had diabetes, conditions their veterinarians should never have performed the surgery over until both conditions had been controlled or reversed, if they should have done the surgery at all.
From what you tell me, Ivan sounds like a good candidate for the surgery, and I hope you'll stay in contact with us to let us know how things are going with you and Ivan! And any questions, worries, updates you might have for us, please write Sue and I anytime.
Paula, TeeTee's mom:)
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