What's Medical Management?
Medical management involves treating Megacolon through the use of medicines, dietary changes, and possibly home enemas.
There are different medications involved in treating megacolon that are aimed at doing different things. Stool softeners such as Lactulose are aimed at keeping the stool moist enough to easily pass out of the body, while medications like Propulcid can help produce or intensify contractions in the colon, giving an animal the "push" they need in order to expel any stool. Lactulose and Propulcid are often prescribed together by vets because the combination can be very successful in keeping a cat unblocked. A simple supplement to the diet is canned pumpkin. This substance will draw water back from the body into the colon and will help keep the colon’s contents soft. Most cats will eat the pumpkin as is without having to mix with their food.
Using fiber products such as metamucil that contains psyllium husks is recommended by some vets because it can help some cats with megacolon to develop softer stool that is easier to evacuate. However, the use of fiber is now being questioned by some vets in that it may contribute to the problem in some cats with megacolon because , though it does help to soften stool, it also adds bulk to the contents of the colon.
More vets are now recommending a highly digestible, low residue diet for megacolon cats. A low residue diet can be beneficial because most of it is used by the cat's body, and as a result, less waste is produced. Less waste equals less stool, and less stool equals less frequent blockage problems.
If a cat is taking the medication(s), and still experiences blockages, it soon becomes obvious that repeated trips to the vet to have enemas can be a problem. The cost of frequent trips for enemas, as well as the risk of repeatedly putting a cat under anesthesia may lead to considering giving home enemas. Talking with the vet about this possibility, as well as having the vet give a demonstration can help greatly if this is an option a cat owner has to consider. There are products available through your vet that can make this experience much easier, such as syringe gel enemas, which are easier to give, and are less stressful on everyone. With a little practice and learning from your vet , a devoted cat owner can confidently perform this procedure.
******WARNING: If, after demonstration by your vet, you decide to give the enema yourself, do NOT use one with a solution made for a human. It WILL kill your cat.******