Eight year old Maine coon with chronic constipation

orangie

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Here we can get it at any human pharmacy - like Shoppers Drugmart or Walmart etc. not sure how it would be where you are.
Hopefully the pumpkin works a treat and you’ll be back in the game.
 
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Joxer

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Here we can get it at any human pharmacy - like Shoppers Drugmart or Walmart etc. not sure how it would be where you are.
Hopefully the pumpkin works a treat and you’ll be back in the game.
No constipation on pumpkin so far, but it's only been three days. I have a question:

What is a "teaspoon" for pumpkin purposes? Are we talking about a "heaping" teaspoon, or a teaspoon with just enough pumpkin to fill it to the top of the sides. Because the former is twice as much pumpkin as the latter.
 

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I've never used a teaspoon of pumpkin for my cat but then different cats need different amounts. I think I was using about 1/8 measuring spoon for each feeding x 5 times day. If the poop was too soft, I reduced it as necessary.
 

orangie

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With pumpkin we were never crazy careful with measurements - it’s an organic, natural food so a little more or a little less each time never concerned me.
If I’d tried a teaspoon of pumpkin all at once I think we would’ve had a turned up nose, a little dollop mixed in with the wet food 3x a day was our “prescription” from the vet.
We switched to pre-gelled chia seeds and that works way better at our house. The vet said it’s great to use if it works for Orange, but it doesn’t work for all cats.
 

IzzysfureverMom

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I think as usual it is all based on the individual cat. Like D DeesCats I start with 1/8 teaspoon and adjust from there. Some sites online suggest starting with 1 tsp or more for cats. If I did that we would have a diarrhea issue of mega proportion. For most things with cats I find starting slow results in less problems
 
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Joxer

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I think as usual it is all based on the individual cat. Like D DeesCats I start with 1/8 teaspoon and adjust from there. Some sites online suggest starting with 1 tsp or more for cats. If I did that we would have a diarrhea issue of mega proportion. For most things with cats I find starting slow results in less problems
I've been using one heaping teaspoon of pumpkin, mixed with Lindsey's canned food, once each day. She has no problem eating it if it's thoroughly mixed in with the canned food. There hasn't been anything close to diarrhea yet. However, I don't see much evidence so far that it's resolved her constipation issue; she's still making multiple trips to the litterbox to poop each day, and sometimes doing it elsewhere as well.

I remember faster results with MiraLax, but I'd prefer a natural remedy. Bizarrely, MiraLax even seems to do neurological damage in (human) children.
 

IzzysfureverMom

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Yes sometimes pumpkin does not work even at higher doses. Our cat with IBD( 18 when started on Mirapex) was very constipated even when we were up to 1 teaspoon 3 x times a day. She was put on Mirapex for three years until she passed away with no issues. That was the issue we had with pumpkin for her even at higher amounts it was not effective for her and she was very uncomfortable. Only had to give her 1/8 teaspoon of Mirapex a day. It is all what is best for your cat.
 
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Joxer

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Yes sometimes pumpkin does not work even at higher doses. Our cat with IBD( 18 when started on Mirapex) was very constipated even when we were up to 1 teaspoon 3 x times a day. She was put on Mirapex for three years until she passed away with no issues. That was the issue we had with pumpkin for her even at higher amounts it was not effective for her and she was very uncomfortable. Only had to give her 1/8 teaspoon of Mirapex a day. It is all what is best for your cat.
I have some concerns about Miralax. One of them is this:


I'm not sure that polyethylene glycol has even been studied in cats. I know that ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is lethal. I understand that these are different molecules, despite the similar names, but I'd feel a lot better if I could get pumpkin or some other vegetable to work for Lindsey.
 

IzzysfureverMom

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I understand that completely, but the cat I was speaking of was at a point of really being in trouble. Vet tried slippery elm etc but nothing worked. Have you checked with your vet to see if there is another laxative without polyethylene glycol that is safe for cats? There are other human products but some are definitely deadly to cats. The other possibility is to use Miralax for a very short period to get things moving then try to go back to using pumpkin. This is sometimes possible. Unfortunately a lot of things are not tested in cats.
 

orangie

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Have you ever asked the vet about egg yolk?

I know some folks here have used it successfully and it has worked at our house when we were desperate after being sent home from the vet because there was really no more they could do so “go home and see what happens” was the last suggestion they had. We added egg yolk to his food and within a day had progress.
 

lisahe

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Have you ever asked the vet about egg yolk?

I know some folks here have used it successfully and it has worked at our house when we were desperate after being sent home from the vet because there was really no more they could do so “go home and see what happens” was the last suggestion they had. We added egg yolk to his food and within a day had progress.
Yes, egg yolk can be a good one. The hard part -- as with all these remedies -- is to find the right amount. I think I already mentioned in this thread that I used to add pumpkin puree and egg yolk to homemade cat food. But now I've found that two supplements that include slippery elm bark work much better for our cat who tends to get constipated.
 

IzzysfureverMom

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J Joxer as to a previous post, I understand vet issues. I went to two different vet practices after the one I was at proved to be a very bad fit for us. I have been at my current vet for a long time. We have open communication and trust in each other. Lindsey is only eight so finding a vet you are comfortable and confident in is important.
 
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Joxer

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How Best to Manage Hairballs
This is additional information about the use of egg yolk products.
Interesting. I had not considered egg yolk. I read the information from the link you posted.

I didn't think to mention this earlier, but Lindsey throws up hairballs once every week or two. Generally there is no food, just the hairball and some yellow/brown fluid. She seems perfectly fine and hungry after throwing up a hairball. I always thought it was normal behavior for a cat with such long hair. She probably has three times as much fur as my short-haired cat Casper.

I'm not sure the pumpkin is doing anything. Lindsey has not had what I would call a severe constipation episode since I started giving her a heaping teaspoon of pumpkin with her morning canned food each day. However, she's still passing multiple small bits of poop on multiple trips to the litterbox each day, which I think is a sign of constipation. I'm not sure how much more of a trial to give the pumpkin. It at least does not seem to be doing any harm.
 
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Joxer

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J Joxer as to a previous post, I understand vet issues. I went to two different vet practices after the one I was at proved to be a very bad fit for us. I have been at my current vet for a long time. We have open communication and trust in each other. Lindsey is only eight so finding a vet you are comfortable and confident in is important.
I'm researching other vet options. Some of the online reviews are frightening, especially with regard to emergency care.
 
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Joxer

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After about a month of daily pumpkin added to her canned food -- about one tablespoon mixed with three ounces of canned food, with some water added -- Lindsey's constipation seems much improved. I wouldn't quite call her poop normal -- still a lot of little bits and sometimes two or three pooping trips to the litter box in one day -- but she is no longer pooping outside the litter box (which had been a frequent occurrence) and she hasn't had a single episode of straining so much to poop that she vomited as a result (which had been occurring about once a month).

I think these results are good enough to make pumpkin a permanent part of her diet. I'm not sure whether it makes sense to try anything else as well. Lindsey has been a good sport about the pumpkin, and I'm a bit wary of adding anything else "weird" to her food. It's hard to imagine a cat hunting pumpkins in the wild, but it seems harmless enough, and beneficial in terms of her constipation.

I'm posting this as a suggestion to others to try pumpkin for a constipated cat. I'd also appreciate any further advice on the subject. For example, is pumpkin safe enough to be a permanent addition to Lindsey's diet?
 
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Joxer

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J Joxer , my angel Peanut got Libby's pure pumpkin daily mixed in his canned food for over 10 years with no issues.
That's good to hear. I posted that last comment, and then within 12 hours Lindsey strained to poop to the point of vomiting for the first time since I started giving her pumpkin. So I doubled the amount of pumpkin to about two tablespoons today. She didn't object to it, but if this amount doesn't work, I may have to try something else. At this point, the pumpkin is increasing the bulk of her canned food by about 1/3. I don't want to go too far with it.
 
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