lactulose in wet food and side effects

louisstools

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My 10 year old girl Missy has had constipation issues in the past mostly due to dehydration. Vet has her on 1ml of lactulose twice a day. She's going mostly every day and her stools are so much better in terms of size and texture.

I can't give Missy medicine. I've tried all the methods, they don't work. Anyway, thus far I've been able to put it in her food and she hasn't complained and ate her food pretty well. Until last week, or her second full week on lactulose.

She started to refuse the wet food I put down for her. She had been on a bit of a rotation of pates from Fancy Feast, a Friskies pate variety pack, and Hills-Turkey and Hills-Chicken. As far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with the food. These were foods/flavors she seemed to like but it wasn't her favorite. So I gave her the favorite (Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Chicken Pate) and she did very well for a week.

Then today she refused to eat the Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Chicken Pate. It took a lot of chasing, moving the bowl around, and coming back in an hour to get her to eat the food.

Obviously I'll be calling the vet on Monday if the problem persists with dinner today. But what do you all think? Is the lactulose flavor turning her off to food? Is it some side effect like nausea that is making her less hungry?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. What happens if you give her some food without the lactulose, just as a test? If she eats it, then you might consider talking to the vet about trying Miralax instead. As far as I know it is tasteless. It can be mixed with just a bit of water and then added to her food.

Other things to consider trying to mix with the lactulose would be any of the lickable treats - there are a ton of them available - many of them are sold in local pet stores.

Did she have a full work up with the vet when the lactulose was prescribed? If not, at her age, she probably could use one just to ensure nothing else is going on. However, one of the possible side effects of lactulose is lack of appetite. Some cats' bodies tend to adapt over time, so you might also ask the vet about that aspect.
 

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Lactulose is sweet, so maybe your cat tastes it in her favorite food.

As far as I know, lactulose can't be given indefinitely.
I used it in the past, but I was told to use it as an emergency remedy for constipation, one or two days, then add 1 or 2 ml of paraffin oil for a day or two.
Lactulose is effective is the pet is properly hydrated, because it works by recalling fluids from the system.

If the issue is chronic, I would use something less irritant.
In my case, I used psyllium seeds added to the wet food every day. It worked.
 

stephanietx

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Try mixing it in plain meat baby food, chicken or turkey, and not in the wet food. You can also add plain pureed pumpkin to help soften stools.
 
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louisstools

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Hi. What happens if you give her some food without the lactulose, just as a test? If she eats it, then you might consider talking to the vet about trying Miralax instead. As far as I know it is tasteless. It can be mixed with just a bit of water and then added to her food.

Other things to consider trying to mix with the lactulose would be any of the lickable treats - there are a ton of them available - many of them are sold in local pet stores.

Did she have a full work up with the vet when the lactulose was prescribed? If not, at her age, she probably could use one just to ensure nothing else is going on. However, one of the possible side effects of lactulose is lack of appetite. Some cats' bodies tend to adapt over time, so you might also ask the vet about that aspect.
I gave her the food she likes the best w/o any lactulose in it and she did a few licks then walked away. I tried chasing her and moving the bowl but she just won't eat it.

No, she did not have a full workup when the lactulose was prescribed. She had already been to see the vet 6-7 times this year and had bloodwork and tests done the vet just did the RX over the phone fwiw. Definitely calling the vet tomorrow.
 

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I have a kitty, Banjo, who has been on lactulose for some weeks. It is a long story but more to the point, I switched her to a food, Weruva, that has pumpkin in it. She ate it! She has her favorite flavors but I also started giving her the Fancy Feast Broths which are mostly liquid. She loves two of those flavors and asks for them! Eating again now and starting to want her Fancy Feast pate again. Yay! She will have to be on the lactulose for now at 1.5 twice a day but hoping that in time this will change. Pumpkin really did help. Banjo actually takes the lactulose well. I invite her to have it with lots of praise and sweet talk, then immediately give her the broths. The reward system has helped. She is not the kind of cat who responds to being medicate in any way. Even a topical flea med can get me a swat and a good game of hide and go seek! Banjo is very good at hiding.
 
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louisstools

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Lactulose is sweet, so maybe your cat tastes it in her favorite food.

As far as I know, lactulose can't be given indefinitely.
I used it in the past, but I was told to use it as an emergency remedy for constipation, one or two days, then add 1 or 2 ml of paraffin oil for a day or two.
Lactulose is effective is the pet is properly hydrated, because it works by recalling fluids from the system.

If the issue is chronic, I would use something less irritant.
In my case, I used psyllium seeds added to the wet food every day. It worked.
I could not find psyllium seeds here so I used Benefiber and that made her constipation worse. Definitely calling the vet tomorrow.
 
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louisstools

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I have a kitty, Banjo, who has been on lactulose for some weeks. It is a long story but more to the point, I switched her to a food, Weruva, that has pumpkin in it. She ate it! She has her favorite flavors but I also started giving her the Fancy Feast Broths which are mostly liquid. She loves two of those flavors and asks for them! Eating again now and starting to want her Fancy Feast pate again. Yay! She will have to be on the lactulose for now at 1.5 twice a day but hoping that in time this will change. Pumpkin really did help. Banjo actually takes the lactulose well. I invite her to have it with lots of praise and sweet talk, then immediately give her the broths. The reward system has helped. She is not the kind of cat who responds to being medicate in any way. Even a topical flea med can get me a swat and a good game of hide and go seek! Banjo is very good at hiding.
How do you give her the lactulose? In food or syringe in the mouth?
 

Jcatbird

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I use a syringe. It seems to make a huge difference since I am calling her and acting like it is something really yummy! Good girl and other praise phrases after and straight to the Fancy Feast broths or some other treat. Temptations are something I rarely give but a couple give with her praise. She really does not care about those but she loves all the petting and happy talk. At first she actually stole the syringe and hid it by laying on it. We are finally back to laughing and enjoying feeding time again. She was not eating at all at first. It was tough for awhile. She lost her Dad a few months ago and between her missing him and me missing him, I know she was feeling the stress. Cats are very in tune to our feelings. Here are some photos that sort of show her catitude. Maybe this will help?

I don’t grab her and hold her for the meds. I let her know what I am about to do. I show her the syringe but she does not want it!
50B3674A-D435-464B-916A-1B778F95E7B6.jpeg

She gives me the stink eye but does not swat or try to eat me. Lol
C5E61360-5F57-4AEB-9E40-FEDFEDE3E7E7.jpeg

A tiny taste first.
8409BD54-CCE2-480F-9ABF-60058521616F.jpeg

She wrinkles her nose in disgust. I may have to hold her head to give the whole amount but I do it with her cooperation. If she pulls back, I stop and let her know, we are still doing it. Then I attempt again. If this tasted worse it would probably be much different!
36E0C8FD-51C1-416A-8A36-8FE08BC5F1B7.jpeg

But notice that the syringe is now empty.
4B761558-4932-4BEB-A5F7-F7162C0E80DE.jpeg


96ACBCA6-E1E4-469B-9996-A552D07BDD95.jpeg

I show her that it’s all gone. Praising her has already started!
E35AF052-D508-4A11-BC63-0A6B14533D08.jpeg

After much attention and chin scratches,
60494F6F-5F8F-45BC-8B64-57D13DAFDE8F.jpeg

She knows treats are coming next.
96101C3B-C9C5-471A-8DEB-23B7C2E0785A.jpeg

And she gets them! Lol
96101C3B-C9C5-471A-8DEB-23B7C2E0785A.jpeg

She loved this one in the beginning. It has pumpkin.
189A0376-EBC1-421F-A9F4-C89253F99786.jpeg

I tried this one recently and she prefers it. For now. Lol No pumpkin in it but she is lapping up the juice in the broths so hydration is a very good thing! The Fancy Feast pate is something she samples more now. Between one food and another, she takes in enough calories.
F8292876-10A4-4412-B5FB-D2EB841096AF.jpeg

I know your cat is not a kitten but if she does not eat well, kitten food might be attractive to her for now. If she is a kibble girl, you can add water to it to help hydrate her. Wet food is better if she will take it though.With Banjo, part of it is that she wants my company while she eats. Her Dad used to eat with her. Now I sit on the floor with her while she eats. If she stops too quickly, I encourage with pets and back or chin scratches snd she nibbles more. I hope something here helps.
 
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