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Questions About The Ins And Outs Of Constipation Remedies...so To Speak ;-)

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by cheeser, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Are there any special tricks or tips for using constipation remedies?

    I know that slippery elm bark syrup can interfere with the absorption of medications, and to space them out a couple of hours apart. I also know that you have to dissolve Miralax in water before adding it to your cat's food (to which we always include an extra 2-3 tablespoons of water since Buddy has a history of urinary tract problems).

    But beyond that, I'm a little fuzzy, and wonder if maybe Buddy isn't getting the maximum benefit from some common remedies because we don't know how to best use them, e.g., the timing, with or without meals, which ones can be used together, if any possibly counteract each other, etc.

    Buddy's problem is mostly one of inactivity. He's FIV+ and is almost always sick, and when he doesn't feel well, he doesn't feel like getting much exercise. He also ingests quite a bit of fur on those days when we have to clean his feet with Curaseb. We've tried giving Buddy a little dab of coconut oil, in the hope that it would help to soften his poop, as well as cut down on hairballs. It does help to soften his stool, when it gets that far downstream. Unfortunately, most of the time it gets hacked up in the form of hairballs. :wink:

    We haven't noticed any difference in Buddy's poop when using Proviable-DC or RenewLife Ultimate Flora ExtraCare, although the latter has been much more effective for alleviating his antibiotic-induced diarrhea. We've also tried Dr. Goodpet Feline Digestive Enzymes to help Buddy better utilize the nutrients in his food. We had hoped that it might also help to soften his stool a bit as an added bonus, as is seems to do for some cats, but alas, that hasn't been the case for Buddy.

    For what it's worth, Buddy's canned food usually contains anywhere from 0.5 to 1% fiber per the guaranteed analysis. We've tried giving him canned pumpkin mixed in with his food, and via a syringe, which didn't help at all. Neither did the sweet potato or squash baby foods. The funny thing is that when he was eating KOHA LID foods, which contain pumpkin, Buddy was a little pooping machine! So of course, he's lost all interest in that, and now refuses to eat it. :frustrated:

    If you've had any success with constipation remedies for your cat, was there some mystical and magical trick you stumbled onto that made all the difference in the world? Halp! :)
     

  2. Timmer

    Timmer TCS Member Super Cat

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    My go-to has always been psyllium husk in the food. None of my cats would eat pumpkin or human food. I've done Miralax. That works but it is synthetic.
     
    cheeser purraised this.

  3. Neo_23

    Neo_23 TCS Member Top Cat

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    PushPurrCatPaws, cheeser and Timmer purraised this.

  4. Timmer

    Timmer TCS Member Super Cat

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    Cleveland, OH
    Neo_23, that's a great article. Thanks for posting it.
     

  5. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Aug 2, 2013
    How exactly does that work re: psyllium husk? Do you just mix it in with your kitty's food, or do you have to dissolve it in water first like you do the Miralax? And what kind do you use? I vaguely seem to remember something about using the capsule form instead of the powder, but danged if I can remember what. :lol:

    Thus far we've only tried the Vet's Best Hairball Relief Digestive Aid, which contains psyllium husk (among other things), and I couldn't get it down Buddy no matter how hard I tried. And after five years of medicating him several times a day, I'm usually pretty good about that sort of thing.
     

  6. Timmer

    Timmer TCS Member Super Cat

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    Cleveland, OH
    I just open a capsule and mix half of it into the canned food.
    I have never mixed miralax with water directly, but sprinkled it into the food and added a bit of warm water to the food. My cats have always detected the miralax and refuse to eat it, so I have mixed it with water and syringed it in. If you do miralax, you don't want to do more than 1/8 teaspoon a day.

    My female has constipation issues now and I have her on Royal Canin Hairball dry food. It has worked surprisingly well and she goes every single day now. She loves dry food anyway. She gets half a can of wet food and the dry food. There is also a Royal Canin Gastrointestinal canned food but you need a vet prescription to get it. The thing some folks might not like is that the second ingredient in this dry food is corn. Well, all I can say is it is working on her and I'm happy and she is happy to be going. She drinks plenty of fresh water, which is key for constipation relief.

    I also had a cat for several years who had megacolon and I gave her enemas every other day using a baby ear syringe. Let's just say she was a very trusting and patient older cat who didn't mind me doing this. There are a lot more things out there on the market now than there was "back in the day."

    If Buddy ingests a lot of fur perhaps you can groom him with a mitt and get that excess fur so he doesn't ingest it.
     
    cheeser purraised this.

  7. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Aug 2, 2013

  8. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Buddy goes through phases where he'll tolerate some medications and/or supplements in his food. Then one day he'll suddenly refuse to eat, and I have to syringe feed him until he's satisfied that I'm not going to try to sneak Miralax or anything else into his food again for awhile. But he has no problem letting me administer just about anything via a syringe, as long as it's mixed in with a little dab of baby food and he gets a treat afterward. Any guesses as to which phase he's in right now? :sigh:

    Unfortunately, dry food isn't an option for Buddy since he has a history of urinary tract problems, and has recently developed some food allergies.

    I do brush Buddy with a ZoomGroom and a flea comb, and it does help to cut down on the amount of fur that he ingests. But if I'm too diligent about brushing or combing him, his skin gets irritated easily, and he gets an infection. I just gotta figure out a happy medium. :wink:

    Thanks bunches!
     

  9. Brian007

    Brian007 Furmate and Famulus Top Cat

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    This is probably a wee bit controversial but have you ever considered giving Buddy a nice bowl of milk? Only a very small bowl, mind you, more like a splash or two. Cows' milk isn't toxic in any way to cats, they're mostly just lactose intolerant like many humans. This intolerance causes the runs or loosens the stools, depending on how much is drunk.

    You could try Buddy with a couple of teaspoons to see how things go. Most cats like milk and he wouldn't think of it as medicine.
    Tiz just a thought. :idea:
     

  10. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Funny you should mention that. The lady at the holistic pet supply store recommended that I try giving Buddy some Primal Raw Goat Milk to improve his digestive health and help strengthen his funky immune system. I've always been a little leery about that sort of thing for a cat with FIV, but I'm more open minded about regular milk. Thanks! :)
     
    Brian007 purraised this.

  11. Brian007

    Brian007 Furmate and Famulus Top Cat

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    Well, I definitely don't recommend your giving raw milk. There's a reason for pasteurisation, and I wouldn't want to risk a pusscat with any lethal pathogens. Normal pasteurised low fat cow's milk is all I'm willing to back.

    :tree:
     

  12. molly92

    molly92 TCS Member Super Cat

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    Goat's milk is going to be different from cow's milk. The goat's milk is offered a lot to pets because it's much more digestible than cow's milk, but the reason cow's milk might help a little bit is because cats do not digest it well. So it's not a conventional method, but sometimes it does work to get things moving. Of course pastuerized cow's milk isn't going to have the probiotic benefits of raw goat's milk, but like you said, it might be better not to risk it.
     

  13. molly92

    molly92 TCS Member Super Cat

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    The only remedy I use regularly is probiotics, but I do know that they work best (and I assume the same is true with enzymes) when given about half an hour before a meal, to give them time to get ahead of the food and be ready for it. Most cats won't take it without any food at all, so I just mix a tiny spoonful of food with it and then feed the full meal 30 minutes after. Probiotics also survive longer kept in the fridge. Not going to fix everything, but maybe tweaking the administration timing will help a bit.
     

  14. Lotusflwr79

    Lotusflwr79 TCS Member Young Cat

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  15. Lotusflwr79

    Lotusflwr79 TCS Member Young Cat

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    My cat is currently having constipation issues and we’ve been giving her science diet hairball wet food mixed with a tiny pinch of psyllium husk, beef broth (enough to make it soupy) and a dash of olive oil. That has worked for a year and a half. She is completely off of dry food as it dehydrated her. Unfortunately, the psyllium husk isn’t working anymore and we’re having more frequent issues with bouts of constipation. I’ve switched out the psyllium husk for 1/4 tsp of miralax 1x per day mixed in with her wet food. This is only day 3 so we are hoping this works. She is too old for surgery. She hasn’t been diagnosed with mega colon, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she has. She’s been in the hospital for this and back and forth to vet for enemas. This is a frustrating medical issue to try and manage!
     

  16. Brian007

    Brian007 Furmate and Famulus Top Cat

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    Jan 13, 2017
    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    @Lotusflwr79, I'm ever so sorry to hear of your pussycat's poor health but I welcome you to TheCatSite. :welcomesign: I hope you find support and friendship here.

    I agree with @molly92 about getting probiotics into Buddy somehow as they will help ease all the commotion that he's surely feeling in his tummy. I've used probiotic paste before that I was recommended by my vet but which I actually bought for less than half the price from Amazon. I was using it for diarrhoea but as with many digestive aids it has a dual purpose and so helps with constipation too. My cat wasn't at all keen on it however, and so I had to smear it on his nose for him to lick off, much to his disdain.

    Whilst I'm thinking of multipurpose cure-alls, catnip is ever so good for digestive health and treats diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, nausea, anorexia, etc, etc. I find that when used for medicinal purposes that it doesn't have the zoomy factor. I used to leave a bowl of powdered catnip out for Brian at all times for him to self-regulate from, and he'd have a mouthful here and there as he felt needed. I also used to give Brian a spot of milk here and there but he wasn't lactose intolerant, so didn't get the runs. When I gave him catnip in a playful toy way, he'd go all 'nipped and potty as normal.
     

  17. Lotusflwr79

    Lotusflwr79 TCS Member Young Cat

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    So she does take a probiotic morning and night as her “treat.” We can’t switch up her food or give her milk bc it makes her sick and she’ll vomit, then get constipated again! ‍♀️ I’m currently noticing she is constipated again after giving her the miralax. I’m still going to give it a few days. She’s losing so much weight. Down to 4.2lbs at her vet visit last week.
     

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