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Treatment of the constipated cat | VETgirl Veterinary CE Videos

Ah, the constipated cat. These patients often present slightly dehydrated, very obese, and with underlying disease – in other words, a disease process that predisposes them to a dehydrated state (e.g., renal failure, diabetes mellitus, etc.) or due to primary gastrointestinal (e.g., colonic) disease. Treatment typically includes fluid therapy (e.g., intravenous, subcutaneous), pro kinetics, and enemas. With severe constipation, manual de-obstipation may be required under sedation.

Personally, VetGirl isn’t a huge fan of manual de-obstipation – instead, we aggressive hydrate and enema-ize. In this VetGirl video, we show our secret enema concoction: warm water, lots of lubrication, and lactulose. We typically administer 120-180 mls of this solution rectally every 4-6 hours while simultaneously hydrating the patient. Keep in mind that the gastro-colonic reflex can be stimulated from the enema – in other words, the patient may vomit from the enema. More importantly, educate your pet owners on why they shouldn’t be using Fleet enemas!

That said, with aggressive supportive care, these patients can do well! What’s your enema concoction that you use with success? Comment below!

  1. Pingback: Fleet enema toxicity in cats | VetGirl Veterinary CE Blog

  2. We had a badly obstipated cat the other day whose predisposing condition was a narrowed pelvic canal secondary to poorly-aligned healed pelvic fracture. I would love your opinion on whether you felt your lactulose regimen would have been equally effective in her case.

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