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Bowel Obstruction

Himalayan cat

Has your cat recently ingested a small object or a poisonous substance? Has he been diagnosed with a hernia, an abdominal tumor, or intestinal parasites? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, your cat may have blocked bowels. This condition typically occurs when a small portion of the intestines becomes obstructed, most often where the small and the large intestines meet, although it could occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract. Your cat may be lethargic, and have a painful abdomen and/or a fever. He may have no bowel movements, thick mucus in the rectum, vomiting, lack of appetite, and may adopt a hunched-up stance. Take your cat to the vet immediately. If left untreated, a blocked bowel can kill the intestinal tissue and, eventually, the cat herself.

To reach a diagnosis, your vet will perform both plain and dye-contrast radiographs. If there is an obstruction, emergency surgery will clear the blockage and remove any dead tissue. Post-op care includes 2 days of intravenous feeding and 1 week antibiotic therapys. To produce a good bowel movement, replace half of your cat's regular amount of food with fresh raw meet (a natural laxative) and fresh raw vegetables (to provide bulk). If these recommendations still do not produce a significant bowel movement, an enema can be given several times a day (your vet will teach you how) until one is produced. Veterinary specialists do not recommend Fleet (sodium phosphate) enemas for cats or small dogs, because they may cause severe electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. Pets should NEVER be given cooked bones from leftover people food. While raw bones are easily digested and utilized for important calcium and minerals, cooked bones are dangerous and can cause blockage or bowel perforation.

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