Jordy came to Best Friends from our L.A. center because of problems with defecation. At that time he was only about eight weeks old and had been having the problem for a little while. He is a super adorable buff-colored kitten and full of life and energy (as I guess most all kittens are). Jordy was pretty much a normal kitten on exam except that we felt that he had a lot of stool in his colon. We took some radiographs to look more closely at his abdomen and sure enough, he was loaded with stool and his colon was quite large.
We were pretty concerned about Jordy because even though he was feeling well and healthy, having so much stool in his colon was not a good thing. It could mean that he was born with a colon that just did not work (congenital megacolon). Similarly, if the colon does function normally, but stays dilated with stool, the nerves and muscle can become stretched out and damaged leading to a dysfunctional colon. We did think it was odd that such a young cat was having problems with constipation, because that is typically an older cat issue — for example, hind end trauma.
So in order to better define Jordy's issues, we sedated and deobstipated him, gave him enemas and massaged his belly to empty the colon. While he was sedated we were able to more closely look at and examine his anus. We found that the anal opening was very small and felt tight, almost scarred down. This finding lead us to believe that Jordy was born with a rectal stricture — basically a circular band of scar tissue that lies just inside his anus preventing stool from passing. Most kittens are diagnosed with this around Jordy’s age — when they wean off a milk (liquid) diet and start eating cat food (solid diet). We started him on supplemental fluids and stool softeners in hopes he would better be able to pass a softer stool. Unfortunately that did not really help Jordy all that much.
To be continued ...
See little Jordy in action: