Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Me, the Making Cats Poop Queen

I have a nickname at work: Making Cats Poop Queen.

Some cats, be it because they are old, or obese, or old and obese, can't get the 'ole pluming movin'. When that happens, they quit eating and some, being cats, develop hepatic lipidosis when their body tries to metabolize fat for energy and konks out. So, we as professionals who have survived four years of rigorous schooling and learnin' have to do what anybody would do.

We have to give cats enemas.

Now, I have only been at my current job about six months. In that time, I have probably had 4-6 cats present with this problem, and at 1-5 enemas per cat, have given way too many cat enemas in six months.

Cats aren't too appreciative when you shove a long red rubber catheter up their rectum and pump 60-120 mLs of liquid up there. Some react in an adverse fashion to this torment. Visions of buzz saws with legs come forcefully to mind.

My current candidate weighs 26 pounds. He has probably 5 pounds of poo sitting in his colon. That's a lot of poo. And I gotta get it all out. If enemas don't work, we go to sedation and manually de-impaction. Yummy!

No matter how many pairs of gloves you are wearing, cat poo can penetrate and make your hands smell soooooo good for several days!!!


Anonymous said...

Nice cats never get constipated. Only land sharks with claws that haven't been cut in 2 years. I'm pretty sure there's a genetic link between a slow moving colon and misanthropy.

anonymous2 said...

Dear previous poster: I get cranky too, when I can't dump out for extended periods. Don't you?

Can't Spell: When I dye my hair, I smear petroleum jelly around the edges of my hairline and certain parts of my neck to keep my skin from absorbing the dye. What would happen if you did that to your hands under all the gloves? As a bonus, they might come out nice and soft....

P.S.--Really, really love your blog. Sorry for always lurking and never saying so.

Can'tSpell, DVM said...

anon 1- you sure are right, although this cat was so big he couldn't turn to scratch me.

anon 2- I don't know about the hands, I wonder if you'd slip and slide around inside the gloves??

Hope you guys continue to enjoy!!

wackyvorlon said...

I too greatly enjoy your posts. It occurs to me, if you wear latex gloves, vaseline will eat them:)

I've had a similar experience in a way. We had a cat at one point who developed a prolapsed rectum. I was the one who got stuck with the job of putting it back. Took him to the vet, wormed him, etc. and just tried getting it to stay back in. Eventually we gave up, and had to have him killed.

keepbreathing said...

I am going to regret asking this, but how does one manually disimpact a cat? I've seen it done to humans and it's horrific, but the proportions of cats are much smaller and I'm just curious about the mechanics.

And man, let me tell you, you've got my respect. I deal with human ailment all the time, but at least they sort of understand what we're doing and can cooperate. You're like a superhero to do what you do.

Can'tSpell, DVM said...

To disimpact a cat, you have to anesthetize the cat and manually dig out the feces with a finger while simultaniously manipulting the abdomen with the other hand to move the feces toward the rectum so you can reach them with the finger. It can be amusing to watch. Also frustrating, as old cat poo is like clay. And the smell can go thru several pairs of rubber gloves.

Norma said...

Interesting post. My cat weighs about 7 lbs. and I've been amazed at what she can add to the litter box.

Ann of the Incredible Gift said...

I wonder if the invisible gloves on this page of hand protective stuff for the aircraft industry would help protect against cat poop. It provides protection against hydraulic fluid, jet fuel and adhesives as a partial list.

It sounds like you could draw surgical gloves over it.

I had something else in mind when I went hunting for it, but this sounds MUCH better. - I was trying to think of the barrier cream they used on Mom's backside to protect her skin from contact with human poo when she lost control of her bowels after her cancer spread to her liver.

Anonymous said...

My chubby cat gets constipated so often, I have to give kibble 1 tsp at a time. Its the dry food that is making them fat (pure carbs) and constipated, plus making Vets rich with plugged urethras! I use to get the enema's from my Vet, but now he is refusing to dispence them to me, wants me to waste 50 bucks to come and see him about a problem he has no cure or help for. I have learned more about what to do from experience, plus researching online. I now give him an empty syring of olive oil, sometimes I flavor it with turkey baby food, one syring in the morning. I also give him a tsp of pumpkin mixed with food at night, but this doesn't seem to do anything. All the meds they give me do nothing. The mineral oil is dangerous b/c it can get and stay in their lungs. Same with vaseline, which is mineral oil.. I have cut back on his emergency enema's, but certainly have not found a cure for them. As for him fighting me against the enema? He knows I'm trying to help him, and he barely fusses about it now. The poor thing suffers so. Just like in the 80's when they messed up the cat food and all cats were getting blocked urethra's, they are doing the same now. Something is "amiss" in the cat food!