Poo is a sweet little 8 year old domestic short hair cat we have been seeing since she was a kitten. In 2001, Poo had an accident, which fractured her pelvis. Although the pelvis was healing after the injury, the fractures had caused the pelvic canal to become very narrow. As a result, Poo became repeatedly constipated as her stool was having difficulty passing through the narrow canal.
In 2001, we performed surgery on the pelvis to stabilize the fracture and enlarge the pelvic canal. The surgery went well and the bones were stabilized, but the pelvic canal remained narrow compared to a normal pelvis.
Over the years, Poo has done well with the aid of special diets and stool softeners, she has only had intermittent constipation. Over the past year, the incidents of constipation have been increasing to the point where she was having to come in every other week for enemas. Radiographs of the abdomen revealed that the colon had become dilated and had lost a lot of its muscular contractability. This syndrome is known as megacolon. Without the aid of muscular contraction, feces builds up in the colon and is not expelled through the rectum. Then the feces builds up until the pet becomes sick.
In order to help Poo, we performed a surgery to remove the flaccid portion of her colon (sub total colectomy). In this surgery, we removed the majority of the colon and the ileocecocolic valve and attached the last part of the small intestine (ileum) directly to the rectum. In doing this, the fecal matter presented to the colon remains semi liquefied and can be expelled more readily than formed stool. Poo is doing well post operatively. Her appetite is good and she is defecating a pasty stool. She will be maintained on stool softeners for life, but we expect the stool to become partially formed within 6 weeks of surgery. Hopefully, this surgery will prevent further bouts of constipation and help her have a higher quality of life.
Pre-op lateral view of the abdomen. Note the large distended colon (double arrows).
Pre-op Ventral Dorsal view of abdomen. Distended colon and plated pelvic fracture visible.
Intra-operative photo of colon. This colon is about 3 times the normal size.