DR BRUCE CHARD
firstname.lastname@example.org MY 14-year-old birman cat, Sid, has been having problems passing his poo for the past two weeks. He seems to have very hard poo and often I have to put a glove on and help to squeeze it out. He mostly eats meat and dry food. How can I manage this?
Check with your vet to ensure Sid does not have any other problems along with his constipation. If it is a matter of over-hard motions and a build-up of motions in his large bowel then you will need to make changes to Sid’s diet. Increase water intake by soaking his dry food with water. Stop the meat and try him with canned food or moist sachets. The best medicine which your vet will prescribe is lactulose. It is a sugar solution that brings more fluid into the large intestine making motions softer. It is readily accepted by cats from a syringe, or on his food, and is best given twice daily.
My 4-month-old labradoodle, Ben, has had two attacks of diarrhoea over the past three weeks. I have not changed his food so am not sure what caused it but a friend said it might be due to giardia. How is this treated if Ben has it?
Giardia is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestine of many animals including dogs, cats and humans. It produces cysts which are passed out in faeces leading to infection in other animals. Your vet will test Ben’s faeces for worms and other parasites but if giardia is likely then you will need to collect three stool samples over five days to increase the chance of finding the cysts. Treatment involves giving medicine once daily for five days. A medicine used to treat parasites in sheep and cattle is used initially and once completed a further test of the faeces is needed to check the infection has cleared.