Cat Enema Chronicles: The Cat Constipation Interview You Don't Want To Miss

In my  first major interview as The Happy Hospitalist, I'm proud to present to you Calvin and his cat enema, and unedited transcription of the cat constipation chronicles.

Happy:  This is one of Dr. Happy's colleagues.  This is an interview regarding Calvin the 15 year old tabby cat. Pause.  What would you like me to call you?
Happy's Partner:  Um.  Happy's partner.
Happy:  Happy's partner.  What's going on with uh Calvin?
Happy's Partner:  Calvin's 15.  He had hyperthyroid last year and was completely cured, but couldn't go the the bathroom three days before Christmas. 
Happy:  Ouch!
Happy's Partner:  He's lost eight pounds in the last three months. 
Happy's other Partner:  That's a big cat.
Happy's Partner:  Well, he's four pounds now.
Happy's other Partner:  Oh
Happy:  He's lost eight pounds in three months?
Happy's Partner:  Yeah
Happy:  He weighs four pounds now?
Happy's Partner:  Yeah
Happy:  So you were were worried about what ..As an internist you were worried about ?
Happy's Partner:  Big time bowel cancer.
Happy:  OK
Happy's Partner:  Laughing.  All of his labs were normal.  Thyroid's normal.  No cancer that we can find.
Happy:  So what happened?
Happy's Partner:  Three days before Christmas he can't go to the bathroom, straining for an hour to the point that he's falling over, straining.
Happy:  This is your 15 year old cat.
Happy's Partner: 15 year old cat.  Brought to the vet.  Thought I had to put him to sleep because I figured he had a big tumor in his colon.  Vet said he was just (dramatic pause) obstipated.  And tried to manually disimpact him.  Didn't work. 
Happy:  The vet manually disimpacted your cat?
Happy's Partner:  Laughing Gave him an enema.  Didn't work.
Happy:  Your cat got an enema?  What kind of enema was it?
Happy's Partner:  I don't know.  I didn't watch it. 
Happy:  OK.  Was he put under for that?
Happy's Partner:  No.  And then he was put under because they couldn't move any stool out.  And then he was manually disimpacted under anesthesia. 
Happy:  Your cat got general anesthesia for a manual disimpaction?
Happy's Partner:  Yep
Happy:  15 year old cat.
Happy's Partner:  Yep.
Happy:  Calvin.
Happy's Partner:  Yep.
Happy:  OK.  Then what.
Happy's Partner:  Stayed overnight.  Got started on lactulose. And now is fine.
Happy's other Partner:  And now he's called Calvin the Goose.
Happy's Partner:  Laughing
Happy:  Calvin got goosed?
Happy's Partner:  Yeah.  Majorly goosed.
Happy:  But he feels fine now.
Happy's Partner:  Yep.
Happy:  Is he eating OK?
Happy's Partner:  Yep.
Happy:  Is he gaining weight?
Happy's Partner:  Yep.  He's gained a pound in the last week.
Happy:  Wow!
Happy's other Partner:  And this concludes Happy's interview.
Happy's Partner:  And he's still on hospice.
Happy:  Your cat's on hospice?
Happy's Partner:  Yes.
Everyone's laughing

There you have it folks.  My first major interview as The Happy Hospitalist.  I'd say it's my first experience ever discussing a cat enema and cat constipation with another human.  What did you do on your lunch break?  I'm not sure why the cat was so constipated to begin with.  I know some of my patients have lots of problems due to continuous narcotic tolerance and dependence.  But I don't think Clavin is on a morphine drip.  Perhaps Calvin is now hypothyroid. 

Or maybe Calvin the 15 year old tabby cat had a major case of constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome.  What ever the cause, it's good to know that cat enemas exist. However, I  can't imagine my little Marty and Cooper every going through a dog enema.  Marty once squirted out his anal sacs at the vet's office while getting his yearly shots.  What a horrible experience that was.

Our dogs do not tolerate general anesthesia very well.  We got their teeth cleaned for the first time last summer under general anesthesia.  They walked around in a drunk like state for two days.  They could barely hold their heads up.  It was really quite sad to watch. Hopefully they'll never get constipated and need a dog enema under anesthesia.

I suppose you're wondering how much my partner spent on this cat enema and disimpaction?  How much was  the general anesthesia, over night room rent, intravenous fluids, x rays and the lactulose?  Seven hundred dollars cash.  As far as hospital stays go, that's cheap.  I sometimes admit patients with paralytic ileus and bowel obstructions due to severe constipation.  After a 24 hour stay for nasogastric decompression and a bowel regimen, I'm sure their bills run into the thousands upon thousands of dollars.

I also learned how much pet insurance can run these days.  To insure an unlimited number of cats only costs $35.  That's amazing.   I'm not sure how much is would cost for a pet therapy dog.  She could not buy cat insurance for Calvin because he's over ten years old.  However, if she had purchased cat insurance on him before the age of ten, his policy would have continued until the end of his time, including all the costs associated with the cat enema.  It would have paid for his constipation induced hospitalization.

I bet it probably pays for his hospice cat nurse and palliative care team as well.  All for the low, low price of only $35 a month.  That's just under $400 a year and it covers 100% of all services, immunizations, and routine vet care.  That is simply amazing.  Hang in there Clavin. 

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