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Oral laxatives for feline constipation

Tam FM, Carr AP and Myers SL. Safety and palatability of polyethylene glycol 3350 as an oral laxative in cats. J Feline Med Surg. 2011; 13: 694-7.
Recurrent constipation is a common problem in cats. A cornerstone for the management of recurrent constipation is the use of laxatives, but there is little research into the use of laxatives in cats. In this study, the authors looked at the safety and palatability of polyethylene glycol (PEG3350) in normal cats. PEG3350 is readily available in a powdered form that can be mixed with cat food. PEG 3350 with electrolytes (Colyte oral solution; Schwarz Pharma) was administered to 6 cats for 4 weeks by mixing the powder with the food. All the cats achieved soft stools while given the laxative. Effective doses varied widely so individualizing the dose is very important. As an alternative, PEG3350 without electrolytes (Miralax, Restoralax) has been approved as an over-the-counter laxative in the United States and Canada and should be readily accessible to owners. One side effect noted was mild non-clinical hyperkalemia though the cause is unknown. PEG3350 has a potential role in the medical management of chronically constipated cats. [VT]

Related articles: Trevail TIM, Gunn-Moore D, Carrera I, Courcier E and Sullivan M. Radiographic diameter of the colon in normal and constipated cats and in cats with megacolon. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2011; 52: 516-20.

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