Subtotal Colectomy (Feline): A Reliable Treatment For Chronic Constipation

The scientific term that describes a flaccid, incompetent, and diluted colon is known as Megacolon. This condition will cause severe constipation among the feline. Also, it can cause obstruction in cats. A large colon diameter is present in the faeces, and they do not exit from the pelvic area easily. In addition, the faeces become dry and hard because it entirely absorbs the water from the colon. Thus, if the medical treatment is not reliable in the long term, the next option for treating the Megacolon is subtotal colectomy.

Categories Of Megacolon

  • Functional Obstruction

It is also called colonic inertia that appears in felines due to idiopathic Megacolon. It causes the colon to function abnormally and makes it progressively larger. Once the disease increases, the cats will lose the ability to defecate.

  • Outlet Obstruction

It is known as mechanical obstruction, resulting from an unhealed pelvic fracture. It affects the normal discharge of feces. Besides that, other factors like hernias, strictures, and rectum tumours or anus can cause Megacolon.

Usually, the veterinarian recommends a medical treatment first and a surgical procedure for advanced cases.


The cats that suffer from Megacolon are five to nine years old. Below are the common symptoms to identify Megacolon.

  • Chronic Constipation
  • Abdominal Discomfort
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Tenesmus

The cats with Megacolon will have a hard stool that the veterinarian can examine. Besides, your veterinarian will perform a rectal examination to check the injuries, including the pelvic fracture, hernias, and obstructive masses.


The diagnosis of the Megacolon is possible with x-rays of the feline's abdomen. Besides, a blood test is also essential after the diagnostic scanning. X-rays will check the metabolic abnormalities, spinal deformities, pelvic fractures, etc. The abdominal ultrasound contrasts the lower gastrointestinal tract, and a colonoscopy will be done to know about the Megacolon.


The idiopathic megacolon treatment includes hydrating the cats, and then an enema is performed. Further, feces removal (de-obstipation) is done manually. This requires general anaesthesia because the procedure is painful. Do not give an enema to the cat on your own unless the veterinarian recommends it. Moreover, it would help if you did not use the fleet phosphate, as it will be highly toxic for the cats.

Medical management of the problem begins after removing the stool. Also, the treatment includes a high fiber diet and other bulking agents to make the cat active. It would be a proven contradictory cure. The veterinarian will recommend Cisparide and Lactulose. The cats will become resistant to the treatment. The medical therapy will be effective in removing the Megacolon.

Surgical Procedure

The surgery is known as subtotal colectomy, which includes removing a large part of the colons. Thus, total colon removal is required on occasion.

A cat suffering from megacolon should be provided with antibiotics as the intestinal tract will be filled with a high concentration of bacteria. The antibiotics will assist in preventing bacterial infections throughout the surgical procedure. Let's begin the surgical procedure:

Step 1. Firstly, the area of the colon will be cut out.
Step 2. The remaining two ends of the colon are stitched back.
Step 3. The affected portion of the bowel will not be removed entirely.
Step 4. The new area of the bowel will be dilated, leading to obstipation, constipation, and a new cycle starts up.
Step 5. Those cats with pelvic obstruction due to trauma in the pelvic will be treated surgically to remove the abnormal pelvic bone.
Step 6. Once the pelvic bone is removed, the faeces can pass easily.
Step 7. Those cats with pelvic fractures for more than four months require subtotal colectomy.

Post-Operative Care And Outcome

After the surgical procedure, antibiotics are still used, and the cat will also be monitored for any further infection. Also, the cat will suffer from soft stool and diarrhea for a few weeks. The cats would not lose control over defecating after the megacolon surgery.

There are a few cases where pet owners have reported that their pet suffered from constipation, and it is treated medically. Plus, there is no need for another surgery once the affected area with the colon is entirely removed in the first operation.

All the cats will have a normal life after the surgery, and they do not have to take a special diet or treatment after the subtotal colectomy.

How Much Does A Subtotal Colectomy Cost?

The cost is $1,800.00 approximately.

Why Would Your Pet Need A Subtotal Colectomy?

The cats suffering from chronic constipation, tenesmus, lethargy, decreased appetite, and abdominal discomfort requires immediate treatment. But some of the felines do not respond to medical treatment while suffering from megacolon. So, the subtotal colectomy is ideal for removing the abnormally enlarged colon. The operation includes removing the large bowel, including the associated lymph glands and rectum, for the prevention of constipation.

Should You Euthanize A Cat With a Megacolon?

No, it is not necessary to euthanize a cat suffering from Megacolon. Indeed, Megacolon is an intolerable problem, but it is treatable with subtotal colectomy.