Feline Diarrhea & Metamucil Use

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Feline Diarrhea & Metamucil Use
Some cases of feline diarrhoea can be managed with Metamucil. (House Cat image by phizics from Fotolia.com)

Metamucil is not just a medicine for humans. This supplement can also help cats that are having problems with diarrhoea. It is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian if your cat develops a case of diarrhoea, in order to rule out anything serious and to see if it is a good candidate for Metamucil use. Your veterinarian can also help you find the best dosage to fit your cat's needs.

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Psyllium

Metamucil is a psyllium-based laxative that can be used in humans, dogs, cats and horses. Psyllium is derived from the seed coating of the Plantago plant and helps with water absorption. While it is most often used as a laxative, it is also beneficial for the treatment of other digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome and chronic diarrhoea. Psyllium helps make stools not only softer, but also larger; the added bulk can help with diarrhoea and anal gland problems.

Fibre

Fibre is usually considered for use as a laxative to treat constipation; however, it can also have the opposite affect and be beneficial for cats with diarrhoea. According to Martin J. Fettman, D.V.M., Ph.D., Metamucil can help pull water from your cat's stool. He says, ""I know it sounds strange to fight diarrhoea with fibre, but sometimes it works very well."

Dosage

Metamucil is available in both powder and capsule forms. Discuss the best dosage for your cat with your veterinarian; cats can receive approximately 1 to 4 grams, once or twice daily. Fettman recommends a dosage of 1 ¼ tsp to 1 tbsp each day for one or two days, but it will vary depending on the weight of your cat. He also suggests mixing Metamucil with water and pouring it over your cat's food. It can also be mixed with wet food.

Side Effects

Metamucil is not FDA-approved for use in dogs and cats, but is still commonly used and widely accepted for veterinary use. There are few side effects in cats and it is generally considered safe to use. Your cat may experience gas. It is very important to allow your cat access to plenty of water while it is taking Metamucil; failure to do so could result in obstructions in the intestines or fecal impaction.

Precautions

Discuss the use of Metamucil with your veterinarian if your cat is on any medication, as psyllium can affect the absorption of some drugs. For example, salicylates, nitrofurantoin and digoxin should not be given within three hours of a Metamucil dosage. Do not use if your cat already has an intestinal obstruction. Stop the use of Metamucil if your cat vomits and consult your veterinarian.

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