He has been diagnosed with 'megacolon' which is more common in larger cats and dogs.
"Megacolon is an abnormal dilation of the colon (a part of the large intestine). The dilation is often accompanied by a paralysis of the peristaltic movements of the bowel. In more extreme cases, the feces consolidate into hard masses inside the colon, called fecalomas (literally, fecal tumor), which can require surgery to be removed."
Our vet, Dr. Mary Kinch of Orleans Veterinary Hospital, was responsible (with some help from Dr. Als) for the removal of most of Dante's impacted feces. Even the male vet's hands, which were larger, weren't able to totally clear the 'backlog'.
However, when they looked at the X-Rays afterwards, they thought perhaps Dante could eliminate the rest of the stool on his own with help from medications and specialized food. So, we were able to take him home on the understanding that he would need to come back for another manual removal procedure if he did not poop on his own.
We are happy to report, that after only one night at home, WE HAVE POOP! There were two huge and heavy brown clumps in his litter this morning, along with a third one which appeared to be pee. Dante wasn't the only one sighing with relief!
GOOD JOB, DANTE -- AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!
Here are some pictures at the vet hospital, and later on at home. Warning: There are some graphic images.
This is Dr. Kinch showing us how Dante is doing before we take him home.
Apparently Dante was a real trooPURR and didn't cause them any problems even when things got quite unpleasant.
I think Dante probably knew that the vet was trying to help him. She is a lovely lady both inside and out and I'm sure her presence was a calming influence.
Before we took Dante home, Dr. Kinch wanted to show us his X-Rays.
This is Dante lying on his side and those are mega-feces inside him. They are even larger than those produced by most humans.
This is Dante lying on his back which gives another view of the impacted stools.
And here's a close-up. You can see how uncomfortable the poor guy must have been, even though he only exhibited signs of distress late last week.
And here is the 'after' shot. You can see that the fecal matter is much reduced. Thank you Dr. Kinch and Dr. Als for your diligence and willingness to work under very stinky conditions.
Apparently it took about two hours to remove the bulk of the feces. They were very hard and very malodorous. The fumes PURRmeated all the back rooms and even brought some of the veterinary technicians to their knees.
However, Dante wasn't the only trooper that day. The doctors did their duty (well, Dante's doody, that is) and still kept their sense of humour. We salute you!
Here is Dante with Dada. Dante is wrapped in a towel because they shaved his butt and part of his beautiful tail.
Dante is getting a kiss from Dada who knows all too well what it's like to be in the hospital.
Dante's eyes are so much larger and brighter than they were just a couple of days ago. He is feeling more like his old self. And Dada is just beaming with joy!
So here is Dante at home licking his butt. Due to the laxatives, he has some dribbles. I asked Walter to remind me not to kiss Dante on his mouth (like I usually do) anytime soon.
This is a picture of Dante's shaven area. His tail almost looks like he had a lion cut. I have whited out the offending part with a star. He is enjoying the scent of a little bit of catnip which I scattered around. He needs something to offset those rank fumes coming out of his butt!
Since Dante came home he has been eating and drinking very well. He was absolutely ravenous at first. Mama has bought him (and his furblings) a new ceramic water fountain. It's very important that Dante keeps himself well hydrated with his condition.
All in all, it's been a very moving experience, both physically and emotionally. We hope that Dante's condition can be successfully managed at home because the alternative is ultimately a major surgery.
I would like to thank all of you, too, who have left consoling comments and purred for Dante throughout this ordeal. I'm sure that Dante felt every vibration that was sent his way. Now that's he's feeling better, all your purrs are coming back through him right to my grateful ears.