Hamish the cat

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    Our two year old Siamese cat, Hamish, had been having problems with his bowel function for over a year – stool formation (solid and pellet like) and passing. We initially thought he was forgetting that he hadn’t quite finished his toilet as stool was pouching at his back end, however, this ‘forgetting’ became more frequent and the blockages were more serious and had resulted in numerous visits to the vets for extraction and ever-increasing doses of lactulose. In November last year following an enema under anaesthetic, our vet diagnosed Hamish with a bilateral perineal hernia (a very rare condition in cats) and he was referred to the Small Animal Hospital at Glasgow Vet School where he subsequently underwent surgery to repair the hernia, however it was suspected that there was underlying poor bowel function which had caused the hernia.

    Following successful surgery, we were able to control the stool consistency with medication however, it was becoming clear that his bowel function was becoming worse and the blockages quickly returned, becoming more frequent and prolonged (for at least 12 hours). The prognosis for Hamish was not great and was heading towards resection of the bowel once the condition deteriorated to an unbearable level. At this stage Hamish was having to have Metacam (anti-inflammatory painkiller) each time he attempted to defecate, which was every second day.

    It was at this time, during one of my visits to Anna that I mentioned Hamish’s problems. I knew you treated animals and wondered if you might be able to have a look at Hamish to see if there was anything you could do for him. Although his problem didn’t appear to be musculoskeletal, I knew that you treated a wide range of conditions and since no-one seemed to know exactly what the problem was, I wondered if you would be able to get to the bottom of it. I got consent from my vet for Hamish to see you and arranged a home visit.

    You quickly identified a problem in Hamish’s spine and enquired as to whether he had had any accidents. Being a house cat, this was unlikely, but Hamish had in fact fallen a whole flight of stairs within a couple of months of being with us. He had been taken to an emergency vet straight away but there were no breaks or internal injuries identified. You felt that this could have interrupted blood flow to the nerve endings supplying the bowel which could be impairing its proper function. Looking back at the vet records, it appears that his bowel problems started shortly after this fall.

    It was after your second visit to Hamish that we really saw big improvements. He had gone 10 days without a blockage, which increased to 14 days after the next visit and 17 days after the next, with your visits becoming increasingly spaced out to three weekly intervals. To date, he has now gone over three weeks without a blockage. In a matter of two months we have gone from blockages with every bowel movement (every 48 hours) to three weeks without a blockage. Indeed, he now fully empties his bowel with every motion.

    He has since been for a check-up with our vet who is really pleased with his progress.

    I have noticed a huge improvement in Hamish’s bowel function since you began treating him. We continue with conventional medicine to control the consistency of his stools. However, the only conventional treatment for his bowel function would be a major resection of the bowel with accompanying risks. Undoubtedly, your treatment of Hamish has improved his bowel function considerably, and it continues to improve with each visit. In my opinion your treatment has enabled Hamish to go back to being a healthy, happy little cat with a future.

    As you know, I have recommended your cranial osteopathic services to several people with musculoskeletal problems and know that you have been able to help them, as well as me. However, I will now be recommending it to both people and owners of animals who have bowel and constipation problems as I have first hand experience of the benefits of this treatment. I will also not hesitate to consult you should either of my cats, my horse, or myself for that matter, have any other ongoing problems which seem unrelated to musculoskeletal problems as I am sure that there are a plethora of conditions which could benefit from cranio-sacral osteopathy.

    Anne Marie

Where I work with animals

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