Megacolon occurs when the colon of a patient becomes significantly distended and packed with hard feces. Megacolon more frequently occurs in middle-aged, obese cats, with the majority of cases being idiopathic.
Clinical signs of megacolon include difficulty defecating, vomiting, weakness, dehydration, decreased appetite, and/or little to no feces production.
Diagnosis of megacolon is based on physical examination and radiographs to measure the width of the colon.
Treatment of megacolon will vary depending on severity of each case and can range from medical management with stool softeners and enemas, dietary changes to a high fiber diet, and/or surgical correction.
Prognosis is dependent on response to treatment, but owners should be aware that megacolon is a lifelong problem that will be a re-occurring issue. After surgical correction the majority of cats respond well and will begin to pass stool normally within a few months of surgery.