Ask the Veterinarian/Dribbly bum


Bit of background info before I get to my main concerns;
My cat Monty is 17 years old. He is being treated for hyperthyroid issues for over a year. We have had a lot of issues getting the right dosage of pills- they seem to keep the levels down for a few months then the bloods would show it had shot up again. He has lost a lot of weight over the year because of it however although he hasn't put much back on, there hasn't been any drastic weight loss since being on meds. He is an outdoor cat and has been his whole life so had to rule out trying the thyroid food as that would mean he would have to become an indoor cat and he would hate that.

Now to my main concern. Recently we have noticed he has been leaving 'drips' of poo around the house. This seems to happen when he is sleeping. We took him to the vet, who said he had lost a bit more weight and looks like he has deteriorated since his last visit. She checked his anal glands and did a rectal exam- can't feel anything abnormal however he was very sore and there was a bit of poo inside that was very loose. Temperature was fine. She told us that he is not looking as good as he had in the past, his breathing was also laboured, indicating the beginnings of heart failure. She did say that it could be getting to the point where his quality of life may not be as good as it should be. She gave us 5 days worth of antibiotics to see if it helps with his dribbly bum problem.

In the days he has had the meds, the spots of poo had gone, so we got another 5 days worth of antibiotics to cover him until after Christmas. He is about half way through this course. I have noticed that since his dribbly bum problems began, his anus is very swollen and there is often a bit of soft poo on the outside. I have cleaned this with a damp warm cloth, but since the abs I haven't noticed any, however his bum is still swollen. It's not red, I can't see any sign of a prolapse (as in bright red skin). As I said before he is an outdoor cat so its hard to catch him in the act of pooing to check his stools. I'm hoping because the drips have stopped, that there may have been an infection which the antibiotics are helping to clear. I'm just concerened that his bum is still swollen. I haven't seen him washing down there recently either.

I guess I am just asking for any ideas as to what it COULD be. He will be going back to the vets at the beginning of the new year, after this final course of antibiotics is done with, just want as many ideas/theories as possible to throw at them.

I know that it may be a case of him getting old, his body not working and shutting down, and that if he gets worse or is not comfortable or happy anymore that we will have to say goodbye, just want to do everything I can for my old boy.

Sorry it's a long winded message, thanks in advance for taking the time to read it :)

Well five days, even 7 or 8 days might not be enough for the swelling to go down. Plus he might still have some infection left that hasn't cleared yet entirely.

I cannot say for sure either way. These are just suggestions. Since you are right on top of things I would just continue with the protocol the vet gave you and have him seen once more.

To be honest 17 year old cats with hyperthyroidism don't generally do well for too long. It's hard on their heart, as you might have guessed, and it's a hard disease to treat.

I can tell that you are a very conscientious owner and you will know when his quality of life has gone from more bad days to good ones. And often, they will let you know when it's time.

It's never easy, and I pray that these medications might help you have some extra time with him.

For now I wouldn't fret over the swelling especially since he isn't bleeding or seeming to lose stool any longer.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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