"Sugar" came into my office quite constipated. She was having maybe one bowel movement a week, and it was very dry, very hard and very painful to pass. Her owner had taken her to her vet who had done multiple enemas and prescribed laxatives in order to get the fecal matter to pass, and while this brought temporary relief, it didn't seem to last.
This is something that "Sugar" experienced as a kitten and periodically throughout her life, but it was always previously relieved by the medications and enemas - this episode was much more extreme.
"Sugar" is a manx - a breed of cat born without a tail. The tailless condition is considered a deformation of the spine and in these cats, you will often find more abnormalities in the rest of the spine. These abnormalities are often accompanied by congenital nerve dysfunction, and often what you see in manx cats is something called "Manx Disorder." Symptoms associated with "Manx Disorder" include bowel or urinary incontinence and weakness or even paralysis of the hind limbs.
"Sugar's" vet felt that, while she didn't have your typical "Manx Disorder," she certainly seemed to have a mild case of it.
I diagnosed "Sugar" as being Qi and Blood deficient which lead to her Qi and Blood not moving properly (causing her bowels to "get stuck").
I performed electro-acupuncture on "Sugar's" low back and hips to bring Qi to the area. Essentially, trying to remind her body and her nerves how to send the proper electrical signals to her bowels so that her stools could pass through easily.
To deal with the underlying cause of her bowel paralysis, I prescribed an herbal formula typically used for stroke victims with the idea that promoting proper nerve conduction (in Chinese medicine, Qi and Blood flow) is the same, whether you're treating a head or a tail.
Within one week, "Sugar's" bowel movements were much more frequent and much softer and within 3 weeks, "Sugar" was having completely normal bowel movements again! I treated her monthly for the next couple of months, at which time she graduated from needing treatments for her constipation. Every once in a while I run into "Sugar's Mom" and get an update - she's still doing well, with no recurrences, almost 3 years later!