Surgical treatment of intestinal obstruction by fecaloma in a puma (Puma concolor)




The puma (Puma concolor) is a large felid native to the Americas and one of the endangered species of the Brazilian fauna. Digestive disorders such as fecalomas are common in veterinary practice. Fecalomas are masses of retained feces that accumulate in the large colon and progress to hard fecal concretions that are difficult and painful to expel. Inadequate diets and mechanical intraluminal or extraluminal intestinal obstructions are the major causes of fecaloma. Tenesmus, anorexia, vomiting and dehydration are common clinical signs. The diagnosis is based on medical history and physical examination, and can be confirmed by imaging assessment. Fecalomas are amenable to conservative and surgical treatment, depending on disease severity. This paper describes a case of fecaloma in a puma. The diagnosis was made during exploratory laparotomy and improper diet incriminated as the cause. Surgical intervention consisted of enterotomy followed by removal hardened retained feces. Postoperative dietary management consisted of a liquid follow by a soft diet, with reintroduction of the regular diet after full recovery. Dietary supplementation with vegetable fibers was prescribed for life to prevent recurrence.


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