This is a subject we most often do not want to talk about . . . in fact, most of us have not heard of the term Pseudocoprotasis. The term literally means false constipation and can affect both dogs and cats. What happens is that fecal matter can get caked onto the pets’ hair at the anus area, causing an actual obstruction.
Once the anus is obstructed, passage of additional fecal matter is quite difficult. Ultimately, this becomes a medical problem. If left untreated, defecation can become quite painful for your pet. As fecal matter remains close to the skin, it causes irritation and infections as well. Your pet can become constipated and flies can lay eggs on the fecal mass which would result in maggot infestation of the anal area. One problem ultimately leads to a multitude of other conditions.
Not all pets are susceptible to this problem and condition. Most often it is pets, dogs and cats, with longer coats of fur that tend to mat up easily. These long-haired pets, if they experience diarrhea, can easily develop this problem which can go unnoticed until it becomes a bigger problem. I think most of us pet parents would notice the problem due to our pets normal behaviors and the odor that would go along with built up fecal matter on your pet.
Some common signs that your pet has Pseudocoprotasis are straining to defecate without success, vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy, scooting their bottoms across the floor, notice of the matted hair I mentioned earlier along with a foul odor.
The best way to identify the problem before many of the above symptoms is to comb and brush your long-haired pet often and cut out and/or shave mats around the anus. If the problem does get out of hand, bring your pet into the veterinarian. Diagnosis and treatment usually revolves around a complete physical examination.
Once the mats have been removed, further treatment depends upon any underlying issues. If your pet had developed any skin irritations or infections, creams may be prescribed for that issue. Maggots, gross as they sound, can be treated by removing the initial mat and treating the skin. A stool sample may be necessary to determine if any further condition such as parasites may exist. Sometimes medication and or fluid therapy may be a required treatment.
Pseudocoprotasis can be totally prevented with more awareness of your pets behaviors and grooming your pet often as well. An easy way to remove any fecal mass from your pet is to place him/her in the bathtub and spray the area with warm water. It will remove the mass slowly as it washes away feces. Thoroughly cleaning the anal area with mild dish soap will also remove residual fecal material. But I would recommend a mild pet shampoo. Keep your pet well groomed at all times and this is one problem that you can completely avoid and monitor for a healthy happy pet.