What to Do When Your Dog Is Suffering From Constipation
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from periodic episodes of constipation. The typical healthy dog defecates once or twice a day. If you notice that your dog has not defecated after two days, then there is a likelihood that she may be constipated and a trip to the veterinarian is recommended.
In chronic cases of canine constipation, a dog could develop a condition called “obstipation,” which is when the colon becomes so compacted with fecal matter that the dog is unable to defecate at all.
Common Causes of Constipation in Dogs
There are quite a few potential causes for a dog developing constipation, some more serious than others. The most common include the dog not drinking enough water, eating a diet that contains too much or too little fiber, and not getting enough exercise.
If one of these causes is responsible for your dog’s constipation, then the solution is easy. Simply feed her a healthier diet, provide her with easy access to fresh clean water at all times, and make sure she gets the appropriate amount of daily exercise for her breed and age.
Other causes can be more serious and can require attention by a veterinarian. Such causes can include:
- An enlarged prostate gland
- Blocked or abscessed anal glands
- Foreign objects or obstructions in the intestinal tract
- Tumors in the anus or rectum
- Medication side effect
- Neurologic disorder
- Metabolic diseases
- Trauma to the pelvic area or spine
- Orthopedic problems in the hind quarters
- Matted hair around the anus
- Too much hair collected in stool due to excessive self-grooming
Signs That a Dog Might Be Constipated
The most common warning sign that a dog might be constipated is a failure to defecate over two days’ time. Other signs include straining to defecate, crying out in pain when attempting to defecate, and the production of hard, dry pebble-like stools when the dog is able to defecate. In some cases, a constipated dog may also expel small amounts of liquid or bloody mucous when defecating.
What to Do for a Constipated Dog
If you noticed your dog is having difficulty going to the bathroom and it’s only been a day since her last stool, then there are a variety of home remedies that might help soften his stools to make them easier to pass.
Such remedies include feeding her pumpkin or canned dog food. You can also add powdered fiber supplements to her diet or known anti-constipation foods like wheat bran, ginger, and olive oil.
Usually, any food that helps with human constipation is suitable for giving to your dog, but always check with your vet first before giving any at-home remedy to your pet.
When Should a Constipated Dog Be Taken to the Veterinarian?
Despite the variety of at-home remedies available, you should take your dog to the veterinarian the moment you believe her to be constipated. In many cases, the constipation is a symptom of a more serious illness so a physical examination should always be performed to rule out any potential health problems. You also want to avoid your dog from developing obstipation.
How Is Canine Constipation Treated?
A veterinarian will perform a variety of tests and exams, including an abdominal palpation, a rectal exam, an ultrasound or colonoscopy, a radiograph of the abdomen, a complete blood count and urinalysis, and a neurologic exam.
In most cases, simple adjustments to the pet’s diet will suffice. Others may require laxative suppositories or enemas to help the dog eliminate the impacted feces. Medications may also be prescribed to help activate normal colon function. In very rare cases, a surgical procedure known as a colectomy is required.
If your veterinarian prescribed any medications to help treat your dog’s constipation, then you can get your medications filled for less by Diamondback Drugs. We custom-formulate medications to make them more palatable for your pet and easier to administer. Get a free quote for your dog’s medications here and save with Diamondback Drugs.
Author: Giano Panzarella