Constipation — difficult, infrequent or absent bowel movements — is amongst the most typical health problems of a pet’s digestive system. Telltale signs include dry, hard stools and straining when attemping to defecate. Some dogs might also pass mucus when trying to defecate.
What Causes Constipation?
There are various main reasons why your pet dog could be constipated:
· Too much or weak hands fiber as part of his diet
· Lack of exercise
· Blocked or abscessed anal sacs
· Enlarged prostate gland
· Excessive self-grooming might cause large amounts of hair to gather in the stool
· Matted hair throughout the anus from not enough grooming or from obesity
· Ingested gravel, stones, bones, dirt, plants or pieces of toys, etc. caught in the intestinal tract
· Masses or tumors about the anus or within the rectum, causing an obstruction
· Side effect of medication
· Trauma for the pelvis
· Orthopedic problem that produces pain when a puppy positions himself to defecate
· Neurologic disorder
· Dehydration because of other illness
How Can I Tell if My Dog Is Constipated?
If your dog have not were built with a bowel movement in over 2 days or if he strains, crouches or cries out when attempting to defecate, you must see your veterinarian without delay.
Note: These signs could possibly be similar to those seen with a urinary tract problem, so it’s crucial that you see your vet to look for the cause.
Which Dogs Are Susceptible to Constipation?
Elderly pets may take a hit often from infrequent or difficult bowel movements. However, the situation may appear in a dog that has several from the causes of constipation listed above.
How Can I Treat My Dog’s Constipation?
Depending on what’s causing your dog’s constipation, a veterinarian may recommend one or several in the following treatments:
· A stool softener or other laxative agent
· Medication to improve the contractile strength with the large intestine
· Adding fiber to your pet’s diet with canned pumpkin, wheat bran or perhaps a product such as Metamucil
· A veterinarian-prescribed, high-fiber diet
· An rise in exercise
· An enema (administered by way of a professional, not at home, because there could possibly be risks for toxicity or injury if done inappropriately)
What Can Happen If Constipation Goes Untreated?
If your dog’s constipation just isn’t alleviated, obstipation-the inability to empty his colon on his own-can take place. In this state, the colon is packed with an uncomfortably large amount of feces, causing unproductive straining, lethargy, appetite loss and perhaps even vomiting.
Constipation is definitely an unpleasant problem that will even strain a relationship.
Oscar is really a handsome Golden Retriever which has a broad skull, soulful brown eyes and honey-colored coat. But one Monday morning he was looking distinctly below his best.
During his vet consultation, Oscar’s discomfort was more physical than emotional – he was painfully constipated. The problem resulted from a lamb shank bone he’d had like a treat over the weekend.
The trouble was the bone shards had scraped their way through his intestine (causing soreness and inflammation) after which clumped together in his rectum to create a hard spiky ball that Oscar was not able to pass.
The cause of his family’s fighting was that the wife had forbidden the husband to give Oscar the bone, but he’d gone ahead and done it anyway.
What the husband hadn’t realized was that bones really are a common source of constipation in dogs.
Poor Oscar was bunged up which he needed an enema under general anesthetic to have things moving again, but happily all this worked out in the end.
Now, let’s talk about what may cause constipation in your puppy…
Common Causes of Constipation in Dogs
Bones aside, the regular causes of constipation are split up into dietary issues, medical problems and pain-related.
Dietary Deficiency Leading to Constipation in the Dog
Dogs need fiber. Fiber is nice on numerous levels, primarily because it produces a soft, bulky stool that is certainly much easier to pass.
Dogs lacking fiber are more inclined to be constipated along with struggling with secondary problems, for example blocked anal sacs.
Medical Problems Leading to Constipation inside a Dog
Health issues not directly related to the bowel will have a knock-on effect that ends in constipation.
For example, the sluggishness associated with underactive thyroid glands can extend to the bowel.
Other causes include:
· Enlarged prostate glands – which press on the rectum, causing it to narrow
· Perineal hernia – a pocket or “blind alley” near the rectum, into which feces get diverted and trapped
To stop the constipation from recurring, it’s advisable to correct underlying medical issues. This means putting an arthritic dog on painkillers – or, in Oscar’s case, banning bones.
Pain-Related Constipation in Dogs
Conditions such as arthritis or hip dysplasia ensure it is painful for your pet dog to squat.
Therefore, the dog is more prone to hold on tight, which means the feces spend longer within the rectum and become harder and drier as a result – which then brings about tough to pass.
How to Know if Your Dog Is Constipated
What signs for anybody who is alert for to find out your pet is constipated?
This is often a good question since the main symptom – straining – may not necessarily function as results of constipation. Straining can also be associated with bladder problems and diarrhea.
So if you see your pet straining, take a closer look:
· Is the dog passing good-sized puddles of urine? Or is the urine being released in dribbles or otherwise in any way? If this happens, get hold of your veterinarian immediately because urinary problems may be life-threatening.
· What is the dog passing using their bowel? If it’s hard, dry nuggets after a lot of straining, itrrrs likely that your new puppy is constipated. But remember that dogs with diarrhea may strain and not produce anything – this is since the inflammation in their bowel gives them a sense of urgency. In this case, possess a patrol around the yard and be on the alert for telltale puddles of liquid feces.
Constipated dogs will often be uncomfortable and not considering food.
Indeed, some dogs will vomit and seem depressed. Also, some dogs will give an impression of feces and have soiling throughout the buttocks.
How to Help a Constipated Dog
This involves a combined approach of giving laxatives and enemas, and addressing predisposing issues (for example arthritis).
One suggestion is Lax’aire, a light laxative and intestinal lubricant that’s easy to administer. One customer says his constipated Frenchie “was tip-toeing around like he was trying to sneak on somebody…. Ordered this and after feeding it to him, it produced a poo within 40 minutes.”
Many dogs can become constipated at some point of their lives. Although constipation just isn’t extremely common in dogs, it is almost always a minor medical condition that will be addressed fairly easily.
Most canine owners have detailed expertise in their pet’s bathroom habits just as one unfortunate unwanted effect of all poop scooping you’re required to do. As a result, it’s fairly obvious whenever your furry friend falls off its “regular” routine.
Signs of Constipation in Dogs
If your puppy is constipated, if you notice it straining to have a very bowel movement. If your pet is able to defecate, the stool is going to be hard and dry, potentially small , pebble-like. When a puppy is constipated, its appetite may decrease, and yes it could even begin vomiting.
If you notice a decrease inside regularity of your puppy’s bowel movements, it could possibly be a sign that constipation is developing. It is extremely essential that you speak to your veterinarian at the earliest opportunity if you notice more than one of the following signs in your dog:
· Two or maybe more days with out a bowel movement
· Difficulty urinating, straining to urinate, or inability to urinate
· Pain or distress, such as crying out when trying to defecate or standing which has a hunched posture
· Blood inside stool or passing blood without stool
· Any worsening signs and symptoms of illness, like vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite
· Other signs that create that you become concerned
Causes of Constipation in Dogs
There a wide range of different things that can cause your dog being constipated. The following are some with the potential reasons:
· Dehydration (more widespread)
· Dietary indiscretion (eating something inappropriate)
· Foreign body obstruction (grass, hair, rocks, cloth, items of a toy, etc.)
· Obstruction as a result of abnormal tissue growth (tumor, polyp, congenital malformation)
· Gastrointestinal motility disorder
· Enlarged prostate (male dogs)
· Medication side effects
· Matted hair covering anus
· Orthopedic or neurological problem
· Immobility or extremely sedentary lifestyle
There might be other reasons for your canine’s constipation. In some cases, constipation resolves without anyone figuring out the main cause.
How to Treat Constipation in Dogs
When you are looking at dog health, keep in mind that your veterinarian is usually the best supply of information. If you notice mild constipation in your pet, though, you can look at a few things at home first to offer your canine friend some respite.
Important note before proceeding: If your dog is straining to defecate, make sure your canine friend has not been having diarrhea. The urgency to carry on defecating is normal after dogs have diarrhea. Home means of constipation is only going to make things worse if your puppy is actually having diarrhea.
The following simple changes may help your pet start defecating normally again:
· Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Adding moisture to your pet’s person is usually the answer to resolving constipation. Try adding water or low-sodium chicken broth to your puppy’s food. Alternatively, if your dog usually eats dry food only, you can attempt feeding good-quality canned food.
Try getting the canned version of his current diet if it is available, but any quality canned food must be acceptable so long as your dog doesn’t have food allergies or sensitivities. Instead of canned food, you can test adding green beans, sweet potatoes, or possibly a tablespoon of canned pumpkin (plain, not pie filling) to your canine’s kibble with the water or broth.
· Movement gets things moving. Sometimes precisely what it takes to get your puppy’s bowels to maneuver is good for your pet to become active. If your canine is good enough to exercise, take your dog for a nice long walk or provide a different type of moderate to vigorous exercise. Regular activity is really a great approach to prevent constipation in senior dogs or dogs having a tendency to have duplicated.
· Skip the enema. Do not attempt to give your puppy an enema at home unless instructed to achieve this by your veterinarian.
If your puppy passes stool, the 1st bowel movement might have hard, dry stool. After that, it isn’t uncommon for dogs to start with soft stools to get a week. If your canine develops watery diarrhea or some other issues, take him for the vet.
Medications and Natural Remedies
In addition to the above actions, you could possibly wish to get one of these natural remedy or over-the-counter medication before heading for the vet. Do not give these homeopathic remedies if your puppy had diarrhea before straining. Note that it’s far better to choose just one method. Using multiple remedies at once will make things worse. Call a veterinarian’s office to get the correct dosage for your dog before trying over-the-counter medications. Consider trying one with the following things in the home:
· Olive oil or coconut oil: A tablespoon added towards the food might help lubricate things.
· Fish oil: liquid or capsules
· Slippery elm (herbal supplement)
· Fiber supplement (Metamucil, etc.): Add to food with plenty water. Use an unflavored variety with no added sweetener
· Stool softener/laxative (DSS/Colace or Miralax)
· Bran flakes (100 percent bran cereal): Can be added to food with water.
Seeing the Vet for Diagnosis and Treatment
If your canine’s constipation doesn’t improve while using above tips within with regards to a day, then its time to go in your family veterinarian. After getting a comprehensive history, your vet will perform a physical examination, including abdominal palpation to feel for stool inside colon.
Your vet may recommend radiographs (X-rays) to see if your canine is constipated and figure out the seriousness of it. Excess stool can be easily seen on radiographs, which can reveal an obstruction when there is one, but these don’t always show up.
Depending on your pet’s age as well as the exam findings, a veterinarian might also recommend lab work to assess your canine’s organ function, electrolyte balance, blood cell counts, and more.
If your pet is really constipated, your veterinarian may recommend an enema to remove the backed-up stool. Subcutaneous fluids might also be recommended as a way to hydrate your puppy. In addition, a veterinarian may suggest a medication like lactulose to assist your canine with bowel motions.
Most dogs do not need being admitted for the hospital for constipation. Usually, the treatments could be done in a couple of hours and your dog can return home for your night. If your puppy is incredibly dehydrated or has other medical problems, it will need intravenous fluids and/or additional treatments that require hospitalization.
If your dog has persistent or recurrent bouts of constipation, your veterinarian will continue to work to determine the cause and best procedure. In some cases, you may be known a veterinary specialist to get a second opinion, advanced diagnostics, or specialized treatments.