Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints our Redmond vets see in dogs. Constipation can happen to any dog, regardless of breed, age, or size. Today, the vets at Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic offer some tips on what to do if your dog is experiencing constipation.
My Dog is Constipated
When a dog experiences constipation it means they are unable to pass a normal stool on a regular basis. Typically, constipation in dogs is mild and will resolve on its hows. However, sometimes the constipation is caused by an internal blockage or other serious internal issue and may require emergency care.
Some dogs experience chronic constipation and may need additional support from your vet to get their bowels back in shape.
When left untreated constipation can become a painful problem for your dog and can lead to symptoms like lethargy, a loss of appetite, vomiting, or weight loss.
Dog Constipation Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms your dog might be experiencing are:
- Being unable to pass a stool for 2+ days
- Straining or apparent discomfort while defecating
- Hard, dry stools
- Blood or mucus in the stool
Causes of Constipation in Dogs
There are many reasons why your pooch might become constipated. Some of the most common reasons for constipation in dogs include:
- Ingested items such as toys, dirt, grass, or fabric pieces (rugs, clothing or towels)
- Pain caused by orthopedic issues when trying to pass a bowel movement
- Abscessed or blocked anal sacks
- Insufficient fiber in diet
- Tumors, masses, or matted hair around the anus
- Enlarged prostate
- Ingested hair from excessive self-grooming
- Insufficient daily exercise
How To Help A Constipated Dog
Treatment for your constipated dog will depend upon the underlying cause of your pet's discomfort. Your veterinarian will examine your pup for indications as to the underlying cause. If the ingestion of a foreign object is suspected x-rays may be recommended so that the object can be located.
Once the underlying cause of your dog's constipation has been determined your veterinarian will recommend the best treatment for your dog's specific case.
Some of the most common treatments for constipation in dogs are; dog-specific laxatives, medication to increase the strength of the large intestine, increasing the amount of fiber in your dog's diet, and increasing your dog's daily exercise. In cases of ingestion, life-saving surgery may be required to remove the object and prevent severe blockages and damage to your dog's digestive tract.
What Can I Give My Dog For Constipation?
If you're wondering what to do if your dog is constipated, you're not alone. In many situations, mild constipation can be treated quite easily at home, but it is always best to talk to a vet before attempting any home treatments. Common home remedies to help a constipated dog are:
- Canned Pumpkin
- Extra Water
- Canned Dog Food to Increase Moisture
Please remember that if your dog's constipation doesn't resolve itself in a day or two, is a reoccurring issue, or you suspect your dog might have ingested a foreign object, you should bring them to the veterinarian right away for emergency care.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.