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Monday, April 22, 2024

What to do when a dog is constipated

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Constipation is a common health problem associated with a pet’s digestive system.

It is best to exercise your dog and make sure a bowl of water is always available. Sage, rescued from the Cainta pound, is a big dog who needs water all the time after running around the garden.

A constipated dog strains when trying to poop, has not pooped in more than two days,  cries or crouches when attempting to poop, or his stool is very hard and dry.  

These signs though are similar to dogs with a urinary tract problem. Thus, it is important to bring the dog to a vet to determine the cause when you see this in your dog, said WebMD in the article “Constipation in Dogs: Causes andTreatment.”

Some dogs pass mucus while trying to poop.

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Causes

• Too much or too little fiber in his diet

• Lack of or no exercise  

• Anal sacs are blocked or abscessed

Prostate gland enlarged

• Excessive self-grooming can lead to large amounts of hair collecting in the stool.

• Matted hair around the anus caused by lack of grooming or from being obese.

• Ingested gravel, stones, bones, dirt, plants or pieces of toys, among others, in the intestinal tract

• Masses or tumors on the anus or within the rectum, which cause an obstruction

• Side effect of some medication

• Trauma to the pelvis which could be due to an accident

• Orthopedic problem that causes pain whenever a dog positions himself to poop

• Neurological disorder

• Dehydration due to another illness

Kinds of dogs who tend to develop constipation

Senior or old dogs may suffer more often from infrequent or difficult bowel movements.

But a dog with a condition enumerated above can also experience constipation.

Help for constipated dogs

Depending on what is causing your dog’s constipation, your vet may recommend one or several of the following treatments:

• A stool softener or other laxative agent may be prescribed.

• A  medicine that will increase the contractile strength of the large intestine.

• Adding fiber to your dog’s diet as approved by your vet.

• A high-fiber diet prescribed by the veterinarian

• More exercise exercise

• An enema administered by a professional, not at home, as there could be risks for toxicity or injury  if done the wrong way.

Why constipation has to be treated

Obstipation—the inability to empty his colon on his own—can occur if constipation is left untreated, said WebMD.

“In this state, the colon is packed with an uncomfortably large amount of feces, causing unproductive straining, lethargy, appetite loss and possibly even vomiting,” WebMD said.

More Remedies

Feeding your dog some people food can also contribute to the constipation problem, said Dog Time in Top 10 Constipation Remedies For Dogs & Puppies.

It is best to stick to giving  food  that are good for dogs, and to stop giving food that are good for humans only. You can research or ask your vet.

“Just like people, dogs can experience constipation which can make him uncomfortable and even cause him pain. The condition can usually be attributed to a lack of fiber in his diet or not drinking enough water during the day,” Dog Time said.

There are many ways to treat constipation but Dog Time stressed going to the veterinarian “before making any changes to your dog’s diet or administering medications (and also to be certain that he isn’t exhibiting symptoms of a more serious illness or disorder.”

Here are some tips from Dog Time.  Again, please consult your vet if you intend to follow the advice below.

1. Pumpkin: A little of this vegetable, if fed to a dog, can prevent and even cure constipation.  

“Pumpkin is high in water content and a great source of fiber. You can either puree fresh pumpkin or use canned pureed pumpkin,” Dog Time said.

Simply boil the pumpkin and give to your dog.

2. Supplements: “There are natural supplements available that will aid in curing a dog’s constipation.   They usually contain additives such as acidophilus, folic acid, and vegetable enzymes. Check with your vet for recommendations,” Dog Time said.

3. Laxatives: “If your vet advises it, a mild laxative may do the trick. Of course the amount will depend on the size and weight of your dog,” Dog Time added.

4. Enema: “Your vet will tell you if this is an option he wants to pursue,” Dog Time said.

5. Milk of Magnesia:  “A small amount of Milk of Magnesia may be all that he needs but again, check with your vet first!” Dog Time said.

6. Bran (wheat & oat): “Bran works as a preventative (much like pumpkin), when added to your dog’s food regularly. Ask your vet for advice on how much to add,” Dog Time added.

7. Powdered psyllium seed: “Psyllium seed pull water into the stool and help move it along,” Dog Time shared.

8. Mineral oil: Mineral oil helps lubricate the stool so it will pass.

9. Aloe Ferox: “Aloe Ferox has a beneficial effect on digestive functioning and acts as a natural system cleanser and remedy,” Dog Time said.

10. Increased exercise: “Increased exercise will massage internal organs and increase blood flow in the colon,”  Dog Time added.

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