Constipation is a common issue our vets see in dogs here at Island Pet Hospital. Constipation can happen to any dog, regardless of breed, age, or size. Today, our Las Vegas vets offer some tips on what to do if your dog is experiencing constipation.
My Dog is Constipated
When your dog is experiencing constipation it means they are unable to pass a normal stool on a regular basis. Although a common health issue that will usually resolve on its own, constipation in dogs is sometimes caused by an internal blockage and will 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 be a painful issue for your pup and could lead to more serious issues including lethargy, a loss of appetite, and vomiting, and weight loss.
Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs
Some common dog constipation symptoms are:
- Your dog has not defecated in 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, and where exactly it is located, can be identified.
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. Most of the time constipation in dogs 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
If your pup's discomfort and constipation don't resolve themselves in a day or two, are a reoccurring issue, or you know your dog has ingested a foreign object, make an appointment with your vet right away.
Your vet will examine your dog and may recommend X-rays if a foreign object is the suspected cause.
Once your vet has determined the cause of constipation, they will be able to recommend the best treatment option to help your pup.
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.