Constipation – Dogs>
What Are Signs a Dog is Constipated and Needs Treatment?
If your dog tries to poop for several minutes with little to no result, they are likely constipated. Small and hard stool is another sign of constipation. If this condition persists for more than a day or two, your dog is definitely constipated.
The substances leaving your dog’s digestive system are often the first warning sign of an internal health issue, so it’s important to monitor your dog while he does his business. Make a habit of checking their daily deposits, as the amount, color, consistency, and smell can all indicate your dog’s general level of health.
Neglecting to monitor and treat your pooch’s poop problems can cause longstanding bowel issues. When your dog does manage to pass stool, this does not mean they are no longer constipated. Small amounts of feces passed when straining to eliminate tend to be darker than usual, sometimes with traces of mucus, blood, or other foreign substances. When your dog has issues eliminating, contact Animal Wellness Center right away to arrange a consultation and stool sample examination.
Why Your Dog Isn’t Pooping
One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration. Without proper hydration, the digestive system stalls, causing hard stool which is tough to pass. Healthy dogs should drink roughly one ounce of water for every pound they weigh. So a 50-pound dog should drink about 50 ounces of water daily, or nearly 6 cups (8 ounces = 1 cup).
The more active your dog is, the more water they need. Dogs on a diet of dry food need to drink more water than dogs who eat canned or homemade food. And, like people, all dogs need to drink more water in hot weather.
You should begin monitoring their water intake as soon as you suspect they are constipated. Measure the amount of water you put in your dog’s bowl and keep track of how much they consume in a day. If they’re not drinking enough or experience other symptoms, just get in touch with a veterinarian at Animal Wellness Center! We will assess your dog’s drinking habits and provide a treatment plan.
Eating Foreign Objects
A more serious cause of constipation in dogs is a partial or complete blockage in the intestines or colon caused by non-food objects such as cloth, a piece of shoe, rocks, and toys. If stool can’t move around the obstruction, this can develop into a severe health issue as waste builds up within your dog.
If you know your dog tends to scarf down things he shouldn’t and you notice he’s not pooping regularly, bring him to see the vet within a couple of days. If you know for a fact your dog ate a large foreign object, you should contact Animal Wellness Center right away. An ultrasound or X-ray will show the object and allow us to plan for its removal, putting an end to your pooch’s constipation.
Other Causes of Constipation
If your male dog hasn’t been neutered, he may develop an enlarged prostate in old age. This swelling pushes on the bowel, resulting in thin stools or constipation. Neutering your dog will usually solve this problem.
In a similar fashion, hernias in a dog’s rectum can cause constipation by compressing the rectum, blocking the stool from passing out of the body. A tumor growing in the pelvic area or inside the colon can also create a blockage. Surgery is the usual remedy for hernia and tumor removal.
Stress from a change in surroundings or daily routine could be to blame for your dog’s constipation. Sometimes the cause is as simple as not getting enough exercise, or a side effect of surgery or medication. Occasionally, constipation can be a sign of something more serious, such as a neuromuscular disorder, infected anal glands, or an injury to your dog’s hips or pelvis which makes it too painful to poop. A visit to Animal Wellness Centers of Wisconsin will lead to a diagnosis for your pet and a solution to their constipation problems.
Knowing When Your Dog Needs Medical Help
You should see our veterinarians if:
- Your dog becomes constipated and it doesn’t resolve itself within a couple of days
- Your dog has constipation, recovers, and becomes constipated again within a day or two
- Your dog has been showing signs of chronic constipation
Untreated chronic constipation in dogs can lead to vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. These are serious signs you need to take your dog to a vet as soon as possible.
NEVER give your dog:
- Laxatives intended for humans
- High-fiber foods meant for humans
- Mineral oil
- Home enemas or suppositories
Doing any of the above may make the situation worse or be toxic for your pet. If your dog is dealing with a non-serious episode of constipation, your vet at Animal Wellness Center can give you advice on safe tips and home remedies you can try.
Animal Wellness Center is Here to Help
Since constipation can be caused by so many different factors, ranging from the mild (your dog doesn’t want the walk to be over yet) to the severe (a tumor) it never hurts to get the opinion of a trusted veterinarian when you have concerns. Whether it’s establishing a daily exercise schedule for your dog or starting specialized treatment, we can provide the services and information you and your dog need to return to a happy, healthy life.