Constipation is a term that means an inability in producing the normal stools on a daily routine and for a dog that is once or twice per day. Dogs suffering from constipation experience pain or straining when they try to defecate.
There is also a severe form of constipation which is known as Obstipation and usually, it is linked to a permanent serious medical condition. In this case, there is a lot of fecal that becomes compressed and dogs can’t defecate at any cost.
What Causes Dog Constipation?
Various reasons can cause dog constipation. One of the most common causes is an indigestible substance or ingestion of irritating. The dogs that groom themselves excessively, dogs that have long hairs, or those that lick are at the risk of becoming constipated. Here are some of the most common causes of dog constipation:
- Level of activity – Not moving physically that much can sometimes result in slower transit.
- Diet – Sometimes dogs used to eat the things that they shouldn’t such as kitty litter, toys, or hairs. Eating these types of things can be the main reason for abnormal fecal transit and blockages. Bone meals, bones, and all other dietary calcium sources have the potential to contribute to constipation.
- Age Of The Dog – Elder dogs are more expected to be constipated.
- A disease of the colon
- Issues in the anal gland
- Drugs such as narcotic pain relievers, diuretics, antihistamines, some antacids, and sucralfate can be a big reason for constipation.
- Diseases or injuries in the spinal
- Metabolic diseases such as renal (kidney) problems and hypothyroidism.
- Painful conditions might make the dog very uncomfortable in passing the stool.
- Ingestion of the new food items or unexpected changes in the diet
- Disorder in the central nervous system
- Surgery – Medical Procedures and the drugs used throughout these procedures can lead your dog to constipation. You should contact your vet if you notice it after the surgical period.
- Orthopedic disorder – It makes the dog feel difficulty in squatting.
- Masses or tumors in the rectum or colon
- Prostate enlargement
- Psychological and stress issues – Something that might be a reason for the dog to hold it.
Signs Of Dog Constipation
Signs of a constipated dog are very simple which includes:
- Stools that are hard and dry and feels like pebbles when you pick them up
- Not defecating for a few days
There are also two other signs of trouble that are linked with the dog constipation, includes:
- The first one is Tenesmus. It involves straining to defecate with almost no results or producing a little amount of fecal matter combined with blood
- Dyschezia. It is a difficulty in defecation.
What Can You Do If Your Dog Is Suffering From Constipation?
If the dog constipation has just begun a day or two days ago, a few home remedies can be very helpful in getting things on track again. You must contact your vet before giving any type of supplement to your dog and remember there is no one approach that will be applicable for all the dogs. But here are a few old standbys for treating dog constipation:
- Powered fiber supplements can be a good fit.
- Foods and herbs which include powder psyllium seeds, wheat bran, ginger, and olive oil might be helpful. A 2011 research, in which constipation treatments were being explored in humans and showed that fig paste was effective for the constipation treatment in their research colony of the Beagles. Foods that can help humans with constipation problems will most likely be helpful for dogs as well.
- The canned dog food contains elevated moisture content that might help in improving the system.
- Hydration – Just make sure that freshwater is easily accessible for your dog.
- Pumpkin – This method for fixing the constipation problem may work for only some dogs. It is high in moisture and fiber, along with that your dog may find it very tasty. So they will take this medicine very happily.
What Is The Right Time To Take Your Dog To The Vet?
The right time to contact your vet is as soon as possible when get to know about the problem. Dog constipation can also be a symptom of any serious disease.
When you are about to visit the vet, keep in mind that you should have enough information, which involves:
- Consistency and color of the stool
- Changes in the diet and routine of the dog
- Pain or straining when attempting to go
- Non-food stuff that has been eaten by the dog. It includes everything from cat litter to bones.
- Drug treatments
- Signs of discomfort or distress, mainly lethargy, vomiting, or bloated appearance.
- The last time when the dog had a natural bowel movement
Based on symptom’s duration and severity, the veterinary exam maybe consists of:
- Complete blood count
- The rectal exam
- Abdominal area’s radiographs
- The neurological exam
- Abdominal palpation
- Barium enema
Veterinary Treatment For Your Constipated Dog
Most cases of dog constipation will be resolved by using mild treatments such as boosting the dietary fiber and liquid or getting more involved in physical activities. Enemas and the Luxative suppositories might help but should be used only under the guidance of your vet, particularly in the case when they are required for a long duration.
The more intense cases might need medical intervention such as:
- Activation of the drug to block the production of a few enzymes.
- Manually removing the impacted feces.
- Surgery will take place in very rare and extreme cases, normally for the megacolon. In a procedure of surgery the colons get removed which is known as a colectomy.
Precaution To Take So Your Dog Doesn’t Get Constipated Again
Depending upon the exact reason for the constipation of your dog, your vet may suggest you feed a therapeutic diet to your dog, add medications or supplements to the food or get back for the additional treatments or tests.
In most dog cases, constipation has a direct relation to eating any unfamiliar food or non-food stuff and then further medical intervention becomes necessary. Other dogs may need treatment for lifelong time so that they can sustain normal bowel movements.
Any dog can be affected by constipation, but it can also be controlled if appropriate treatments are taken. It can also prevent by providing your dog enough water, engaging them in physical activity regularly, and maintaining a balanced level of fiber in the diet.
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