Constipation in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Deciding to welcome a dog into your home does not only mean accepting a great responsibility, but also receiving affection, companionship and presence daily, once a dog becomes a loyal and faithful friend.
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In return, they need just enough attention to cover all your physical, psychological and social needs, so it is important that you observe your pet and know how to identify those signs that indicate something is not right.
The disorders of intestinal transit in dogs are a common disorder, so in this article of YourCatCareguide we will tell you about constipation in dogs , explaining their causes , symptoms and treatment .
Constipation in dogs
Constipation is a situation in which it is not possible to evacuate stools or in which there is a decrease in stool , and can verify that the pet defecates small, hard and dark stools and that it does with difficulty or even pain.
Constipation in dogs may indicate unbalanced eating or lack of physical exercise, but may also be the manifestation of serious pathological disorders, such as tumors that obstruct the digestive tract.
We can distinguish three main causes of canine constipation :
- Constipation occurs due to partial or complete obstruction of the digestive tract.
- Constipation is caused by abnormalities that are outside the colon, but which also contribute to the obstruction of the digestive tract.
- It is not possible to evacuate the stool due to neuromuscular pathologies or other disorders such as hypercalcemia or hypothyroidism .
Any dog can be affected, however, constipation is present more often in elderly dogs due to the physiological changes that your body undergoes and the normal reduction of daily physical activity.
Symptoms of constipation in dogs
If your pet suffers from constipation you can manifest it through the following signs:
- Failure to evacuate feces.
- Smaller stools, dark and hard stools.
- Stool with presence of mucus or blood.
- The dog remains in the evacuation position but is unable to defecate.
- Signs of pain during defecation.
- Swollen abdomen.
- Loss of appetite.
- Weight loss.
As we will see next, some of these symptoms should be interpreted as warning signs and need immediate veterinary attention .
We should urgently consult the veterinarian if you observe on your pet some of the following situations:
- Constipation does not resolve in 1 or 2 days.
- Constipation ends in 1 or 2 days but is repeated constantly.
- The dog shows loss of appetite, vomiting or lethargy.
Any of the situations mentioned above may indicate a serious health problem, therefore, medical attention will be essential.
How to stimulate a dog to defecate
There are several measures of hygiene and diet that can be very useful to treat constipation in dogs, here are some of them:
- Ground green leafy vegetables : Add 1 teaspoon per 4 kilograms of body weight to your usual diet, 1 or 2 times a day, this will rapidly increase fiber intake.
- Pumpkin preserve : Pumpkin is a natural remedy that contains large proportions of water and fiber, we must add 1 teaspoon per 4 kilos of body weight to your food, 1 or 2 times a day.
- Coconut fiber : Give 1 teaspoon per 4 pounds of body weight 1 or 2 times a day.
- Organic apple vinegar : favors digestion and proper intestinal transit, administer half a teaspoon per 4 pounds of body weight, 1 time per day.
- Pure Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe juice is also highly beneficial to our pet and will be enough to administer half a teaspoon per 4 pounds of body weight once a day.
- Olive oil : Enriching your dog’s food with olive oil is a simple way to relieve constipation, in addition it will leave the food more appetizing.
- More water : It is imperative that the dog drink more water if he / she is constipated, so try to put a second container of water elsewhere in the house.
- Daily physical exercise : Puppies should perform daily physical exercise and this should adapt to their individual characteristics and physical limitations.
This information is for guidance only, remember that the veterinarian is the only person able to recommend a particular treatment.
Treatment for dogs with constipation
It is important that you never give your dog laxatives , since laxatives for human consumption may not be suitable for the body of dogs, in addition, many of these substances increase the motility as they act by contact, irritating the intestinal walls, the which could be uncomfortable for the dog.
Also it should not apply no enema as it could hurt the rectum of the animal and cause important imbalances in its bacterial flora.
Only the veterinarian can decide if your dog should undergo pharmacological treatment and in this case you can opt for pro-kinetic drugs, which act to improve all processes of the digestive tract and are less aggressive than laxatives.
Likewise, the veterinarian will determine the need to prescribe probiotics if you consider that constipation is due to anomalies in the intestinal flora.
Prevent constipation in dogs
Prevention is better than cure, so it’s important that you give your dog enough resources to prevent changes in your intestinal transit.
To prevent constipation in dogs it is important to take the following advice into account:
- It is important that your diet is based on dry food (it contains more fiber), but that this intake balances with moist food as it contains more amounts of water.
- If your dog is medicated, consult your veterinarian, some drugs such as antacids, antihistamines or diuretics may cause constipation.
- If your puppy needs to take a nutritional supplement with iron consult your vet first, since iron can cause constipation.
- Try to get your dog to exercise daily.
Does your pet’s health worry you?
If you have adopted a dog and want to provide you with the best care, we recommend that you consult the following articles to keep your health in perfect condition and to avoid developing conditions such as constipation:
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you would like to read more articles matching the following topics: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment We recommend you to enter our section on Intestinal Problems .