Like their owners, almost all dogs will periodically suffer from constipation; Some more than others. In most cases, simple precautions and home remedies work enough to help them. However, if the problem gets out of control, it could become serious, expensive, and possibly fatal.
Dog owners taking medication, inactive, older and older dogs should pay special attention when their dog deals with elimination. They are known to be more prone to constipation problems.
Dogs with pica are also the main candidates. Pica is a disorder in which a dog habitually eats inappropriate, usually indigestible items. For example: bottle caps (metal or plastic), coins, balls, screws, nails, stones, ropes, wood, concrete, clothing, pillows, and stuffed toys and toys. These items can cause a crash, preventing them from being removed.
The forms of physical blockage due to health problems are: tumors, polyps and intestinal intussusception. Intestinal intussusception occurs when one section of the intestines projects into another section causing an obstruction. These are serious conditions that require immediate veterinary attention!
Certain medications can cause elimination problems. Know what the side effects are of all prescription medications for your pet. If you know the side effects, you may be able to prevent them.
Stress, thyroid problems, parasites, low fiber dog food, trauma, lack of exercise, and dehydration are also on the list of potential sources of blockage.
Raw hides are a common cause of not only suffocation, but also clogging. Do your dog a favor. Play Mr. Wizard by cutting a piece, put it in a glass of water overnight and watch it grow. Even a small piece caught in your intestines could not only cause a blockage, it could also cause your intestines to rupture.
Chances are, your dog is telling you that he needs help. Watch for straining to relieve themselves, vomiting, appearing lethargic, having difficulty walking, having a mucus discharge when toileting, slipping, having dry and hard stools, complaining, fidgeting, showing loss of weight or bloating, seem stressed / uncomfortable and / or show no interest in food. You and your dog may have a problem.
If the situation has not reached the critical stage, some home remedies can help you at this painful time. Here are some proven suggestions:
To be prepared. Milk, canned pumpkin (not pie filling), Mylanta Gas, GasX, and Metamucil, unsweetened or bran bran cereal, chicken or beef broth, canine stool softeners, wet canned food, and olives should be on hand or minerals. Petroleum. Some also recommend aloe juice.
Ways to help your dog include:
Water, water, everywhere! Have several water bowls strategically placed around the house and yard. Often times just finding a new bowl of water somewhere is enough to prompt them to give you a few licks.
Ice cubes! Most dogs love ice cubes. It’s a good way for them to think they are getting a treat … and you know they are hydrating.
Soften your food. Adding water or broth to dry food and letting it soften and swell in the bowl, before giving it to your dog, often makes it easier to digest and pass. It can also help prevent bloating.
Mylanta Gas, GasX, or Metamucil can help ease discomfort before your dog becomes seriously clogged. Sprinkle or mix 1 tablespoon of Metamucil on food. Make sure your dog drinks plenty of water after the Metamucil!
A tablespoon or two of plain canned pumpkin (no pie filling) mixed with your food doesn’t just add nutrition, it’s packed with fiber! This can be used as a preventive measure or as a remedy.
A little olive oil, mineral oil, or the oil from a can of tuna added to your food can help lubricate them. You can even indulge them by adding the tuna. You can inspire a dog that is not interested in eating to take a few bites.
Canned salmon is rich in Omega-3 oils. Mix a little with your dry food as a surprise every now and then. Most dogs love fish!
Don’t forget the fruits and vegetables! Green beans, fresh or frozen, are high in fiber. Add a handful to your regular diet. Some dogs love carrots, watermelon, bananas, and apples. A few small pieces can add the necessary fiber to your diet in a nice way. Don’t give them grapes or raisins!
Smaller portions, more you take. Instead of feeding your pet once or twice a day, give him his usual amount, but in smaller portions spaced every few hours.
For those fast eaters who don’t chew, no matter tasting their food, there are specially designed bowls, with a large “ball” in the center. The dog has to work around the ball, so it doesn’t just inhale its food.
For larger dogs, about a half cup of milk can get the pipes back on track. For younger guys, a tablespoon or two should work. You can also add some high fiber bran or unsweetened cereal to milk. What a special gift!
Some dog owners add a tablespoon or two of plain yogurt or cottage cheese to their dog’s daily diet to keep them regular. It also makes meals a bit more appealing than just having a plate of dry food.
Exercise, exercise, exercise! If your dog is a swimmer, great! It is a wonderful way to exercise your pet. Otherwise, a couple of short walks a day can help get things moving. It won’t hurt you either! Three or four 20-minute walks, spaced throughout the day, can help.
For older and older dogs, get them food made especially for them. They generally contain more fiber. Watch for grain content. Look for low-grain dog foods.
For puppies, sometimes a warm, wet towel helps. They don’t constipate very often, but if they do, moisten and warm a towel, place your puppy on his back, and gently rub his tummy from front to back. Usually only a few strokes are needed. Their mother did this with her tongue, when they were in bed, to stimulate them to urinate and defecate.
Now for the serious stuff! If your dog has been suffering from constipation for more than two days, take him to your vet. They may be able to treat them with IVs, suppositories, and / or enemas before it reaches the critical stage. Complications of constipation can include what is known as megacolon. That is the advanced stage where the stool is too hard and dry to pass. It will require surgery.
Constipation, also known as intractable constipation, occurs when the blockage is so dangerous that neither gas nor stool can pass. Again, this will most likely require surgery.
As gross as it may sound, dog owners should be aware of their dog’s “normal” bowel movements and habits. Not only does that trigger an early warning signal, it can also help you recognize when your dog has returned to normal. Note: Diarrhea does not necessarily mean that the problem has been resolved. Loose stools can be tightened by blockages.
Bottom line: it is always wiser to prevent a situation than to deal with it. Some precautions can help keep your dog from feeling discomfort and pain. The most important thing to know is when you will no longer be able to help them; take them to your vet before it’s too late.