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My Dog Is Constipated – What Should I Do?
Like their owners, almost all dogs will suffer from constipation from time to time. some more than others. In most cases, simple precautions and home remedies work enough to help them. However, if the problem gets out of hand, it could become serious, costly and potentially fatal.
Owners of medicated, inactive, elderly and elderly dogs should take extra care when their dog is dealing with elimination. It is common knowledge that they are more prone to constipation difficulties.
Dogs with pica are also prime candidates. Pica is a disorder where a dog eats inappropriate, usually indigestible objects. For example: bottle caps (metal or plastic) coins, balls, screws, nails, stones, strings, wood, concrete, clothes, pillows and toys and games. These objects can cause a blockage, preventing them from being removed.
Forms of physical obstruction due to health problems are: tumors, polyps and intestinal intussusception. Intestinal intussusception occurs when one part of the intestine telescopes into another part causing an obstruction. These are serious conditions that require immediate veterinary care!
Some medications can cause elimination problems. Know the side effects of all medications prescribed for your pet. If you are aware of the side effects, you may be able to prevent them.
Stress, thyroid problems, parasites, low-fiber dog foods, trauma, lack of exercise, and dehydration are also on the list of possible sources of blockage.
Rawhides are a common cause of not only choking, but also blockage. 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 their intestines could not only cause a blockage, it could also cause their intestines to rupture.
Most likely, your dog is telling you that he needs help. Look out if they are straining during the bowel movement, vomiting, seeming lethargic, having trouble walking, having mucus discharge during the bowel movement, scooting, having dry, hard stools, whining, being restless, experiencing weight loss or abdominal bloating, seeming anxious/uncomfortable and /or show no interest in food. You and your dog may have a problem.
If the condition has not reached the critical stage, some home remedies may help them through this painful period. Here are some proven suggestions:
Get ready. You should have on hand, milk, canned pumpkin (not the pie filling), Mylanta Gas, GasX, and Metamucil, bran or unsweetened bran, chicken or beef broth, dog poop softeners, canned liquid food, and olives or mineral oil . Some also recommend aloe juice.
Ways to help your dog include:
Water, water, everywhere! Have a series of water bowls strategically placed around the house and yard. Often, finding a new bowl of water somewhere is enough to entice them to take a few licks.
Ice cubes! Most dogs love ice cubes. It’s a good way for them to think they’re getting a treat… and you know they’re hydrating.
Soften their food. Adding water or broth to dry food and allowing it to soften and puff up in the bowl before feeding it to your dog often makes it easier to digest and pass. It can also help prevent bloating.
Mylanta Gas, GasX, or Metamucil may help relieve the discomfort before your dog actually becomes seriously obstructed. Pour or mix a spoonful of Metamucil on or into their food. Make sure your dog drinks plenty of water after Metamucil!
A spoonful or two of plain canned pumpkin (not pie filling) mixed into their food not only adds nutrients, but is high in fiber! This can be used either as a preventive measure or as a treatment.
A little olive oil, mineral oil, or the oil from a can of tuna added to their food can help lubricate them. You can even give them a little treat by adding the tuna. It can inspire a dog who is not interested in eating, take a few bites.
Canned salmon is high in omega-3 oils. Mix a little into their dry food as a surprise every now and then. Most dogs love fish!
Don’t forget the fruits and vegetables! Kidney beans, fresh or frozen, are high in fiber. Add a punch to their regular diet. Some dogs love carrots, watermelon, bananas and apples. A few small pieces can add much-needed fiber to their diet in a pleasant way. Don’t give them grapes or raisins!
Smaller portions, more feeding. Instead of feeding your pet once or twice a day, feed them their normal amount, but in smaller portions every few hours.
For those quickies who don’t chew, don’t mind tasting their food, there are specially designed bowls, with a large ‘ball’ in the centre. The dog has to work around the ball so it doesn’t just inhale its food.
For older dogs, about half a cup of milk can get the plumbing back on track. For younger children, a tablespoon or two should work. You can also add some unsweetened bran or high fiber cereal to the milk. What a special treat!
Some dog owners add a spoonful or two of plain yogurt or cottage cheese to their dog’s daily diet to keep them regular. It also makes meals a little more appealing than just dipping a bowl of dry food.
Exercise, exercise, exercise! If your dog is a swimmer, great! It’s a great way to exercise your pet. If not, a few short walks a day can help get things going. It won’t hurt you either! Three or four 20-minute walks spaced throughout the day can help.
For older and senior dogs, get them food made especially for them. They usually contain more fiber. Watch out for the grain content. Look for low-grain dog foods.
For puppies, a warm, wet towel sometimes helps. They don’t become constipated very often, but if they do, wet and warm a towel, place your puppy on his back and gently rub his belly from front to back. Normally, it only takes a few strokes. Their mom did this with her tongue when they were in the litter to stimulate them to urinate and defecate.
Now for the serious stuff! If your dog is constipated for more than two days, see your vet. They may be able to treat them with IVs, suppositories and/or enemas before it reaches the critical stage. Complications from constipation can include what is referred to as megacolon. This is the advanced stage where the stool is too hard and dry to pass. He will need surgery.
Constipation, also known as intractable constipation, occurs when the blockage is so dangerous that neither gas nor stool can pass. Again, this will likely require surgery.
As gross as it sounds, dog owners should be aware of their dog’s “normal” bowel movements and habits. Not only does this send out an early warning signal, but it can also help you recognize when your dog is back to normal. Note: Diarrhea does not necessarily mean that the problem is solved. Loose bowel movements can be compressed by blockages.
Conclusion: It is always wiser to prevent a situation than to have to deal with it. A few precautions can help prevent your dog from discomfort and pain. The most important thing to know is when you can no longer help them. get them to your vet before it’s too late.
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