Canine Constipation

It’s worthwhile to examine in case your dog appears to be straining and/or staying within the “poop posture” for a very long time. Constipation turns into extra critical over time, so begin residence therapy ASAP, and don’t wait too lengthy to hunt veterinary consideration in case your dog hasn’t produced stool inside a couple of days.

Constipation looks like it ought to be an easy medical drawback, however that is removed from the case! Constipation happens when there’s issue or incapacity to empty the bowels. Stools could also be extraordinarily agency. A dog will pressure and stay within the “poop posture” for fairly a while earlier than producing a bowel motion. In some circumstances, solely mucus will move.
There are lots of attainable causes, together with:

Consuming indigestible materials or very dry materials comparable to pork bones
Arthritis ache that makes “assuming the posture” troublesome
Malformations of the pelvic canal (congenital or acquired)
Medicine comparable to opioids
Neurological illness resulting in weak point

The conventional frequency of bowel actions (BMs) can fluctuate vastly amongst particular person dogs. Normally, one to 2 BMs per day is the minimal, with some dogs going way more regularly. As a result of the big gut is such a stretchy organ, a dog can go a number of days between bowel actions with out vital subject. If a dog goes an exceptionally very long time with out defecating (per week or longer), although, obstipation – a extreme type of constipation – may result. That is when the colon is full of extraordinarily onerous, dry feces and passing them is just not attainable with out help.

Are you positive it’s constipation?

One straightforward factor to contemplate any time you’re apprehensive about constipation is a fecalith. Typically, particularly in small dogs with very lengthy hair, a agency fecal ball can turn out to be caught to the hair across the anus and impede the skin. In dogs with darkish hair, that is straightforward to overlook! It is a fast and easy repair with a pair of scissors and gloves. Anytime you see your dog straining at residence, a fast have a look at the perianal space can determine the trigger in some circumstances.

Signs of constipation you may see at residence embrace posturing with out producing any feces, straining however producing solely small quantities of stool or no stool in any respect, vivid pink blood on the skin of the stool (on account of irritation and colon trauma), and in extreme circumstances, decreased urge for food and vomiting.

In the event you suspect constipation, test in together with your veterinarian. The signs of straining and frequent journeys outdoors may point out constipation or a urinary drawback, which additionally will be life-threatening.

Preliminary Residence Remedy

Residence cures that may assist with constipation are quite a few and diverse of their success. Don’t administer over-the-counter laxatives. As a substitute, you possibly can add plain canned pumpkin to your dog’s meals, anyplace from one to 2 tablespoons per meal. This provides fiber and bulk whereas rising colon motility.

In the event you assume dehydration is taking part in a task, enhance your dog’s water consumption by including some canned meals to his meals (combine in a little bit extra water for larger impact), dropping a couple of ice cubes to his water to encourage consuming, and utilizing a recirculating water fountain. A delicate enhance in train may also enhance bowel motility, so take your canine companion for a stroll! If this doesn’t speed up your pet’s gastrointestinal (GI) motility, it’s time to go to a veterinarian.

See Your Vet!

In the course of the examination, your veterinarian will begin with an entire historical past. Questions will embrace the weight loss program your dog is presently consuming together with any treats, any drugs and dietary supplements that you simply give, regular frequency of BMs, and what adjustments you’ve observed.

Then your veterinarian will assess each system from head to toe. As soon as the fundamental system examination is accomplished, your veterinarian ought to deal with belly palpation and a rectal examination. Whereas it’s not nice in your dog (or so that you can see!), this is essential. This digital examination can detect many abnormalities and attainable causes. It permits the veterinarian to palpate the urethra the place it runs beneath the colon, the sublumbar lymph nodes, the prostate (in male dogs), the anal glands, and the mucosal floor of the rectum and colon. The pelvic canal can be felt.

As with most illnesses in dogs, widespread causes will be dominated in or out primarily based on the signalment (the age and breed).

Very younger puppies (lower than 6 weeks) with constipation ought to be evaluated for a congenital abnormality of the rectum and/or colon. Some breeds which may be predisposed embrace any with quick “screw tails” like Pugs and English Bulldogs. When the tail is exceptionally quick, there will be underlying spinal abnormalities that trigger nerve dysfunction.

One other abnormality is atresia ani, when the anus doesn’t type, and there’s nowhere for feces to exit. Puppies who’re being bottle raised may cope with constipation from the puppy milk replacer.

Different Potential Causes

In older puppies who’re chewing and consuming meals, checking for ingestion of overseas materials that may result in fecal impaction is vital. This could embrace sand, rocks, and bone.

Trauma to younger dogs that free roam can be a risk. It isn’t unusual for a stray pup to be adopted from a shelter state of affairs solely to find outdated, healed accidents. Pelvic fractures will be considered one of a majority of these accidents, resulting in a slender pelvic inlet, and issue passing feces.

As dogs age the causes of constipation typically turn out to be extra systemic in nature and should embrace organ illness comparable to kidney failure and diabetes mellitus resulting in dehydration, neurological illness like  degenerative myelopathy, and arthritis ache can all contribute. That is why a head-to-tail-tip examination is so vital!

Reproductive standing may also play a task. Intact male dogs develop two explicit issues as they age: benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and perineal hernia. Each can result in issue defecating (and urinating).

Within the case of BPH, the affect of testosterone causes the prostate to enlarge symmetrically. The situation is just not cancerous and non-painful, but when the prostate turns into giant sufficient, it may well make defecating and urinating troublesome. Remedy is removing of the testosterone supply through neutering.

Perineal hernia can be brought on by the affect of testosterone. The muscle tissues surrounding the rectum (the perineal muscle tissues) turn out to be weak with age and might separate. Stomach organs, notably the bladder and colon, can herniate by means of and result in issue with urinating and defecating. The signs are straining and a mushy, reducible bulge on one or each side of the rectum. Once more, neutering and surgical restore are the therapies of selection.


Common constipation therapy relies on the underlying trigger. If the constipation is pretty latest in onset, in a younger dog, the preliminary diagnostic testing may embrace a bodily examination, historical past, and x-rays to rule out a overseas object. Remedy can then be directed at relieving the discomfort.

A number of methods to do that exist together with administration of enemas with heat water (generally together with cleaning soap or lubrication), rising fiber within the weight loss program by including canned pumpkin or switching to a excessive fiber weight loss program, rising water consumption, and administration of medicines comparable to lactulose, a stool softener.

If the constipation has been ongoing for some time, and the dog is older, different exams will doubtless be really helpful. These embrace bloodwork to guage for systemic illnesses as talked about above, and presumably an belly ultrasound to search for a explanation for obstruction.

In extreme circumstances, it is likely to be essential to manually disimpact. This ought to be achieved underneath heavy sedation and/or basic anesthesia. It’s painful and invasive, and a dog have to be totally relaxed for the perfect consequence. Previous to disimpaction, the veterinarian could deal with with intravenous (IV) fluids to rehydrate first, in addition to administer an enema to permit the feces to melt as a lot as attainable. Lactulose may be added previous to surgical procedure to assist with eradicating the feces. Bloodwork shall be reviewed for any electrolyte abnormalities that want correction.

It isn’t widespread in dogs, however a situation referred to as megacolon can develop. This describes a syndrome in which there’s persistent dilation and sluggish to no motility. It may occur because of long-term, unresolved constipation inflicting stretching and harm of the nerves. Sadly, this may be troublesome to resolve. In some circumstances, the megacolon is reversible if there’s a particular underlying trigger (comparable to a pelvic fracture) that may be surgically repaired. The sooner that is achieved, the higher the possibilities for a great consequence.



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