Categories: Health & Fitness

How do I treat my constipated dog?

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What is the normal frequency of stools in dogs?

As is the case with us humans, the quality of the transit in dogs East highly variable. When some have three or even four daily stools, others have only one and are doing very well.

Dr. Pierre Fabing, veterinarian: Most of the time, an adult dog has a bowel movement between one and three times a day, with a daily average of two bowel movements. For puppies, it’s usually a bit more.

The causes of dog constipation

There are quite a few causes of constipation in dogs.

  • THE individual factor “As is the case with humans, some dogs naturally have a sluggish transit, and need a special diet to go to the saddle regularly”, explains the veterinarian.
  • THE dietary causes :

– a diet that is too low in fiber can be responsible for constipation. “While most kibbles are well balanced, some may provide an insufficient amount of fiber and cause constipation. If in doubt, ask your veterinarian for his opinion”, insists Dr. Fabing.

– Conversely, a diet that is really too high in fiber is also likely to cause a blockage, responsible for temporary constipation, although this is rarer.

  • Iingestion of indigestible elements : the dog can ingest food that his body is not able to digest, and which therefore remains in the digestive tract, risking obstructing it. “It can be bones, which create a bit of a stinging and painful plug, hair, pieces of plastic, toys, pebbles…”, lists the specialist. It is not then strictly speaking about constipation, but aboutobstruction of the digestive tractwhich prevents the passage of stool.
  • A lack of hydration : if the dog does not drink enough, his stools are dried up, therefore hard and more difficult to evacuate.
  • Some pathologies like kidney failure : it causes dehydration which leads to dry stools.
  • A problem with the anal glands : Some dogs are predisposed to poor anal gland emptying. These can end up being clogged and evolve into a very painful abscess for the animal, leading to constipation. A consultation by a veterinarian is in this case necessary. If your pet has recurring anal gland problems, you can empty them regularly by gently pressing on them or by asking your veterinarian to do so.
  • A prostate problem : Prostatic hyperplasia is a very frequent benign pathology in uncastrated male dogs from a certain age. It would thus affect nearly one in two dogs from the age of 5, and almost nine out of ten beyond the age of 9. This increase in the volume of the prostate can compress part of the colon and cause difficulty in passing stools. More rarely, constipation can be linked to a tumor of the prostate.
  • THE stress : a very stressed dog can have the transit blocked. When you have just adopted a dog, it usually takes him a little time before returning to a normal transit.
  • THE lack of physical exercise, age, osteoarthritis, obesity are all causes of constipation. The more a dog is sedentary, the more his transit is slowed down.

Constipation symptoms: How do I know if my dog ​​is constipated?

The signs of constipation are quite numerous and visible:

  • of the dry, hard fecessometimes accompanied by blood or mucus,
  • the dog stays a long time in defecation position and seems to have difficulty evacuating,
  • in some cases it may emit vocalizationsif the passage of stool is painful,
  • “It happens that the stools are blocked at the level of the exit: we can then see them with the naked eye, in the center of the dilated anus”, indicates the specialist,

These symptoms can be accompanied by more general symptoms: swollen stomach, stomach pain, depression, even vomiting.

When to worry about constipation in dogs?

If mild and chronic constipation is not an emergency situation, acute constipation impacting the general condition of the dog is!

Dr. Fabing: A dog that no longer has a bowel movement, seems down, listless and/or is vomiting, must be seen urgently by a veterinarian.

How long can a dog go without pooping?

A healthy dog ​​may not have a bowel movement for 24 to 48 hours., or even 3 days, without it being worrying, if his general condition is not affected and he is in good shape. “We must also differentiate a dog that is constipated because its transit is blocked, from a dog that has no stool because it does not eat, or eats very little,” recalls the veterinarian.

Olive oil, paraffin, vegetables: What is the best natural laxative remedy?

The most effective natural remedy for treating occasional constipation in dogs is paraffin oil. As Dr. Pierre Fabing explains, “paraffin oil is a good natural remedy because it is not absorbed by the body at all, so it remains in the digestive tract and lubricates the stool and the intestinal walls.

Add one drizzle of olive oil in his bowl can also be effective, although it is digested by the body, it can nevertheless help to soften the stool.

To improve chronic constipation, it is simply recommended toadd fiber to the daily ration of the dog, ideally in the form of cooked green vegetables : green beans or zucchini for example.

And for dogs with a naturally slow transit, there are special fibre-enriched kibbles.

Treatment: what to give a constipated dog?

If natural remedies are not enough, a consultation with the veterinarian is essential. “You have to be careful with self-medication, and check first if there is no real obstruction of the transit linked to the presence of a foreign body”, insists Dr. Fabing.

The veterinarian will therefore start by doing a digital rectal examination to assess the size of the plug, possibly followed by a ultrasound or x-ray,even a blood test in case of suspected illness.

If there is no actual obstruction: prokinetics or some laxatives suitable for dogs will be prescribed, depending on the type of constipation.

“In extreme cases, we proceed to a enema under anesthesiaand in the most severe cases, we can go as far as surgery,” adds the specialist.

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