Constipation is one of the most common digestive issues our Matthews vets see in dogs of all breeds and sizes. Here are some tips on what you should do if you think your dog is constipated.
Is your dog constipated?
If your pup passes mucus while trying to defecate, or if their stool is dry and hard, there's a good chance your pooch is constipated. Not having a bowel movement for two or more days is another clear indication that your pet may be constipated.
Some other signs of constipation in dogs include whining, crouching, or straining while trying to defecate. You may even notice grass, string or matted feces around your pup's anal area.
If your dog is showing any of the above signs of constipation, it is essential to get your pet to the vet as soon as possible. Many symptoms of constipation can be indications of other serious underlying health issues.
What causes constipation in dogs?
Your furry friend could become constipated due to a multitude of reasons. Some of the most common causes of constipation in dogs include:
- Ingested items such as fabric pieces (clothing, rugs, clothes or towels), toys, dirt, or grass
- Blocked or abscessed anal sacks
- Lack of sufficient fiber in diet
- Enlarged prostate
- Ingested hair from excessive self-grooming
- Pain caused by orthopedic issues when trying to pass a bowel movement
- Tumors, masses, or matted hair around the anus
- Insufficient daily exercise
How is dog constipation treated?
If your dog is constipated their treatment will depend upon the cause. Your veterinarian will examine your dog to determine the underlying cause before suggesting any particular treatment.
Once the underlying cause of your pup's constipation has been determined your vet will recommend the best treatment for your dog's specific case.
If an ingestion is suspected x-rays may be recommended so that the object, and where it is located, can be identified. Life-saving surgery may be required if there is a foreign object lodged in your dog's GI tract
Other common treatments for constipation in dogs include; dog-specific laxatives, medication to increase the strength of the large intestine, increasing the amount of fiber in your dog's diet, and increasing your dog's daily exercise.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.