Whether you take your dog out to do his business or he goes out his doggy door into the backyard, it is important to keep an eye on his habits.
You can tell how well your dog's body is functioning through the quantity of urine and feces, the texture, color, smell, and the presence of mucus or blood.
Veterinarian, Jena Questen, tells you how to recognize Constipation in a Dog:
The signs of constipation are obvious, including:
1. Lack of defecation for several days;
2. Dry, firm bowel movement;
3. Hard stools that feel like pebbles when picking them up.
There are two other signs of discomfort that are associated with constipation, including:
1. Tenesmus, which includes stains and produces nothing. It means your dog has had diarrhea, which requires a totally different treatment plan from constipation.
2. Dyschezia, which is painful and difficult defecation.
There are many potential causes of constipation. The causes can be divided into three categories:
1. Intraluminal causes involve partial or complete obstruction on the inside of the colon.
2. Extraluminal causes involve outside the colon and contribute to obstructive constipation.
3. Intrinsic causes can be as a result of pelvic or lumbar nerve injury or diseases like hypothyroidism or hypercalcemia.
A partial list of causes that you are likely to require a vet's attention, includes:
1. Obstruction by a foreign object like a piece of cloth, or rocks.
2. Intestinal obstructions such as tumors, polyps, or an enlarged prostate.
3. Neuromuscular disorders involving injuries, trauma or spinal cord disease.
4. Infected anal glands or a hip or pelvic injury that may make a dog feel pain during defecation and reluctant to empty their bowels.
5. Medication side effects. Read the medication's label carefully to see if constipation is listed as a side effect.
6. Megacolon can be caused if your dog is constipated frequently. The condition is irreversible and requires frequent trips to the vet to empty the bowels manually.
There are also some causes for constipation that will respond to home treatment.
1. Diet is a common cause.
2. Not drinking enough water.
3. Lack of exercise.
4. Post-surgery obstipation is also a common cause.
If your dog is normally healthy and develops constipation that doesn't resolve in a day or two, you need to be concerned. It is important to keep a close eye on him and seek medical help if things don't improve quickly since there are potentially life-threatening causes in canines.
If your dog's constipation resolves in a day or two but recurs again, it is time to visit your veterinarian. It may require either medical intervention or permanent changes to your dog's diet or lifestyle.
These recommendations are aimed at dogs that are experiencing a minor, transient bout of constipation.
3. Plain pumpkin
4. Milk or dairy products
5. Adding some moisture to dry dog food
6. Medications such as docusate sodium or Lactulose prescribed by your vet.
7. Enemas. Give a homemade enema of warm, soapy water for your dog after consulting your vet. DO NOT give dogs over-the-counter enemas meant for humans.
8. Plenty of exercise
10. Changing a senior dog's lifestyle
1. Laxatives meant for humans. Never give your dog any laxatives or stool softener without consulting your veterinarian. Lactulose is one formulated especially for pets.
2. High fiber grains meant for humans. Please don't try to resolve your dog's constipation with grains, cereals or other high fiber people foods without consulting your veterinarian first. Your dog is a carnivore and grains are not a natural part of his diet. It could make a bad situation worse.
3. Mineral oil. It is not effective for dogs. It can be inhaled into the lungs, causing permanent damage to your dog.
4. Home enemas. Never attempt to give your dog an enema without consulting your veterinarian. Some commercial enemas are extremely toxic for pets.
This is not to be used as a diagnostic tool, nor as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your dog is sick, please report to your veterinarian right away for a hands-on examination.