If you´ve ever experienced constipation, you know how uncomfortable and difficult it is. You also know what to do — drink more water, eat more vegetables and fruits, and even exercise. But when it comes to your beloved pet, you may be wondering, “What can I give my dog for constipation?”
What You Need to Know About Dog Constipation
If your dog is constipated, think of the bowels as being tight when the stool becomes hard and dry. Impaction results from the retention of hard dry stools. If a hard mass of fecal matter, a bone, peach pit, or other foreign body becomes lodged in the intestines, you can speak of it as an obstruction.
The term constipation covers all three conditions.
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Why Your Dog is Constipated?
Constipation results from the ingestion of large quantities of food which are hard to digest—bones, foreign bodies, lack of exercise, and fevers.
In old dogs, the digestive organs become weakened and the fecal mass is moved on very slowly.
Potatoes, rice, corn, and bread are hard to digest, and being bulky forms a large mass which on accumulating paralyzes the bowels.
Bones are a very frequent cause of constipation. When they are broken up by the digestive process, there is left a great residue of mineral salts which mix with the stool and form a hard dry mass. And yet, in my home country in the Philippines, dogs are often fed with leftover fish and meat bones mixed with rice.
In many cases, the bones are not digested and small pieces become imbedded in the stool. The sharp points scratch the mucous membrane of the intestines and hinder the progress of the stool. This mass very frequently becomes impacted in the rectum so hard that it is necessary to use forceps to break it up in order that it may be removed.
Bones of some size, such as chop bones, often become fast in the intestines and obstruct the passage of fecal matter.
Other foreign bodies get lodged in the same way. Through lack of exercise the muscles of the intestines become inactive and weakened like those in the body and legs. The fecal matter is not propelled along as rapidly as it should be, and a large mass accumulates which is hard to pass.
In fevers, the increased body temperature causes absorption of the moisture from the stool, which becomes too dry to move freely.
Symptoms of Dog Constipation
It´s important that you observe the manner of your dog´s bowel movement.
It´s better to keep your dog´s condition of the bowels in check in order to avoid constipation in the first place.
Once you noticed that constipation has developed, the dog will show indications of dullness and depression, loss of appetite, foul breath, straining at frequent intervals without results, weakness of hind legs, followed by paralysis, loss of control of all body muscles, collapse and convulsions.
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With the passage of a stool too hard and dry, mineral oil, olive oil, or milk of magnesia should be administered in small repeated doses until the condition is relieved. At the same time, the diet should receive a substantial decrease or be changed to overcome the cause.
If there´s still no movement within the next twenty-four hours, administer oil. And if this still doesn´t work in the next twenty-four hours, insert in the rectum a glycerin suppository or a soap enema.
At this time, you should avoid feeding your dog until it is able to poo, although you may allow it to drink water freely, unless the dog is vomiting.
In case of no movement for three days or if there´s a development of fever, it implies that the condition has reached such a severe stage. A veterinarian should be consulted right away.