Constipation refers to a condition where a dog’s bowel movements are infrequent or absent altogether.
Constipation is one of the most common health issues among dogs.
The typical signs are hard, dry stools and straining when a dog is trying to relieve himself. Mucus might even be present.
Types Of Constipation In Dogs
#1 – Intraluminal
Blockages in the colon such as inflammation or abnormal growth.
#2 – Extraluminal
Blockages outside the colon such as pelvic fractures or tumors.
#3 – Intrinsic
Diseases, nerve injuries and hormonal diseases that affect the digestive system.
If your dog doesn’t produce a bowel movement for more than two days, you should take your dog to the vet.
What Causes Dog Constipation?
For a simple case of constipation, dehydration or a poor diet is usually the culprit.
But, there are many other factors that can cause constipation:
How To Treat Constipation In Dogs
The treatment depends on what is causing constipation.
In most cases, which is due to poor diet or eating a foreign substance, the following can help:
However, if none of the above helps your dog or if your dog has not relieved himself in two days, you should take your dog to the vet.
Your vet might recommend the following:
Pet insurance plans generally cover the cost of prescription medications, while some plans even cover part of the cost of a prescription diet.
What To Look For
When you visit the vet, it is important to have as much information as possible, including:
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the vet exam may include the following:
In serious cases, some of the medical procedures that could be necessary:
In some very serious cases, surgery might be needed. One procedure, a colectomy, is when parts of the dog’s colon are removed.
Pet insurance plans generally cover the cost of prescription medications, while some plans, like Embrace, even cover part of the cost of a prescription diet.
Yet, another reason to enroll in pet insurance.
Dogs More Susceptible To Constipation
But, of course, the condition can happen to any dog of any age.
If your dog’s constipation isn’t cured, it can lead to obstipation.
This happens when the colon can’t empty on its own.
This can lead to a build-up of feces which will lead to straining, appetite loss, vomiting, and lethargy.
Chronic constipation can be a contributor to this disorder.
For most dogs, constipation will be an infrequent problem and easily regulated.
Again, if your dog is unable to produce a regular bowel movement for more than two days, make sure to see your veterinarian.
Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.