Has it been a few days since your dog last went for a number two? Bowel movements are an important bodily function for both humans and animals alike. However, struggling to pass stools, also known as constipation, is one of the most common digestive problems among dogs, and it can affect canines of all breeds and ages.
The fact that we are responsible for clearing up our pet’s poop makes it relatively easy to keep an eye on how often they go, and if there is anything unusual about their stools. This is useful when it comes to determining if your dog is suffering from constipation. It can also help you to get her the treatment she needs before it becomes a painful or dangerous problem.
What is constipation and what causes it?
Constipation is a term used to describe difficulty or inability to have a normal bowel movement. There are many different factors that can contribute to a dog becoming constipated, and some of the most common causes include:
- Insufficient fiber in her diet
- Insufficient exercise
- Eating non-food items such as hair, grass, or packaging
- Side effects
- Kidney problems
- Enlarged prostate
- Presence of a tumor or mass around the anus
- Blocked or abscessed anal sacks
Signs that your dog may be constipated
The most obvious sign that your dog may be suffering from constipation is a lack of poop. Most dogs have a relatively efficient digestive system, so if your dog hasn’t defecated in two or more days, there is a strong likelihood that she is constipated.
Other signs to look out for include straining, crouching and dragging their rear along the ground when trying to pass feces. You may also notice the presence of matted feces around your pet’s anus.
It is also important to notice signs that could suggest impending constipation, such as reduced frequency of defecation, or producing feces that are small and hard.
Sometimes the treatment can be simple, like adjusting diet. This can improve not just their digestion, but other areas such as their oral health.
How you can help your constipated dog?
If you believe that your canine best friend may be suffering from constipation, the first thing that you should do is arrange an appointment at our office as soon as possible. This is because it is important to determine the underlying cause of the constipation, how it should be treated, and how to avoid reoccurrences.
Depending on the exact reason why your dog is constipated, we may recommend a variety of treatments that could include:
- Increasing the amount of fiber in your pet’s diet. This could mean moving her onto a different food or adding natural supplements.
- Increasing the amount of exercise that you are currently giving her. Exercise is a great way of getting the improving body functions, including those in the digestive system.
- Increasing her fluid intake. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation, and the more your dog drinks the easier she should find passing her stools.
- Medications such as a laxative or stool softener.
- Medications that strengthen the large intestine.
- An enema.
If you are concerned that your dog may be constipated, don’t delay seeking a professional opinion. Make an appointment at Care Animal Hospital today at 951-676-4690 to ensure your pet feels healthy and comfortable again.