Help! My dog is constipated. What should I do?

Constipation is actually one of the most common digestive issues our Memphis vets see in dogs. Today our team at Stage Road Animal Hospital offer some tips on what to do if you think your dog is constipated.

What are the signs of constipation in dogs?

There are a number of dog constipation symptoms that pet parents should watch for. If your dog passes dry hard stools or mucus while trying to pass a bowel movement there's a good chance your pup is constipated. Not having a bowel movement for two or more days can be another clear sign that your pet is constipated, as can straining, crouching, or whining while trying to defecate. In some cases you may even notice grass, string or matted feces around your dog's anal area.

What should I do if my dog is constipated?

If you notice that your dog is showing any of the symptoms of constipation listed above, it is essential to get your dog in to see the vet as soon as possible. Many symptoms of constipation can be indications of other serious health issues. 

Why is my dog constipated?

There are many reasons why your pooch might become constipated. Some of the most common reasons for constipation in dogs include:

  • Dehydration
  • Ingested items such as toys, dirt, grass, or fabric pieces (rugs, clothing or towels)
  • Pain caused by orthopedic issues when trying to pass a bowel movement 
  • Abscessed or blocked anal sacks
  • Insufficient fiber in diet
  • Tumors, masses, or matted hair around the anus
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Ingested hair from excessive self-grooming
  • Insufficient daily exercise

It can be difficult to know what to do if your dog is constipated but heading to the vet really your best option since some causes of constipation are serious and require urgent treatment.

What can I give my dog for constipation?

Treatment for your constipated dog will depend upon the underlying cause of your pet's discomfort. Your veterinarian will examine your pup for indications as to the underlying cause. If the ingestion of a foreign object is suspected x-rays may be recommended so that the object, and where exactly it is located, can be identified.

Once the underlying cause of your dog's constipation has been determined your veterinarian will recommend the best treatment for your dog's specific case.

Some of the most common treatments for constipation in dogs are; 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. In cases of ingestion, life-saving surgery may be required to remove the object and prevent severe blockages and damage to your dog's digestive tract.

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.

If your dog is displaying symptoms of constipation contact our North Memphis vets to book an appointment for your pooch. Our vets have been caring for Memphis dogs for over 40 years.

Sad looking dog. Constipation can make your dog not only sad and uncomfortable, but can also be a sign of a serious health issue that needs urgent care, North Memphis Vet

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