What are the Treatments for Canine Constipation?

Is there something you can give a dog for constipation? Angelo Massachusetts There are many possible treatments for canine constipation. But before you implement any...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  May 23rd 2009


Is there something you can give a dog for constipation?

Angelo
Massachusetts

There are many possible treatments for canine constipation. But before you implement any of them it is important to confirm that your pet truly is constipated.

Constipated dogs have trouble passing feces through the rectum. Dehydration, liver or kidney problems, low fiber diets, neurological or intestinal problems, obesity and old age can predispose dogs to constipation.

Several syndromes can mimic constipation. Dogs with diarrhea may strain to defecate due to severe intestinal cramps. This can, paradoxically, make it appear that the dog is constipated. Problems with the anal glands, masses in the rectum, prostate problems, bladder infections, and foreign objects in the rectum also can cause dogs to strain as if they are constipated.

Before you implement any treatment for constipation, I recommend that you have a veterinarian assess your dog. The vet should be able to determine what is going on.

If your dog turns out to be suffering from uncomplicated constipation, I recommend adding fiber to the diet. Canned pumpkin is palatable, well tolerated by most dogs, and highly effective at promoting regularity. Canine-specific fiber supplements also are available.

Powerful laxatives and enemas are necessary for some dogs with constipation. These should be used only under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Photo: Buster. Never constipated, always light as a feather.

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