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Dog constipation

Dog Constipation
Constipation can occur in dogs they get older. Constipation occurs when defecation becomes difficult or is absent. When feces stay in the intestines longer than is necessary, too much moisture is absorbed from the stools, causing them to become dry and hard. This makes the stools difficult to expel. As a result, he will strain to defecate and may not have a bowel movement for several days. If this condition goes untreated, the lower bowels may eventually become severely and irreversibly stretched, causing them
to lose their ability to expel feces. This condition is known as “megacolon”.

A dog who is constipated will usually:
-Take more time than usual when having a bowel movement
– Have small feces, which are typically round and hard

Causes
Certain drugs can also cause constipation such as antihistamines and motility modifiers (e.g. Imodium) can cause the intestines to slow down, resulting in constipation. In fact, laxatives themselves can in some cases make matters worse.

But more commonly, diet appears to play a significant role in constipation. Sometimes putting your dog on a diet causes constipation. This can be prevented if you make sure he gets some vegetables (a source of fiber and vitamins).

When a dog swallows foreign materials such as hair, bones, garbage, cloth or rocks, it can lead to constipation.

In addition, prolonged lack of exercise, a change in surroundings, or a change in daily routine (i.e. stress) can lead to constipation problems as well. In these cases, pets may become reluctant to relieve themselves and become constipated.

Some medical problems such as infected anal glands or a fractured hip can cause painful defecation and result in constipation. Some pets may have an intestinal obstruction or a nerve or muscle disorder.


Treatments
Regular grooming will prevent excessive hair ingestion and regular exercise will encourage bowel regularity.

Constipation can usually be treated at home. First, ensure your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink and make sure your dog has the opportunity to take frequent bowel movements. (Oftentimes constipation is caused by not enough water and having to wait to defecate.)

Lubricant laxatives can also be effective. These usually contain a combination of mineral oil and/or petrolatum along with a flavor base. They soften and lubricate feces and thereby make it easier to expel. Always ask your vet for his recommendations on using
laxatives.

Nutritionally pets should avoid bones, have access to fresh water at all times, and be fed a high fiber diet.

Exercise can go a long way toward kick-starting your dog’s digestive system.

Check with your veterinarian if the condition persists for more than a day or two. Your veterinarian can advise you on what’s best suited for your dog if he gets constipated.

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