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Why is My Dog Constipated & What to Do

Why is My Dog Constipated & What to Do

Constipation is a fairly common gastrointestinal issue in dogs of all breeds and sizes, but this doesn't mean it's normal or healthy. In this post, our Novato vets share why your dog might be constipated and what you can do about it.

Is my dog constipated?

If you notice your dog experiencing difficulty passing hard, dry stools or mucus during bowel movements, or if they haven't had a bowel movement for 48 hours or longer, it is probable that they are dealing with constipation.

Dogs with constipation often exhibit signs such as straining, crouching, or whining while attempting to defecate. You might even notice string, grass, or clumped feces around your dog's anal area.

In this post, we will outline some typical causes of constipation in dogs, discuss the accompanying signs, and provide advice on the next steps to take.

What should I do if my dog is constipated?

Is your dog showing any signs of constipation listed above? It's essential to see your vet as soon as possible since this qualifies as a veterinary emergency that requires qualified care immediately. Many symptoms of constipation can also sometimes indicate other health issues. 

What causes constipation in dogs?

There are many reasons that dogs may experience constipation. Some of the common factors that can lead to constipation include: 

  • Enlarged prostate 
  • Tumors, masses or matted hair surrounding the anus 
  • Abscessed or blocked anal sacks 
  • Ingested items such as dirt, fabric, toys or grass 
  • Dehydration 
  • Insufficient daily exercise 
  • Insufficient fiber in diet 
  • Ingested hair from excessive self-grooming 
  • Pain due to orthopedic issues when attempting to defecate 

How is constipation in dogs treated?

Your vet will check your pet to determine the cause of your dog's discomfort and then suggest the most suitable treatment for your dog's specific situation.

The vet might prescribe one of several common treatments for constipation in dogs, such as dog-specific laxatives, adding more fiber to your dog's diet, increasing your dog's daily exercise, or giving medication to strengthen the large intestine.

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.

Is your dog showing signs of constipation? Contact our highly skilled Novato vets to book a physical examination for your pooch today.

New Patients Welcome

Bel Marin Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Novato companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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