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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8923
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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is there something you can give a dog with constipation?

Customer Question

is there something you can give a dog with constipation?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Hello Peggy, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today.

Yes, you have several over the counter options as well as manual removal methods (although much messier, as you might expect).
It is quite possible that Sophie is constipated although dogs who have loose stools will also strain; sometimes it's hard to know which might be the problem. But if really hard stools have been produced and she's straining to produce more hard stools, then one of the options below may be helpful.

Oral laxative options:

1. Cat hairball laxatives such as Laxatone or Laxaire (or similar products). These products will work very well on a smaller dog. They are available at pet or grain stores. You would give 1-3 inches 2-3 times a day.

2. Canned pumpkin (NOT the pie mix); ½ -1 tsp daily in food

3. Over the counter, human Miralax 1/4-1/2th tsp twice daily can work very well.

4. Oral Docusate Sodium (Colace) 25 mg once or twice a day for small dogs

Removal options:

1. Sometimes if you can remove enough hard feces that are present right at the anal opening, the dog is able to evacuate the remainder. So, if you'd like to try and remove fecal material, the following is how you would do so: Place a latex glove on your hand and lubricate it really well with K/Y jelly or Petroleum Jelly and lubricate her rectum, too. Gently insert your index finger into her anus up to your first or second knuckle, and hook your finger into fecal material and gently retract it. You may need to perform this procedure several times.
If you try this method, I would have someone helping you since this may be a little uncomfortable for Sophie and you don't want to get injured yourself.
I understand that this is not something that everyone will feel comfortable doing.

2. If you have a large syringe or turkey baster, you can also give her a warm water enema. Obviously, this is not for the faint hearted. I would lubricate the end of the syringe or baster as I mentioned above, gently insert into her rectum about 1 inch and gently squeeze the warm water into her.
You may also need to repeat this procedure several times to loosen up the hard stool.
Every step should be done gently so as not to hurt her.

3. You can give an over the counter, human enema if it has DSS (docusate sodium) on the label. Another enema option would be a single pediatric glycerin suppository and would be my first choice. (LINK)

I hope this helps. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
I’m just following up on our conversation about Sophie. How is she doing? Deb

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