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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15706
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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How do I relieve constipation in my 20# dog?

Customer Question

how do I relieve constipation in my 20# ***** ?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now when a dog is potentially constipated, we need to tread with care. Especially since we can see a lack of stool in dogs that are off food or have gut blockages (from eating something obstructive or with compression of the gut by other issues ongoing within the abdomen. Still, if those other issues are not likely with your wee one nor associated signs (ie belly pain, paling gums, vomiting, etc); then there are some steps you can take to try to help stool pass normally.

In regards ***** ***** question, there are a few gentle colon supportive measure you can take at home to encourage the feces to pass. First, we sometimes find that milk can be helpful at getting things moving along. As well, cat hairball medication (ie. Catalax, Laxatone, etc) can be used to get things moving. This is available from the vet or the pet shop and works to lubricate the gut and can facilitate the movement of hard feces out of the rectum. Alternatively, you can administer a small volume of Miralax (1 tsp per 24 hours), lactulose or food grade mineral oil orally. Since she is eating, these can be mixed into her food. If you have to administer via syringe, do take care to avoid aspiration ( since that would cause problems we'd best avoid).

Further to all of this, I would just note that you could also consider mixing a spoonful of canned pumpkin or a 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil. Just like people, increased dietary fiber can restore fecal output regularity. I would offer these with wet food to ease her eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into her (as canned food is 35% water). I would also encourage her to drink if she isn't drinking much. Especially as constipation can be complicated by dehydration. So, do make sure she has access to fresh water but you can also offer low sodium chicken broth if she is won’t drink properly for you.

Overall, we do need to tread with care in these cases. Therefore, if you think your dog is constipated then you can give a bit of a "push" to help her pass feces. Of course, if don't' see feces over the course of today, those other signs, or your dog is straining without feces; then we'd want to have her vet have a feel of her GI to make sure there is nothing amiss or signs of impaction (as then an enema under sedation may be indicated).

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?