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Dr.Fiona, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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my dog seems to be constipated what should i do

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my mini dacshund is not feeling well she seems to be constipated and is eating grass when i take her out what do i do?

Hi there!

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your Mini Dachshund, but need a bit more information, please.

When did you last see a bowel movement from her?

When was she last defecating normally?

Is she bright and energetic, or does she seem lethargic?

Is she posturing and straining to defecate?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
she took a normal bowel movement yesterday afternoon . and last night was straining a bit to get anything out by 1 am she had a little bit of diareah , she has been lethargic but over the last few hours she has had a little bit more energy and has seemed a bit brighter in the eyes she is wagging her tail again today and it is not between her legs like last night

Hmmm... this diarrhea that she had at 1am, was it mucoid or jelly like at all? Any blood?

The normal bowel movement yesterday afternoon, was it at all soft? Or hard little nuggets like rabbit droppings?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
the diarrhea was just liquidy like normal diarrhea and the movement was hard like it normally is , and also she is kept in a kennel while i am at work   she was in the kennel from 245 pm to about 8pm .

Any fecal accidents in the kennel?

I am just trying to figure out if this is truly constipation (hard little nuggets of stool) or if she might have colitis, in which dogs posture and strain frequently but just pass mucus. With colitis, they often have diarrhea before they get to the straining part...

Hmmmm... when was the last time she postured to try to defecate?

I just don't want to tell you what to do for constipation, if in fact she has colitis!

What kind of food does she normally eat?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
she last strained last night at about 10 pm and no no accidents in the kennel, she eats Iams for older dogs she has not defacated all day today but she did eat a lil bit of wet foodt his am and like i said before grass but not much , and i also have another doxie but he is fine i took her temp about an hour ago and it is 102.5 if that helps she is still drinking water and likes her carrots but i am refraining from giving her any thing other than her normal food and lil bit of wet food

Hmmm... I am thinking this is more likely colitis than constipation! Probably out of 100 dogs that see me for straining to defecate, 98 of them have colitis and only 2 have constipation.

When you took her temperature, was it rectally? Did you feel any hard stool in her rectum when you put the thermomter in?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes i took it rectally and no i felt nothing hard in there her tummy seems a little bit hard but not like i have seen on other dogs i have had with this issue and she seems to have no pain when i put pressure on it when i pulled the thermometer out it had a bit of fecal matter on it but there was nothing hard in ther that i could feel . and what is colitis?

Hi againCustomer

What you are describing in your dog sounds like she has colitis.

Let me explain what this is:

With colitis, dogs tend to have more frequent bowel movements, a sense of urgency, straining, and mucus and even blood on the stools. The stools often start out a bit soft, or pudding like and become gelatinous, shiny and mucoid as it progresses. The colon normally makes mucus to help the stool to pass along, so when it is inflamed it makes a lot of mucus, and also can have erosions that lead to bleeding.

Colitis could be caused by a large number of different things. Examples are stress, dietary indiscretion (eating something she shouldn't have), bacterial and viral infections, and parasites.

If a dog with no history of stress were to come in to my hospital, and we didn't have to consider money (so I could do all the tests I would want to do!) I would start with a physical exam and then a number of tests:

- fecal analysis to rule out hookworms, whipworms and coccidia

- an ELISA test for Giardia. Giardia used to be hard to diagnose, but this test is fast and easy and accurate.

- a fecal smear to look for Campylobacter

- a fecal culture (sent out to a lab) to check for Clostridium or other unusual bacteria. This test takes 3-4 days.

Then, I would see how the dog responded to treatment as follows:

- fibre trial - I would start the dog on metamucil. I usually suggest 1 tsp per 10 lbs body weight given 2 or 3 times a day. Do this for at least one week.

- medication trial:

I would try metronidazole ( as a first line treatment but there are a number other drugs that can be helpful too:

Panacur (fenbendazole, ,

Tylosin ( )

and even steroids (prednisone )

Now, as for what you can do for your dog. I suggest the following:

1. When she has an episode of straining and diarrhea, you should WITH-HOLD FOOD! Do not offer anything for 12 hours. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal. It sounds like your girl is taking care of this herself as she has not eaten much today.

2. When she is fasting, she can have lots of clear fluids. So, water is fine, but also she can have pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water. Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about 1/4 cup an hour.

3. After 12 hours if the diarrhea and straining has stopped, you can start your dog back on a bland diet. For patients that I see, I recommend a mixture of 75% cooked white rice, and 25% low fat protein. For the protein you could use extra lean ground beef, boiled with the fat scooped off, or chicken breast boiled with fat scooped off or even scrambled egg cooked without fat in the microwave. Feed small frequent meals. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-3 tablespoons every 3 to 4 hours.

4. After 1-2 days on the rice mix, you would gradually change your dog back to the normal diet and food. So, on day 3, give the rice mixture, but bigger meals, spaced further apart. On day 4, mix a little tiny bit of the normal food in there, and decrease the frequency so it is down to 3 meals or so. And so on.

5. Keep your dog as quiet as possible - just out to relieve herself and back in.

6. Start Metamucil at 1 tsp per 10lbs body weight given twice to three times daily.

I'll give you links to further information:

So, my suggestion would be to try fasting today but giving lots of clear fluids. Tomorrow, I would suggest a bland diet with metamucil mixed into it.

In terms of preventing this problem, it is very helpful to have dogs prone to this on a bit of OAT bran (very important it is OAT bran and not wheat bran) in their food daily. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-4 teaspoons daily, divided between her meals. Alternatively, you could just keep her on the metamucil long term.

Also, you may wish to consider a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) diffuser to decrease stress if this has been a factor in the last few weeks. It contains a smell that calms dogs, but is not a drug and is perfectly safe. It has no odour to humans. Here is more about them:

If your gril is still having straining and having diarrhea tomorrow, or is vomiting, then a trip to your vet would be in order. Your vet may want to start her on metronidazole which is very quickly effective at helping to make dogs with colitis feel better.

I hope that helps you. If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback. I will still be here if you have further questions!



Dr.Fiona and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thankyou and yes we just moved to Oklahoma from Florida about 2 months ago so she could be stressed out you have been very helpful thankyou so much .

A-HA! Well, that makes sense then!

I hope that your girl feels better soon.

The metamucil and a bland diet should turn her around, I hope.

Thanks for accepting my answer, for the positive feedback and for the bonus! All are much appreciated!

Best wishes to you all in Oklahoma! Fiona