How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Vet Ruth Your Own Question
Vet Ruth
Vet Ruth, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26
Experience:  BVSc Veterinary Science, MSc Veterinary Infection and Disease Control, MRCVS
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Vet Ruth is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog is not able to have a bowel movement. He is also trying

Customer Question

My dog is not able to have a bowel movement. He is also trying to vomit. Is it ok to give hime a laxative? if so, what kind?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Vet Ruth replied 7 years ago.




Thank you for your question. Constipated dogs often appear to be very uncomfortable, and may strain whilst trying to pass faeces. They may whine, have difficulty walking, repeatedly try to pass faeces with little success, and may also refuse to eat.


There are several things you can try at home to help if your dog is constipated. If he is still accepting food then you can try feeding him a high-quality canned dog food with a high fibre content (this has the additional benefit of having a high water content). You can also supplement your dog's food with fibre, such as bran, or try feeding pure canned pumpkin which also has a high fibre content - many dogs find this very tasty and are often happy to eat it despite being constipated.


Another method you can try is mixing a small amount of olive oil or castor oil into your dog's food, which should act as a stimulant and make it easier for him to pass faeces. Adding too much olive/castor oil, however, can result in diarrhoea, so it is important to only use small amounts until he starts to pass faeces, and to monitor him for signs of diarrhoea. Always ensure that your dog has access to fresh drinking water. Olive/castor oil is the only type of laxative I would recommend using - do not give him any human medications.


If your dog refuses to eat any of these foods over the next day, or if these methods do not help with your dog's constipation within one or two days, then I recommend that you take him to your vet for an examination. It is important that your dog's constipation is treated, and your vet will be able to examine him thoroughly and prescribe medications that specifically help with constipation.


In the future, adding fibre to your dog's everyday diet (such as bran or a commercial fibre supplement suitable for dogs), may help to prevent him from becoming constipated again.



Hope this helps and best wishes,


Vet Ruth


If I have answered your question please press 'accept', if you would like more information please press 'reply'.




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What if he has a blockage? Will the Olive oil hurt him? How long will it take to work? He has stopped eating and drinking.
Expert:  Vet Ruth replied 7 years ago.


Has your dog vomited, or is he just trying to vomit at the moment?


I recommend that you try feeding him some 'pure canned pumpkin', as many dogs will eat this despite being constipated.The olive oil will not hurt him, as long as you only mix small amounts into his food (as in the advice above). If he is accepting the food, you should start to notice an improvement within 24 hours.

If you have tried all of the above suggestions and your dog still refuses to eat, then it is important that you take him to your vet as soon as possible - he may need specific medication to relieve the constipation.


It is also possible that your dog may have an obstruction in the stomach or intestines (such as a foreign body - a bone, small ball or sock for example), and this could be causing the constipation. Dog's with gastro-intestinal tract obstructions will also often vomit. I therefore recommend that if your dog continues to refuse food and does not pass any faeces by tomorrow (or if he gets worse at any time), you should take him to your vet as soon as possible. Your vet may then decide to take an x-ray to determine whether he does have an obstruction within the gasto-intestinal tract.



Good luck and please let me know how he gets on,


Vet Ruth