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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I have a 9 week old standard poodle puppy, Rocco. He weighs

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I have a 9 week old standard poodle puppy, Rocco. He weighs 18 lbs (I just weighed them). He got into my compost pile and I found him with a few odds 'n ends and took them away. The problem I noticed today, is he is having a terrible time pooping -- stands in the "pose" and is "pushing", but nothing comes out. I'm not sure when the last time he pooped, but it had to be last night (they are quite regular). I watched him for a while he had a little bit of diarreha came out. He has been sliding his behind on the concrete patio, I'm sure, because he can't go (he was wormed several days ago without any complications). The other puppy is fine (from same litter). So, he has played, slept, and I think he's eaten and drank water today. He has not vomited, that I saw or noticed in the yard. The only things I ever put on the compost are raw fruits/vegetables peels, skin and seeds, egg shells. He was chewing on something last night that i thought was a stick. But a closer look tells me it is a dried, curled up peel, possible from an avocado. It was almost like a raw hide chew toy. I saw an older post about magnesium citrate . .. which I am contemplating giving him a little of. I do not have any mineral oil (although I have olive oil, safflower oil, vasoline?, and coconut oil). What do you think?
Hello. Thanks for writing in. It sounds more like he has inflammation in the colon (colitis). It is usually a dietary issue. He would have gotten that from getting into the compost pile. The inflammation makes them feel like they have to defecate when they really don't have much feces or have some diarrhea. Usually when they have feces impacted in their colon, the motility of their colon is very depressed, so they won't have the urge to defecate. As long as he is eating, drinking and acting normal otherwise; he will most likely be fine. You can give him a teaspoon of Metamucil or pure canned pumpkin over each meal to increase the fiber content. It will help with the inflammation in the colon. If he is still doing this after 24 hours, seems very uncomfortable, starts vomiting, has a painful abdomen or has a lot of blood in the stool; I would seek veterinary attention immediately, even if it is a trip to the emergency vet. If you bring him in today, your vet will most likely prescribe some metronidazole to resolve signs faster. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

May I ask a follow-up?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Actually, since the time I asked for a follow-up, I just did what you suggested. I happened to have some Metamucil Wafers. I take them regularly . . .! I know how they affect people, so I just offered him 3 little pieces the size of puppy kibble, dipped it in his water bowl first, and he ate it like a treat. It typically doesn't take long too long to take affect.


If he doesn't go in, say, an hour, should I try I a few more "kibbles" of the wafers? With some "people's systems", it can take a dose or so before the body figures out what to do with it. BTW: I would NEVER give him even a half of one at one time . . . bless his heart, he would be in the yard for a long time!

I am not familiar with the Metamucil Wafers, so I am not sure how they would translate to a teaspoon of the powder. I wouldn't expect a huge response in 1 hour. If 1/2 of a wafer seems to do a lot to a human, I would probably give him no more than 1/4. I would give him about 4-5 hours at least to see how he responds. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok. I'll give him a few hours and watch him to decide if I give him a few more little bites. BTW: He just came in and ate few bites of regular food so there should be some action in those few hours.


You should try them. Wink I eat them as a snack with peanut butter to get more fiber in my diet, and they are very filling. Nothing has ever had such a positive affect on me as these "cookies" do -- not even regular Metamucil. There are two in a package. My sister can only take one wafer a day but I could probably eat 4. So it just depends.


So far, this has all been good. Funny, as a human, I completely relate to your response. It never occurred to me to try the fiber.


So, how do I let you know how "things come out? Or if you even want to know?

Just respond back to this message thread to let me know. Definitely keep me updated. I won't be logged on all afternoon, but I will be checking it every once in a while. Just let me know if you have any other concerns.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good morning, Texas Vet! Yesterday evening, Rocco was VERY lethargic. However, he did eat a little food, drank some water, and he ate a few more nibbles of the Metamucil wafer (total of little more than half of one wafer). I know he wasn't feeling well, but he felt well enough to let me rub his belly! I think late last night when I let them out, he may have been successful because when he came in, he was SO lively and his ol' young playful self again. And again this morning. However, I noticed Sonny having some issues this morning, so I'm giving him some of the wafer. I'm beginning to think that it's their food (IAMS puppy food) and the compost pile just added to the problem. They have been scratching a lot too (no fleas), so I'm going to change to a non-grain type food. And I think I'll add a little fish oil to their food (a staple in my fridge).


They will be going to my vet soon for their 2nd set of shots and an introduction, so she and I can have a discussion about their diet.


Thank you again for your very useful assistance, explanation of the problem and prompt responses. I'm sharing my experience on this site with my friends.


Paula in Texas

You are very welcome. Glad I could help. Let me know what your vet says.
Hello Paula,

I'm was just following up to see how Rocco is doing and to see if you have any further questions?

Texas Veterinarian
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Interestingly, he had the problem again (even days after I cleared out the compost). And, his brother, Sonny had a minor problem with it just recently, too. I gave them both the Metamucil wafers again (in small pieces), 1/2 for Rocco and a much smaller portion for Sonny since he hadn't had them before. BTW: They LOVE them! An easy "sell". I think it worked again, because several hours later they were pouncing on each other (and everything else), again. They eat and drink lots of water and otherwise seem fine. I'm going to abandon IAMS and gradually switch to Nutro Natural Choice (the Lamb/Rice version). It doesn't contain any other grain. If that doesn't work, I'll try a grain/gluten free food. The other possibility that could have caused it are the treats I give them occasionally (all natural, but have oatmeal, whole ground oats, ground barley and Rye, along with natural cheese" (way down the ingredients list).


I won't take them to my vet until it's time for their next round of shots (another 2 weeks, I think) . . . unless the situation gets worse. When I do, I'll let you know what she says. I really trust this vet -- she always gave me good advice when I had my other three dogs.


BTW: I'm not a health nut, but I AM health conscience. For the past 5 months, I've voluntarily gone "gluten-free" as much as possible and can feel a big difference in my joints. I can't help believe that other carnivorous animals could easily have issues with grains, too.

Definitely very possible. If it seems to help them, I would continue with it. It sounds like they respond well to those wafers. Thanks for the update and let me know if you have any further concerns.