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He has become constipated, Mac, 6 yrs old, can't think of…

Customer Question
He has become constipated ...

He has become constipated

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?

Mac, 6 yrs old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Mac?

Can't think of any

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 hours by:
9/16/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,807
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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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has he been showing signs? When did he last go?

Any straining?

Can he pass urine?

If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
1) About a couple of days. His normal #2 was on Tuesday, but he did go a little bit with some diarrhea.
2) Straining, yes
3) Yes, he does urination
4) don't feel much tensing when pressing on belly
5) gum is pink and normal
6) the only thing out of ordinary that ate was half of hamburger
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Not at this time
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Poor Mac,

Now if he has been straining but had diarrhea previously we do need to be careful.

This is because that diarrhea may represent all that could get past a hard stool but we can also see this with foreign bodies, thickened GIs (from IBD or cancer) or when animals have enlarged organs/masses in the abdomen compressing the gut. So, if there is any chance he has eaten something non-edible, has belly pain or vomiting; then we'd want him seen urgently.

Otherwise, for constipation, there are a few home care treatments we can try. To start, you can offer a cup of cow's milk. The lactose in milk can be helpful at increasing gut movement to get stools passed. Another option would be OTC cat hairball medication (ie. Catalax, Laxatone, etc) as it works to lubricate the gut to facilitate the movement of gut contents (hard feces in this case) out of the rectum.

If we need a more aggressive treatment, we can also administer a few milliliters of a GI lubricant (ie Miralax, lactulose or food grade mineral oil) orally. These can be mixed into his food. Though if you have to give this via syringe, do so with care to avoid aspiration ( since that would cause problems we'd best avoid).

Furthermore, we can also try adding fiber (ie canned pumpkin or a 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil mixed into a bit of canned food) to his diet. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. We offer these with wet food to ease him eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into him (as canned food is 35% water). I would also encourage him to drink as constipation can be complicated by dehydration. Make sure he has fresh water and you can even offer low sodium chicken broth if he won’t drink.

While you are doing this, I would advise that you monitor fecal output. Though if we use the above measures, but if you aren't seeing feces in the next 12-24 hours, or he begins to vomit, show belly pain, or worsens, then they should be evaluated by a vet. Severe impactions of feces sometimes won’t respond to our gentle colon cleaning treatments, and those cases can require more aggressive treatment (ie enemas under sedation).

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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