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Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20620
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Our Schauner is not going to the bathroom right. May have

Customer Question

Our Schauner is not going to the bathroom right. May have too dry of bowels. We give wet food because she has no teeth..but give dry treats too. It has been so hot and she may not have been drinking enough water. Can you advise? She did not want to take her walk at 7 PM last night.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
When did she last pass stool?
Is she straining to go?
Any belly discomfort, pale gums, or appetite loss?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thursday, yes on straining, appetite loss, did not want to talk yesterday. 13 yrs. Old.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She just wants to lay around more.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No fever
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No belly discomfort but so constipated.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Answer and advise?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your patience (as you can see I did have quite a bit to type to you),
First, I have to say that we do need to tread with care here if she is straining non-productively and off her food. This is because she is showing signs of visible discomfort with this at this time. And that does raise concerns of potential blockages (from non-edible items but also with enlarged organs, gut thickening or tumors). So, we need to work quickly and be proactive with your lass.
Now, since she has had some non-productive straining, I would note that it is worth giving a wee bit of support at home to help restore normal fecal passage and regularity. And 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, we can try adding fiber to her diet. This may also be ideal for her as a long term preventative step. When doing so, we often will mix a spoonful of canned pumpkin or a 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil into their diet. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. I would offer these with her wet food for ease her eating of it. As well, the wet food is a good step here that we do want to keep up since it is a means of 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 salt chicken broth if she is won’t drink properly for you.
Overall, this is getting to a time frame where we'd want to consider giving her a bit of a "push" to pass feces. And this is especially the case at this point if you have seen any hint of non-productive straining. Therefore, we'd want to start the above supportive care to just get things moving now. But if you do so, but don't' see feces over the course of today or more 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 to clear this for her.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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