Mumbai: If your dog has begun fiddling with its food instead of savouring it, shying away from or straining a lot during poop, lazing around a lot, or behaving uncomfortable, then there is a good chance that your pet is suffering from irregular or painful bowel movement.
Dealing with constipation can be one of the worst nightmares, be it humans or animals. Unfortunately, constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in dogs. As a pet parent, one must proactively look out for symptoms and ensure timely treatment for the better health of their furry children.
How do I know if my dog is constipated?
Some of the indications of dog constipation are:
Lack of defecation for more than a day or two
Hard, dry and darker stools
Little to no appetite
Small amounts of liquid fecal matter mixed with blood
Straining and vomiting
A general lethargy
Most of these symptoms may also coincide with urinary tract infections (UTIs). Therefore, if any of these issues persist for more than 2-3 days, pet parents must immediately seek vet consultation to determine the cause and seek treatment accordingly.
What can possibly cause constipation in my dog?
Constipation among dogs may be the result of a variety of underlying reasons ranging from benign cause like dehydration and lack of exercise, to even problems as severe as cancer.
Based on the problem area, the cause can be categorised as: interluminal if the block is inside the colon, extraluminal if it originates outside the colon due to tumours or pelvic fractures and intrinsic if it stems from a disease or nerve injuries. Some of the most common and frequent causes include:
Dehydration or an imbalance of electrolyte
Lack of exercise and lower activity levels
Too much or too little dietary fibre intake
Ingestion of foreign objects such as gravel, stone debris, dirt plants, a piece of cloth, toys and others.
Anal gland issues like blockage of or collection of pus in anal sacs.
Enlargement of prostrate
Accumulation of large amounts of hair in stool due to excessive grooming
Kidney ailments and hernias
Side-effect of medications like opiates, antacids, diuretics and others
Tumours and masses forming around the anus or within the rectum
Orthopaedic problem or trauma to pelvic
Disorders in the central nervous system
What to d if my dog has constipation?
When it comes to your furry child’s health, seeking veterinarian consultation as soon as you become aware of it should be the way to go. But if these problems have surfaced no more than a day or two ago, a few natural treatments might get things going again.
While no strategy may work for all dogs, here are some home remedies:
Hydration: Since dehydration is one of the major causes of constipation, pet parents must ensure that their dogs have ready access to and drinking enough water. Even electrolyte supplements can be used to make the stool softer and easier to pass.
Balanced diet: For improved digestion a balanced diet with sufficient nutrition should be fed to the dog on a routine basis. Certain food and herbs like ginger, wheat bran, and powdered psyllium seeds may also help.
Fibre intake: Including fibre in the diet may help regulate the digestive tract and bowel movements. For instance, pumpkin has been observed as an effective dietary fix as it is high in fibre and moisture and appeals your child’s taste buds.
Regular exercise: Regular exercising can help relieve constipation as it stimulates the nervous system and help in the better functioning of muscles, nerves and the gut.
* Disclaimer: This article has been contributed by Ms Indrakshi Paul, Food Scientist at Dogsee Chew. The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Deccan Chronicle, and Deccan Chronicle does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.