In this article, we will talk about a problem that your dog can suffer from, namely constipation. Sometimes, especially when it comes to dogs that tend to ingest a bit of everything that comes within range, feces may form which becomes problematic to expel.
In other cases, the inability to defecate requires the intervention of a veterinarian, because it could be an occlusion. If your dog is unable to defecate normally, in this article we will talk about the causes that cause this situation and the remedies to follow to solve the problem.
The digestive system of the dog
When a dog swallows food, a food bolus is formed which goes down the esophagus to the stomach and then into the small and then large intestine. Once all the nutrients have been assimilated, the residues are channeled into the rectum and expelled from the anus.
Right next to the anus are the anal glands, which secrete a substance that gives dog feces their typical smell. Any hitch or problem in transit from the mouth to the anus through the stomach and intestines can cause a problem in passing stool. Depending on the cause that propitiates it, the solution of the problem will depend.
My dog doesn’t poop: symptoms
Before talking about the causes that generate it, it’s important to talk about the symptoms of constipation in dogs. The clear symptom we will observe is that the dog struggles to excrete feces. We may notice that the dog tries to defecate but fails, and therefore pushes, strains and in some cases may even whine. You will also see some of the following symptoms :
- Very hard stools, with discoloration
- Pain when defecating
- Blood in the stool or anus
- Abdomen inflamed
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of appetite
If your dog is unable to evacuate, continue reading the article where we will analyze the causes even if it is always good to contact your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
Sometimes the feces are small and very hard, the dog, therefore, finds it difficult to expel them or even does not defecate for various reasons such as an inadequate diet or dehydration. This is a clear picture of canine constipation that needs to be treated quickly.
For example, if your dog has ingested bones, they will tend to be eliminated through whitish, very hard stools, in which bone fragments can be distinguished. It’s likely that in such a situation we notice that the dog makes obvious efforts to defecate and failing to do so will complain with crying.
It’s also possible that your dog is unable to evacuate and the anus is bleeding; this is usually due to lesions produced by the passage of stool so hard that it scratches the inner wall of the rectum. These cases usually resolve on their own, however, in other cases more drastic measures need to be taken as we will see below.
If you notice partially expelled feces you can try to carefully extract them by pulling them outwards. If you notice resistance, however, it’s good to stop immediately and consult your vet, and obviously avoid the consumption of bones.
If the hard stools are due to dehydration, they are likely to be accompanied by other symptoms. In these cases, veterinary intervention is required.
If, on the other hand, the dog is unable to defecate or urinate, it must be taken urgently to a veterinary clinic. The life of a dog that cannot urinate is in grave danger. An adequate diet will promote diuresis and correct intestinal transit, as well as obviously an adequate consumption of water.
Sometimes tumors, abscesses, swellings in the anal area, in the glands, or in the prostate can be the cause of difficulty in expelling feces, and even in this case, veterinary intervention is required.
In some cases, the dog is unable to free itself because an obstruction has occurred in the digestive tract that occurs when the dog ingests an object that gets stuck, such as a ball, a toy, or a bone.
In such a situation, the dog may not be able to defecate and instead attempt to vomit the object that is causing the problem. Other times the dog does not defecate or even eat, and we will notice that It’s disturbed and suffering.
In these cases it’s necessary to contact the veterinarian to understand where the object that creates the occlusion is, to know if it can come out on its own or must be extracted through surgery. In fact, the obstruction can be both partial and complete.
To avoid such situations it’s good that the dog remains in a safe space, and potentially dangerous objects remain out of Its reach. You will also need to check the status of its toys. If one of its toys is broken it’s advisable to replace it so that the dog does not swallow pieces of it. We must avoid offering It bones.
Other causes of constipation in dogs
Sometimes the dog is unable to defecate because it suffers from some pathology that affects the mobility of the intestine, such as hypothyroidism. Furthermore, it must be said that colitis, i.e. inflammation of the colon, can cause symptoms similar to constipation such as painful evacuation, prolonged efforts to expel feces, or expulsion of small pieces of very hard stool with the presence of blood.
These issues require veterinary intervention. In general, given that there are many possible causes of constipation in dogs, it’s always advisable to resort to veterinary attention to get the correct diagnosis and possibly start a laxative treatment.
Finally, the hardened stools that form a compact mass inside the rectum or colon are called fecal blocks and generate what is called coprostasis , that is, a slow and difficult intestinal transit.
These blockages are formed for different reasons, such as prostate hyperplasia, already mentioned, and maybe the cause of the dog being unable to defecate and shivering, staying in a hunched position from the pain It feels, and also stops eating.
In these cases, the only thing to do is to contact the veterinarian, since the most serious fecal blocks require fluid therapy and extraction of the mass with anesthesia. Mild cases can be resolved with a laxative which must still be prescribed by the vet.
Proper diet and adequate exercise facilitate intestinal transit. In dogs with a tendency to constipation, it may be necessary to switch to a wet diet or add water to the kibble.
This article is purely informative, at shelterapet we do not have the right to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We encourage you to take your pet to the vet in case It has any kind of discomfort or discomfort.