Dog Constipation Symptoms Walking
If you're here, chances are you've taken your dog for walks lately, and noticed your pup trying hard to "eliminate", without much results. Those tough to watch dog constipation symptoms during walks can include squatting repeatedly, a generally uneasy mood, and other signals that'll be covered here!
Of course, this article doesn't replace the counsel of veterinarians, and you're encouraged to seek professional help if your pup seems to be in serious discomfort. Without opefully this article helps you understand your pup's current situation!
What Is Constipation for Dogs?
Dog constipation is the infrequent or difficult passage of stool, which is usually temporary. For veterinarians, constipation is one of the most common digestive issues found in dogs and cats. While constipation typically doesn't last very long, it doesn’t mean it’s okay to ignore your pup’s constipation symptoms; the discomfort of constipation can be significant, and like many issues can worsen if left unchecked.
As some extra information, severe constipation is called obstipation; while this is rare, obstipation is more serious and can result in more permanent side effects.
A healthy understanding of constipation will lead to healthier results for your dog!
Causes of Constipation
There’s a laundry list of possible causes for pup constipation; perhaps your dog’s constipation is a combination of a few of these factors! Here’s a summary to help illustrate common reasons:
- Ingested items, such as toys, grass, or fabrics
- Lack of fiber in everyday diet
- Dehydration, making stool less mobile
- Enlarged prostate, due to buildup of fecal matter
- Hair ingested from excessive self-grooming
- Lack of exercise
- Tumors, masses, matted hair near the anus
- Pelvic injuries or abnormalities
Until you pay your veterinarian a visit, you may not know the reason for your dog’s constipation. Once you visit your vet, she'll perform tests to determine the root cause of your pup's constipation. For example, X-Rays might be performed to see if your dog swallowed anything out of the ordinary. Until then, just know there’s a variety of causes for constipation, and your pup hopefully doesn't have a very severe case!
Symptoms of Constipation
The symptoms of constipation have as much variety as the causes of constipation. These are some of the issues which commonly signify constipation, and one or more them may be exhibited by your dog recently:
- Squatting and circling during dog walks with no results
- More than 2 days without having passed stool
- Passing hard, pebble-like stool
- Straining, crouching, whining while trying to defecate
- Difficulty urinating
- Occasional vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Not as much energy
If you're an outdoorsy camper or hiker, you'd know that holding in stool can really hamper your enjoyment of the outdoors — in other words, it's really uncomfortable. Yes, it’s just stool, but blocking waste from leaving your body has surprisingly strong negative consequences mentally and physically. It’s the same for dogs, and that’s shown by the range of symptoms resulting from constipation.
Treatment of Constipation
Fortunately, many solutions exist in case your dog is experiencing constipation. Try to address any signs of constipation as soon as you can. As a disclaimer, know that your best course of action is undoubtedly to seek professional help from your local veterinarian! Below, some remedies will be shared, but they're not meant to be applied without the go-ahead from your vet.
Enemas are without a doubt a clear solution for constipation; while at-home kits (which come with an enema bulb and solution) are out there to buy, it’s strongly advised to let your veterinarian handle any enemas, since performing the enema incorrectly can be damaging to your pet's gut health, among other risks like using water that's too hot. Usually, enema solutions can include tap water solutions, saline solutions, or mineral oils. They’re delivered via a catheter which enters the anus, filling the rectum and lower intestine with the laxative solution, which thereby softens the stool and stimulates bowel movements.
High Fiber Foods
Rather than enemas, natural laxatives in the form of high fiber whole foods is another tried and true solution for pup constipation. One popular food in particular is canned pumpkin. Usually found in the baking aisle of grocery stores, pure pureed pumpkin (without any additives) is perfectly safe for nearly all pups, and can be mixed with their normal food; your dog may also be willing to lick it off the spoon. The extra boost in fiber may be enough to relieve your dog of constipation within several hours.
Sometimes, more exercise is enough to lessen constipation issues. By exercising your dog’s muscles on walks, blood flow is facilitated, which can help the digestive tract process food. Also, the movement itself of walking can aid in passing stool. Of course, exercise also relieves mental stress; actually, stress can worsen constipation, since the body diverts blood flow from intestines to vital organs like the heart, lungs, and brain. Thus, light exercise not only promotes digestion, but cures mental strains which could otherwise multiply constipation symptoms.
Last but certainly not least, a trip to your local veterinarian is certainly a the ideal solution for pup constipation. Your vet would probably begin with a diagnosis of the root causes for the constipation, possibly doing an X-Rays and other tests to determine if the cause is, for example, an accidentally ingested toy or fabric. Your vet’s prescription might include medications to aid the strength of the large intestine, manual removal of any foreign objects, extra hydration, or even surgery if the issue is severe enough. Regardless of the options available to you, your vet would undoubtedly place the final treatment decision in your hands, with varying success rates depending on the course of action.
If your pup is experiencing constipation, you’ve probably noticed symptoms from activities such as dog walking. Not to worry if this is the case; dog constipation is perhaps the most common digestive issue which small animals face, so there’s plenty of great literature and veterinarian experience which your pup and you can draw from. Signs of constipation are often quite noticeable, causes of constipation are well understood, and solutions for it abound, so don’t fret – it’s not the worst issue to have as a dog parent! With quick action on your part, your dog will be relieved of constipation in no time!