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Symptoms of bowel blockage in a dog

Updated April 17, 2017

Gastrointestinal blockages are common occurrences in dogs, mainly because they eat just about anything. Bowel blockage and other gastrointestinal obstructions can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal system and often result in constipation.

Constipation can occur in dogs because of anxiety, stress, diet or lack of exercise. Ingested materials and parasitical infections may also cause constipation in dogs. Minerals in dog bones and dairy products sometimes cause constipation according to the Dog Health Guide. Infected anal glands or other diseases may also cause constipation, notes Vet Info. Pet MD reports that gastrointestinal blockages may be related to gastroenteritis, hernias, intestinal twisting, pyloric stenois or tumours.

In some cases, dogs recovering from diarrhoea will skip bowel movements for a few days.

Since pet owners usually let their dogs out or walk them to take care of their needs; constipation or bowel blockage symptoms are normally evident.

Frequency of Bowel Movements

Dogs normally have one to two bowel movements every day. Some dogs with bowel blockages may defecate more often but excrete much less stool than normal.

Quality of Stool

Small, hard and dry faeces are another sign of constipation or bowel blockage. Blood or mucus may be present in the stool if there is a gastrointestinal blockage.

Behavioural Symptoms

You may see your dog straining excessively to pass stool. Bowel blockage symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness and weight loss. Your dog may seem especially lethargic if its suffering from constipation or a gastrointestinal obstruction.

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About the Author

Sumei FitzGerald has been writing professionally since 2008 on health, nutrition, medicine and science topics. She has published work on doctors' websites such as Colon Cancer Resource, psychology sites such as Webpsykologen and environmental websites such as Supergreenme. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Connecticut where she also studied life sciences.