Constipation in dogs is often misdiagnosed by pet owners, so it is important to get involved with a veterinarian if a dog is having symptoms of constipation. Find out how to treat a dog's constipation with help from a veterinarian in this free video on dog health and constipation.
Hello I am Dr. Greg McDonald, I am a veterinarian in southern California. I have a hospital McDonald Animal Hospital in Santa Barbara. I wanted to talk a little bit about constipation in the dog today. Constipation is something that is usually misdiagnosed by owners. Dogs can start to strain for lots of different reasons. Often times animals are straining because they can't urinate or they may even be straining because they have other problems unrelated to the constipation. Almost always when I have somebody say my dog is constipated when I start asking the questions a little closer about when did they last have a stool, was the stools really hard or is there any problem passing stools. They will say oh that is fine, but my dog is still straining. And so it is important to get involved with your veterinarian, and have an accurate diagnosis. If your dog is constipated there are several things that you can do at home for your dog. And a regular fleet enema for your dog is something that you can use at home, and again you want to be real gentle with it. Sometimes it is better to let your veterinarian do this, because the dog is already in a little bit of distress, and if you try and give them an enema they could hurt you, and try to bite you, because they are hurting. So you have to kind of use your head if your dog is a very, very small dog you might only need to use a quarter of the enema in a fleet enema like this. If your dog is a full-sized let's say German Shepard or a dog that big you could use the whole bottle, and just squirt it up in the rectal area, and then soon after that all the stool will come back out again. There are other kinds of enemas that we use. This is a special one veterinarians have that again is a single use dose, and again this is a very special product that you don't need so much volume, because it just causes the colon to be stimulated, and get rid of any stool that is in it. And also for the very small dogs we have a very small enema that again works the same way. You don't need very much volume, but you can go ahead and put this into the dog, and have the stool come back. And again this is good for those little small dogs toy poodles, and dogs that are very small. The other way that is good once your dog is constipated, and you have fixed it with an enema, and again you have to be sure that it is an accurate diagnosis. You don't want to be giving an enema to a dog that has straining for some other reason. But if your dog has become been having problems with constipation I think it is first important to change their diet. You should put them on a diet that is high in fiber, you can consult with your veterinarian about that. But if you have been using a lot of table scraps or human food often times just changing to a good quality high, quality dog food will fix the problem. If your dog is older, and he has some kind of a medical problem where he is coming in constipated a lot you could actually add some Metamucil to their diet. You can do that by putting the food in a blender, and adding the Metamucil to it. Mixing it up, and having the dog enjoy that as a nice meal. The thing is that if you are using Metamucil you should use it all the time to try, and keep the stools normal, and you want to start out with small amounts first of the Metamucil. If you over do it you could turn a dog that is constipated into a dog with diarrhea.