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Digestive System: Constipation

The disease is displayed in the form of rare defecation or total impossibility to defecate. The frequency the dog goes to toilet depends on both diet and a type of digestive system. Every dog is unique though on average they defecate 1-4 times a day. At the same time there's no ground to worry if there's no stool during 1 or 2 days. Of cause it's better the dog especially and old one to evacuate the intestine content daily.


Constipation may be evoked by different reasons:
1. Incorrect feeding
2. Feeding bones
3. Mechanical plugging of intestine
4. Voluntary delay
5. Nerves injuries
6. Increase of pancreas activity
7. All types of exhaustion
8. Excessive physical exercises


- Absence of feces or volumes lesser than usually at keeping the same ration of food
- Feces is very dry and solid
- Strained or painful defecation
- Anxiety
- General exhaustion

Constipation is in first turn the reaction of the organism onto different diseases, therefore each case should be considered individually.


Constipation therapy includes understanding of symptoms, cure of causes as well as taking preventive measures against the repeat of the disease. A symptomatic treatment implies appliance of laxatives, enema to remove dense feces away from intestines and intravenous injection of liquid by means of dropper.

Preventive Measures

The preventive measures for constipation are:
- Controlling the ration
- Adding in dog's food purging substances and those softening the feces
- Gentle regime of physical exercises

Chronic constipation

The main cause for chronic constipation is incorrect feeding. Food containing insufficient fibers favors the formation of small amount of dry feces.

Concentrated food rich in meat gives dark, dense and sticky stool. In a given case a complicated passage of food in the intestines happens because of insufficient volume and bad consistence of feces.

When the owner feeds the dog bones, the dog stool becomes solid. The remains of bones cement the stool inside a large intestine. Other faintly digestible substances such as grass, paper, pieces of cloth cause constipation or intestines impassability. In case of impassability defecation often is accompanied by bloody or watery brown egesta.

In older dogs intestines decrease their activity and the strength of abdominal muscles lessens. This leads to lingering delay of evacuation and growth of stool density.


One should determine the cause of chronic constipation and remove it in order to cure and restore intestines functions.

Don't feed the dog with small bones especially chicken for these are very fragile and broke into parts with very sharp edges that assume the big risk of damaging the intestines.

Give a dog easily digestible food in small portions.

Gereals, bred grains, celery or raw bran soften the stool that is like of a goat.

Old dogs are to be prescribed easily assimilated mixes half-and-half with water in small portions.

In mild cases of constipation one is to administer purgatives, mineral and vegetable oils, white mangesia alba 0.5 - 1 tsp in respect to your pet body mass. Mind that frequent use of a laxative may have a negative effect since the organism gets adapted to it. One should rather add a beet and beet water as well as milk or liver into the dog's food that have an aperient effect.

If necessary an enema is applied 7 ml per kg of body mass.

Warm water enemas are to be administered (you may buy enemas at any drugstore).

Mechanical Intestinal Impassability

Old dogs are often exposed to an increased prostate that may squeeze the rectum like the valve does.

Hernia may also debilitate the muscular tone of rectum and complicate defecation. One may determine this by the jutted out tissues around the anus, this jut expands with the straining.

Intestinal stricture, cancer and many other reasons may cause bowels impassability. Cancer tumor in large intestine grows slowly and is usually asymptomatic until it is very big. It is characterized by straining during defecation, flat or ribbon-like stool often with blood.


A mild diet is prescribed. Add water fifty-fifty to food. Use laxatives. Note that mineral oil covers feces and alleviates defecation.

False constipation

A voluntary constipation caused by inflammation of anus often afflicts dogs of longhaired breeds. Feces stick together the hair around anus and evoke skin irritation and the following liability to infection. A dog may stand or seat and defecate right on the floor. During this it whimpers, bites its rump and spreads a stinky smell.


Longhaired dogs require a special care of the anal area. One should wash it in time and comb the hair preventing sticking it together. If you didn't manage to clean it in time and the hair got stuck with feces you have to cut it carefully away and work irritated area with any smoothing ointment containing antibiotics. Keep the dog to the same mild diet as in case of mechanical intestinal impassability.

Irina Barykina

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