Constipation and flatulence in dogs
As your dog grows older, the muscles of the colon and rectum may lose some of their ability to propel and expel feces adequately during a bowel movement. Reduction in stomach and intestinal digestive secretions can produce a bulkier, firmer stool as can diets very high in dry food content if there is insufficient water intake. Your dog will squat and strain to force the fecal mass slowly out. She may cry from the discomfort.
Prostatic disease can mechanically cause constipation as the prostate gland enlarges and presses up against the floor of the rectum. Similarly, tumors in the rectum or on the anus can interfere with the passage of feces. Any dog may have an isolated difficult bowel movement on occasion. This should be no cause for alarm if he is otherwise in good health and there is no bleeding or excessive pain.
Repeated bouts of constipation can slowly stretch the rectal muscles, causing permanent dilatation and resulting in chronic constipation. Once this occurs, your dog will need frequent enemas as well as fecal softeners to help him eliminate. The increased time the stool remains in the colonand rectum will allow bacteria that normally live there to act on the stool, causing putrefaction and excessive gas production.
Constipation usually occurs when the dog does not get enough bulk in his diet or when he does not get enough proper exercise. When a dog does not get the chance to eliminate when he needs to, he may develop the habit of holding it in. A dog that is not let out enough will also likely to develop this habit. In these simple cases of constipation, you may use the following treatment to ease your dog’s discomfort:
1. Feed your dog a natural diet that includes fresh vegetables with sufficient amounts of bulk. Raw meat is also considered a natural laxativefor dogs. If your dog’s stool looks dry, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of bran (depending on his weight) to each serving of meal. Adding bran helps the stools hold extra moisture. You may also apply a similar treatment using ¼ to 2 teaspoons of powdered psyllium seed. This is available online and in most health food stores.
2. You may also use mineral oiltemporarily in cases where there is a large build-up of hard stools. Depending on the size of your dog, add ½ to 2 teaspoons to his meals twice a day, for no longer than a week. Continued use of this method is not ideal because the oil will draw reserves of vitamin A from the dog’s body. In addition, continued use of this process may create a dependency on its use for normalelimination.
3. Make sure that the dog is getting plenty of opportunity to go outside to relieve himself. Another treatment that is very effective is to make sure that your dog is getting enough sufficient exercise. Exercise is vital for massaging his internal organs and increasing the blood flow all over his body, which also stimulates a slow metabolism. Running, long walks, or playing fetch are great forms of exercise that both you and your dog can benefit from.
Chronic case of constipation
If your dog is suffering from chronic and prolonged constipation, you may also try homeopathic treatment, which is a natural form of remedy. Consult a vet who specializes in this form of treatment to determine if this is the best route to take.
Aluminum poisoning is also possible with a dog that has a weak rectum. Signs of aluminum poisoning include chronic constipation with straining and sticky and messy stools rather than hard ones. Even if the stool is soft, weak rectal muscles make passage difficult. If you feel that aluminum poisoning is the cause of your dog’s chronic constipation, stop using aluminum cooking pots and dishes when preparing your dog’s food.
Avoid pet food that is sold in aluminum cans. In addition, do not feed your dog processed cheeses, table salt, white flour, and tap water. To remove the aluminum from his body, use high doses of vitamin C – about 500 milligrams to 3 grams per day along with zinc supplement-5 milligrams for small dogs up to 20 milligrams for large dogs.