Constipation is an oft-occurring quandary in dogs and can be sourced from various causes. However, unremedied constipation can result in more hazardous health problems such as gastrointestinal stoppage or megacolon. Fortunately, a diversity of drugs can be utilized to treat constipation in dogs. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the usually utilized medications for treating constipation in dogs.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is when a dog confronts hardship or is inept in expelling stool. While various elements can induce it, the most widespread cause is desiccation or a diet wanting in fiber. Other instigators of constipation incorporate hindrance of the intestine, gastrointestinal inflammation, or underlying medicinal circumstances such as renal or hepatic sickness.
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When to Seek Veterinary Care
If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away:
- Straining to defecate
- Hard, dry stools
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Common Medications Used to Treat Constipation in Dogs
A plethora of medications may be deployed to alleviate constipation in canines. However, before supplying your puppy with any drugs, it is prudent to consult your veterinarian.
Laxatives are a medication used to help soften and bulk up stool, making it easier to pass. They can be administered vocally or through the rectum and are generally employed for momentary easement of irregularity. Unusual purgatives commonly used to address canine constipation involve psyllium, lactulose, and mineral grease.
Stool softeners are another type of medication used to treat constipation in dogs. They work by increasing the water in the stool, making it easier to pass. Common stool softeners used to treat constipation in dogs include docusate sodium and docusate calcium.
Osmotic laxatives are a medication used to draw water into the intestines, making it easier for the stool to pass. Common osmotic laxatives used to treat constipation in dogs include polyethylene glycol, lactulose, and sorbitol.
Prokinetic agents are medications that help stimulate muscular contractions in the intestines. This helps speed up the passage of stool, which can help relieve constipation. Common prokinetic agents used to treat constipation in dogs include metoclopramide and cisapride. Metoclopramide works by increasing the amount of gastric acid produced, which helps stimulate the gastrointestinal tract muscles. Cisapride works by stimulating the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to increase the movement of food and stool through the digestive system.
Enemas are medication used to deliver medication directly into the rectum. This can help soften and lubricate the stool, making it easier to pass. Common enemas used to treat constipation in dogs include mineral oil and saline enemas. The mineral oil enema works by coating the stool and lubricating the colon, while the saline enema helps to draw water into the colon and soften the stool. Additionally, some veterinarians may also recommend a phosphate enema, which can help to restore electrolyte balance in the body. It’s important to discuss any enemas with your veterinarian before giving them to your pup.
Other Treatment Options for Constipation in Dogs
In addition to medications, other treatment options for constipation in dogs include providing a warm compress to the abdomen or a massage to help stimulate the bowels. Additionally, some veterinarians may recommend acupuncture or herbal remedies to help treat constipation in dogs. It’s important to discuss any of these alternative treatments with your veterinarian before trying them on your pup.
Constipation is a prevalent issue in dogs, and many causes can engender it. Fortunately, a host of medications can be utilized to address constipation in dogs. These comprise purgatives, stool relaxants, osmotic laxatives, prokinetic agents, and enemas. In addition to medications, other curative alternatives are obtainable for constipation in dogs, such as dietary alterations and intensifying the sum of exertion. Chatting any medications with your veterinarian before giving them to your dog is essential.