Causes And Symptoms Of Canine Constipation
Its important to know the symptoms of constipation in dogs so that you can tell when your pet needs some help. Pay attention when your dog goes to the bathroom are they straining or struggling? You might notice a difference in their stool as well.
Dogs who are constipated often have pieces of stool that are smaller and harder than normal. Theyll also whine and want to go outside more often. Constipation can also make your dog appear bloated and uncomfortable, and they may have a hunched posture. If theyre experiencing constipation regularly, they may also lose their appetite.
There are a number of different factors that can cause constipation in dogs. If they dont have enough fiber in their diet or arent drinking enough water, they may struggle to process food. They may also feel constipated as a result of eating something they arent supposed to, like hair, grass, or feces.
Other foreign objects can also cause blockages that prevent your dog from passing food normally. In more serious situations, your dog could also be experiencing constipation as a result of a hernia, enlarged prostate glands, neurological condition, tumor, or other chronic health problem.
Certain dog breeds could also be struggling with hip dysplasia or another painful condition that limits their ability to squat. This is why its so important to consult your vet if your dogs constipation goes on for an extended period of time.
Why Do Laxatives Cause Bloating
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Here are 11 proven ways to reduce or eliminate bloating.
Fiber Is Not Always The Answer
If adding fiber to your diet in the form of food orsupplements makes you more bloated and blocked than before, there are a numberof potential reasons. For example, in slow transit constipation, a conditionwhere the bowel does not move things quickly through, fiber sits in your gut andcan make you feel worse.
Long story short: If fiber makes you worse, dont just addmore. See your doctor.
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How Long Should I Take A Laxative For
This depends on what type of constipation you have. Most people only need to take a laxative for a short time, to get over a bout of constipation. Once the constipation eases, you can normally stop the laxative. Some people get into the habit of taking a laxative each day ‘to keep the bowels regular’ or to prevent constipation. This is not advised, especially for laxatives which are not bulk-forming.
Some people have persistent constipation and this can be more difficult to treat. In some situations, laxatives are needed for longer periods and they should not be stopped suddenly. Chronic constipation is sometimes complicated by a backlog of hard stools building up in the bowel or even partially blocking it . If loading and impaction occur they need to be treated first, often with much higher doses of laxatives. Then a normal maintenance dose of laxatives is used to keep the bowels moving.
How And When To Take Laxatives
How you take a laxative depends on the form it comes in. Ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure how to take your laxative.
They’re commonly available as:
- tablets or capsules you swallow
- sachets of powder you mix with water and drink
- a capsule you place inside your bottom where it dissolves
- liquids or gels you place directly into your bottom
Some laxatives have to be taken at certain times of the day, such as first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
If you’re taking bulk-forming or osmotic laxatives, drink plenty of fluids. These laxatives can cause dehydration.
Some laxatives can be taken long-term while some are only suitable for short-term use. Never take laxatives for longer than the recommended time.
Never take more than the recommended dose of laxatives as this can be harmful and cause side effects.
If your constipation has not improved after taking laxatives for a week, speak to your GP.
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Constipation And Pregnancy: Why
If youve already bought the classic childrens book Everybody Poops for your new little one, you may be feeling the irony that this new little one is the reason you cant currently poop.
Why exactly does being pregnant stop you up so badly? Dr. Jhaveri explains.
- Hormones: Like everything else during pregnancy, you can largely chalk this up to hormones. The high levels of progesterone your body produces during pregnancy cause your bowel muscles to relax, she says. The problem is that to have a bowel movement, you need your bowel muscles to contract. A relaxed bowel is a constipated bowel.
- Supplements: If youre taking a prenatal vitamin or an iron supplement, increased levels of iron and other vitamins may be contributing to that backed-up bowel.
- Pressure on your rectum: Your expanding uterus could put extra pressure on your rectum and bowels, Dr. Jhaveri explains. This can you guessed it cause constipation.
What Lab Tests And Other Medical Tests May Be Done To Find The Cause Of My Constipation
Your doctor can order no tests or many types of tests and procedures. The decision of which ones your doctor might order for you depends on your symptoms, medical history, and overall health.
Lab tests: Blood and urine tests reveal signs of hypothyroidism, anemia, and diabetes. A stool sample checks for signs of infection, inflammation, and cancer.
Imaging tests:Computed tomography , magnetic resonance imaging or lower gastrointestinal tract series may be ordered to identify other problems that could be causing your constipation.
Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy an internal view of your colon with a scope may be performed. During this procedure, a small sample of tissue may be taken to test for cancer or other problems and any found polyps will be removed.
Colorectal transit studies: These tests involve consuming a small dose of a radioactive substance, either in pill form or in a meal, and then tracking both the amount of time and how the substance moves through your intestines.
Other bowel function tests: Your doctor may order tests that check how well your anus and rectum hold and release stool. These tests include a certain type of x-ray , done to rule out causes of outlet dysfunction constipation, and the insertion of a small balloon into the rectum .
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It Seems To Be Good For The Heart
All types of fiber can be good for the heart. The American Heart Association say that dietary fiber can improve cholesterol, and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity .
Water soluble fibers, including psyllium, could help reduce blood triglycerides, blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease .
A review of 28 trials found that taking a median of 10.2 g psyllium per day could effectively improve markers of heart health, including lowering LDL cholesterol. This can helps reduce the risk of heart disease .
A 2020 review of 11 trials reported that psyllium could reduce systolic blood pressure by 2.04 millimeters of mercury . The authors recommend using psyllium to help treat hypertension .
Foods For Immediate Constipation Relief
Certain types of foods can create an immediate constipation relief due to fermentation and gas. These types of foods contain fruits, sugar, glucose and fermenting elements. Fermentation in the intestines is the effect of humidity and heat. Also, the longer the food stays in the intestines, the longer will ferment.
Fermentation creates gas. The gas pushes the stool towards evacuation. Fermenting foods act as if they were a combination of Osmotic and Volume laxatives. They favor peristalsis and force the evacuation of fecal matter. The time it takes for the stool evacuation is between 1-3 hours after eating a meal. If you suffer from severe constipation, it can take more than 4 hours.
In this time, you feel the intestines move and feel the gas putting pressure inside them. Also, you will confront with flatulence every 10-20 minutes.
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What Can I Take For Constipation With Kidney Disease: Natural Laxative To Poop Out Toxins
Laxative use by kidney disease sufferers can be menacing if constipation is caused by kidney damage. Prolonged use of common laxatives for weeks can actually worsen your kidney health. Today, Robert talks about some safe laxatives you can use with kidney disease.
If youre thinking of taking Miralax, check out our previous video where we talked about some natural alternatives to Miralax to ease constipation caused by kidney disease. You should always consult with your doctor or nephrologist before taking any over-the-counter laxatives.
A study from the Journal of Renal Nutrition published in January 2015 dives into this constipation issue that many kidney disease sufferers face. During this study, the researchers looked at constipated people on hemodialysis and gave them flaxseed oil, olive oil, and mineral oil to help relieve constipation.
The group consumed around 2-4 tbsp of the oils they were given and at the end of the fourth week, all individuals showed enhanced bowel movements. Of the three groups, the group that showed the highest improvements were using flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil had proven to work as a laxative effect to temporarily relieve constipation for those with kidney issues.
The Side Effects Of Laxatives
Like most medicines, laxatives can cause side effects. They’re usually mild and should pass once you stop taking the laxative.
The side effects you may get will depend on the type of laxative you’re taking, but common side effects of most laxatives include:
- tummy cramps
- feeling sick
- dehydration, which can make you feel lightheaded, have headaches and have pee that’s a darker colour than normal
Ask a GP for advice if you get any particularly troublesome or persistent side effects while taking laxatives.
Using laxatives too often or for too long can also cause diarrhoea, the bowel becoming blocked by large, dry poo , and unbalanced salts and minerals in your body.
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Talk To Your Doctor Or Pharmacist If You Are Concerned
Some people find it difficult to talk about constipation with their doctor or pharmacist. However, they are used to talking about bowel movements, so it’s okay to ask, ‘could the medicine I am taking cause constipation?’ They will check your medicines and may recommend that you use a laxative to ease your symptoms or try a different medicine.
Should I Stop Taking Iron If Constipated
You can avoid absorbing iron well by using them. Iron is absorbed by the body when it is Vitamin C. If you are taking iron pills, you may want to drink orange juice or eat foods high in vitamin C to get the most out of them. Heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps are some of the stomach problems that can be caused by iron pills.
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Is Low Carb Or Keto Right For You
If you still encounter constipation after making the following modifications to your diet, visit your doctor to check for any underlying illnesses.
There are supplements and laxatives which can be used on a keto diet, although you wouldnt want to take it long term.
Look to fix the diet and stay as natural as possible.
Even after making significant changes, it may not be enough to avoid feeling bunged up.
Increasing fiber intake wont always be the solution. Your body may have just started eating foods it doesnt recognize or which you hardly ate before.
Suddenly changing to a high protein high-fat diet can leave the body to process foods that are particularly hard to digest.
Fiber works for the majority of people, but if youre more bloated than normal, it could indicate multiple issues.
What steps do you take to avoid constipation on a low carb diet and your measures for relief?
When Should I Call My Provider
You should call your provider at the first signs of a problem so that your constipation can be fixed more easily and quickly. Treating constipation early will lessen the chance of complications.
- No bowel movement in 3 days.
- Blood in the stool or on the toilet tissue.
- Rectal pain.
- No bowel movement within 1 day of taking a laxative prescribed by your provider.
- Abdominal pain, cramping, or swelling.
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How To Relieve Constipation
Exercise regularly. Drink more water and eat more fiber. Try to walk, swim, or do something active at least 3 or 4 times a week.
If you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, go. Do not wait or hold it in.
You can also train your bowels to be more regular. It may help to go to the bathroom every day at the same time. For many people, this is after breakfast or dinner.
What Are Treatments For The Causes Of Constipation
There are several principles in approaching the evaluation and treatment of constipation. The first principle is to differentiate between acute and chronic constipation. Thus, with acute constipation or constipation that is worsening, it is necessary to assess for the cause early so as not to overlook a serious illness that should be treated urgently. 2) start treatment early of constipation and use the treatments that have the least potential for harm, which will prevent constipation from worsening, and it will prevent potential damage to the colon that can be caused by the frequent use of stimulant products. 3) know when it is time to evaluate the cause of chronic constipation. Evaluation for the cause of chronic constipation needs to be done if there is no response to the simple treatments.
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What Causes Constipation
It’s often difficult to identify the exact cause of constipation. However, there are a number of things that contribute to the condition, including:
- not eating enough fibre, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
- a change in your routine or lifestyle, such as a change in your eating habits
- ignoring the urge to pass stools
- side effects of certain medications
- not drinking enough fluids
Read more about the causes of constipation.
Adjust Your Dogs Diet
Adjusting your dogs diet could potentially get rid of their constipation. Check the fiber content in your dogs food the problem may simply be that they are not getting enough water in their diet.
Another easy change is to switch to a combination of wet and dry dog food, instead of only using kibble. Wet dog food can help increase your dogs daily water intake, which makes it much easier for them to process it. If you arent sure which dog foods are going to be most effective for your pet, talk to your veterinarian and see what they recommend.
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How Does Constipation Happen
Constipation happens because your colon absorbs too much water from waste , which dries out the stool making it hard in consistency and difficult to push out of the body.
To back up a bit, as food normally moves through the digestive tract, nutrients are absorbed. The partially digested food that remains moves from the small intestine to the large intestine, also called the colon. The colon absorbs water from this waste, which creates a solid matter called stool. If you have constipation, food may move too slowly through the digestive tract. This gives the colon more time too much time to absorb water from the waste. The stool becomes dry, hard, and difficult to push out.
Pathway of food waste through colon, rectum and anus.
Here Are Some Examples Of Fermenting Foods:
- sugar, glucose, and fructose
- sweets and cookies with fruits
- pastry with vegetables that contain fructose
- raw cereals
Liquid foods like soup made out of boiled meat or vegetables are effective in improving bowel movement. Also, salads made out of vegetables and vegetable oil improve bile secretion. These things lead to bowel movement and better digestion. See a few examples of and how to eat them.
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Ask Your Vet About Over
The following over-the-counter products may treat symptoms of constipation, but make sure to consult your veterinarian before giving any new supplements or medications to your cat.
There are several types of laxatives that work in different ways. Most over-the-counter options work by causing the body to pull more water into the intestines, which helps soften the stool so its easier to pass.
Because they pull water into the intestines, laxatives can make other symptoms worse for cats with underlying chronic diseases, causing dehydration. You should ask your vet if theyre a good option for your cat.
Miralax is commonly used in cats with constipation, and Colace is also an option. Other laxatives that are designed for people can cause issues for cats.
Oil- or grease-based laxatives like Laxatone should only be used if a vet recommends them and should not be used long-term, as they can affect a cats ability to absorb nutrients from their food.
What About Natural Laxatives
The information above is about laxatives that are commonly prescribed. However, it is well known that certain foods have laxative properties and some people prefer to try natural remedies. Foods that have laxative properties mainly work because they are high in fibre but some foods may also have some stimulant or osmotic properties. The following are two examples of natural laxatives.
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How Is Constipation Diagnosed
See your doctor if you are experiencing constipation and over the counter treatments have not worked.
You should see your GP if you experience or observe the following:
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Constipation that alternates with diarrhea
- Weight loss for no apparent reason.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your history of constipation and what medications you take. They may perform a physical examination and further tests may be performed depending on what they think is the underlying cause of the constipation.