Dog Constipation: Signs Symptoms & Treatment
- Fact Checked
From cuts on their paws to uneasy stomachs, dogs arent always forthcoming with their injuries or illnesses. Constipation is something you wouldnt automatically think your dog may suffer from, but it happens more frequently than you might think. Thats because there is a long list of things that can cause constipation in dogs preventing your dog from producing regular bowel movements.
Although you may be well attuned to your dogs bowel movement habits, as in how often you have to take him out to go to the bathroom, you may not necessarily be counting every time hes produced a stool or what it looked like. Also, since a dogs diet may accidentally include scraps of food from the kitchen table, remnants of trash, or anything else he gets his mouth on outside, you may not realize what hes digested.
However, there are signs and symptoms of constipation to look out for, as well as home remedies and alternative therapies to consider when it comes to constipation in dogs. And when in doubt, its always best to seek the recommendations from your pets veterinarian who already knows your dogs medical history and behaviors. Chronic constipation isnt fun for anyone, even your dog. There are many options for treating dog constipation including a high-fiber diet, stool softeners for dogs, and more.
What Does Constipated Baby Poop Look Like
she could be constipated, suppositories, Constipation in kids is common, ball-shaped pellets Your baby may arch her back or cry when having difficulty passing a bowel movement.These signs can all suggest actual constipation, I have a ten month old and he is having reflux, who may recommend giving your baby a little extra water or a small amount of 100% fruit juice to soften hard poop, A baby with constipation may start vomiting, his stools will become yellow or slightly green, What does it mean? Occasional constipation is normal, pellet-like stools could mean your baby is constipated, a constipated six month old cant tell by himself, Baby Constipation Signs, Being a mom you would have to look for a few signs like your baby strains while passing the stool, After all, The most common signs that your baby has grunting baby syndrome are: Your baby cries, Being a mom you would have to look for a few signs like your baby strains while passing the stool, irrespective of stools size.
Are There Complications To Be Aware Of
If left untreated, constipation can lead to bowel impactions. This is when stool becomes lodged in your intestine and wont let any other material come through. Other possible complications include:
- anal fissures, which are small, thin tears in the tissue around your anus that can cause blood and pain when passing a bowel movement
- hemorrhoids, which are irritated areas of swollen rectal veins from straining to push out a bowel movement
- rectal prolapse, which is when a portion of the rectum abnormally protrudes through the anal opening, with an inside-out appearance
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Should Poop Sink Or Float
Most poop sinks. But if your poop floats, its typically not something to worry about. Floaters are often caused by excess gas from eating things like beans or sugar-free candies. But if you have floating stools that are also stinky, it can be a sign your body isnt processing food correctly because you have an infection, food intolerance, a digestive disorder or other medical condition.
How Is Encopresis Treated
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment for encopresis may include:
Removing the impacted stool
Keeping bowel movements soft so the stool will pass easily
Retraining the intestine and rectum to gain control over bowel movements
Your childs healthcare provider may prescribe an enema to help remove the impacted stool. An enema is a liquid that is placed in your child’s rectum. It helps loosen the hard, dry stool. Never give your child an enema without the approval of your childs healthcare provider.
Your child’s healthcare provider will likely prescribe medicines to help keep your child’s bowel movements soft for several months. This will help stop stool from getting impacted again. Never give your child stool softeners without the approval of your childs healthcare provider.
Treatment may also include diet and lifestyle changes. Help your child to eat more fiber by:
Adding more fruits and vegetables
Adding more whole-grain cereals and breads. Check the nutrition labels on food packages for foods that have more fiber. As a rule of thumb, great sources of fiber have at least 5 grams per serving. Good sources have 2.5 to 4.9 grams per serving.
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How Is Constipation Diagnosed
The tests performed by a doctor will depend on the duration and severity of the constipation, since most persons experience constipation at one time or another. The doctor will also take into account the patient’s age, and whether there is blood in the stool, recent changes in bowel habits, or weight loss.
Diagnosing constipation may include:
Medical history. The doctor will ask for a description of the constipation, including duration of symptoms, frequency of bowel movements, and other information to help determine the cause of the constipation.
Physical examination. A physical examination may also include a digital rectal examination , in which the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to evaluate the tone of the muscle that closes off the anus. This examination also helps detect tenderness, obstruction, blood, amount and caliber of stool, and if enlargement of the rectum is present.
Other diagnostic tests may include:
What Is The Bristol Stool Chart
The Bristol Stool Chart was developed in 1997 as a clinical assessment tool. Dr. Sabine Hazan, MD, a gastroenterologist, creator of genetic research sequencing lab ProgenaBiome, and author of Lets Talk Sh!t, says doctors need markers to assess a patients bowel movements and determine if they have an illness and whether treatments are working.
So, when patients come in and theyre saying, Im constipated, she says. What does that mean to a GI doctor? What frequency, what shape, what size? All that is important in the history of the patient. The Bristol Stool basically helps us give a score, and then we can follow the score.
Most important, Hazan adds, the chart helps identify unusual or abrupt changes in your bowel movements.
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Can I Prevent Constipation
In many cases, you can. These things can help:
Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal . See how prebiotic supplements can help ease digestion.
Drink 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water and other fluids a day . Fiber and water work together to keep you regular.
Cut back on milk. Dairy products can constipate some people.
Exercise regularly. Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge.
If Your Poop Looks Like This It’s Time To See A Doctor
It can be pretty, um, crappy dealing with bowel issues.
Figuring out whats normal and what isnt can be a challenge if you dont know what to look for. Stools come in all shapes and sizes and can shift forms depending on what youre eating or what is going on in your life at the moment.
Bowel movements change from person to person depending on his or her diet, physical activity, how much water they consume and what medications they take, said M. Nuri Kalkay, a retired gastroenterologist and health blogger.
Everyone has their own barometer of how often their body is used to going and what a typical stool looks like for them. But what if things change and you see something beyond the norm in the toilet? We chatted with some experts to determine what bowel habits are arent so ordinary and might require a trip to the doctor.
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Transient Constipation Vs Acute Constipation Vs Chronic Constipation
Constipation usually happens due to changes in our daily routine like diet, travel, stress, lack of exercise, etc. Therefore, its a transient problem that responds quickly or spontaneously resolves itself with dietary and lifestyle interventions like diet changes, short-term laxatives or fiber supplementation .
With more ongoing symptoms, you may have acute constipation. This can be sudden and occurs between 2 weeks to 3 months . Acute constipation can be more serious and can result from drug usage , hospitalization for surgery , immobilization , fecal impaction, or obstruction .
On the other hand, chronic constipation lasts at least 3 months or more. CC can be very challenging to treat due to its multiple underlying primary or secondary causes . One quarter to half of all sufferers may or may not respond well to general constipation therapies, while some treatments can even worsen constipation symptoms and/or discomfort, which well discuss later in this guide.
What Causes Constipation
Hard, dry stools are the result of the colon absorbing too much water. Normally, as food moves through the colon the colon absorbs water while forming stool . Muscle contractions then push the stool toward the rectum, and, by the time the stool reaches the rectum, most of the water has been absorbed, making the stool solid.
When the colon’s muscle contractions are slow or sluggish, the stool moves through the colon too slowly, resulting in too much water being absorbed. Some of the most common causes of constipation include the following:
Abuse of laxatives
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If You’re Also Vomiting
If you start vomiting while constipated, it could be a sign that your colon is seriously blocked, and you need to seek treatment immediately. “Vomiting and inability to keep food down…would be concerning,” Dr. Maser says. Several conditions can cause vomiting, including fecal impaction, so your best bet is to get to your doctor quickly for an assessment.
Understanding Turtle & Tortoise Poop
Today we are going to be talking about turtle poop. While it might sound gross keeping your eye on a pet turtles bowel movements is a great way to monitor its health and wellbeing.
Chelonians poop on a regular basis during their active months, and the consistency and appearance of it is reasonably reliable. Great news! This means that a change in any of these factors can be an early warning that something is up with your pet.
In fact, a reptiles poop is an incredibly useful insight into whats happening in their body. It can tell you a great deal, from how balanced their diet is, to whether they are suffering from a parasitic infection.
That said, its important to first get an idea of what is normal and what isnt so in this article well cover what turtle or tortoise poop should look like, before into getting into the most common health problems that can be identified by a change.
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Radiography For Colonic Transit Time: Sitz Marker Exam
A radiographic test that is used to estimate transit time of the colon is a Sitz marker exam . In patients with constipation, this study may help discriminate between delayed colonic transit and defecation disorders.
2.3.1. Sitz marker exam
Patients are instructed to discontinue laxatives or any pro-motility medications. Otherwise no preparation is needed. The most common technique used is the ingestion of 20 or 24 Sitz markers in a single dose with a meal. Sitz markers are small, plastic rings that contain radio-opaque material so they may be visible on radiographs . Then serial anteroposterior radiographic images of the abdomen and pelvis are obtained to monitor the clearance of the Sitz markers from the colon . A normal colonic transit time ranges between 24 and 56 h. Most patients will clear all of the Sitz markers in 45 days .
Signs Of Dog Constipation
When you dog is constipated, it may be several days before hes able to produce a stool, or the stools he does produce may be very solid and lack any moisture.
Also, if your pet appears to be having trouble defecating or seems to be in pain, then something else might be going on in his colon or digestive tract. Other signs can include bloating, lethargy, and behavioral changes indicating discomfort or pain. In mild cases, your dogs constipation will clear up on its own, but if your pup has been struggling with signs of constipation for a few days, then make an appointment with your veterinarian to get things checked out. Veterinarians are familiar with treating constipation in dogs and will be able to help you identify the symptoms of constipation, so dont be embarrassed or worried.
Be as descriptive as you can when you take your dog in your veterinarian has most likely heard and seen it all, so dont hold back. It can help the doctor know what their next steps should be to treat constipation.
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Your Colon Absorbes Too Much Water From Your Waste
The basic cause of constipation is dryness. In a normal digestive system, as food moves at a normal rate through your body and is converted into waste, the intestine absorbs water from it and impacts it into stool. In cases of constipation, it seems that food moves too sluggishly through its normal channels, meaning it lingers too long in the colon and has too much water absorbed. The result? Dry stool, which is much harder to push out and gets, well, stuck.
What Should I Expect When I Talk To My Doctor About My Constipation
Talking to your doctor or anyone about your bowel movements is not the most pleasant of topics. Know that your doctor is there for you. Doctors are trained health professionals who have discussed just about every health topic you can think of with their patients.
Your doctor will first ask you questions about your medical history, bowel movements, and your lifestyle and routines.
- What are your current and past diseases/health conditions?
- Have you lost or gained any weight recently?
- Have you had any previous digestive tract surgeries?
- What medications and supplements do you take for other disorders and for the relief of constipation?
- Does anyone in your family have constipation or diseases of the digestive tract or a history of colon cancer?
- Have you had a colonoscopy?
Bowel movement history
- How often do you have a bowel movement?
- What do your stools look like?
- Have you noticed any blood or red streaks in your stool?
- Have you ever seen blood in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper after you wipe?
Lifestyle habits and routines
- What food and beverages do you eat and drink?
- What is your exercise routine?
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam, which includes a check of your vital signs . He or she will use a stethoscope to listen to the sounds in your abdomen. Your abdomen will also be touched to check for pain, tenderness, swelling, and lumps.
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Tips For Healthy Poop
Gastroenterologist Kathryn Hutchins, MD, offers these tips for better pooping:
- Drink more water. Your body needs water to process foods. Drinking enough water makes poop soft and easier to pass
- Avoid irritating foods. Alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods can trigger your digestive tract. If you’re experiencing a lot of loose stools , you might try avoiding these foods
- Exercise. Did you know inactivity can increase constipation? Try going for a brisk walk or stretch with some yoga poses to move things along
- Reduce stress. Stress can affect your bowel movements. Minimizing stress at home or work as well as getting plenty of sleep can help your gut health
“The timing matters, too,” says Dr. Hutchins. “If you find yourself spending more than 10 minutes on the toilet, that’s a sign that you might be constipated.”
When To Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention if you have the following symptoms in addition to constipation, as these may be a sign of partial or complete bowel obstruction:
- severe abdominal pain
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can remedy constipation and pellet stool, including at-home treatments and medical prescriptions.
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What It Feels Like
The main symptoms of IBS are belly pain along with a change in bowel habits. This can include constipation, diarrhea, or both. You may get cramps in your belly or feel like your bowel movement isnât finished. Many people who have it feel gassy and notice that their abdomen is bloated. Persistent pain and frequent trips to the bathroom can make everyday life harder. In women, the symptoms are more common during their menstrual period.
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Poo: What You Need To Know
Your newborns first poo will be a dark green, tar-like substance called meconium. This is normal its your babys stomach and bowel contents emptying after being in the womb for nine months. You might see some dark green poos for a few days.
After this, theres a big range of normal when it comes to what baby poo looks and smells like and how often babies poo.
Some babies poo several times a day, and some poo only a few times a week. This is normal.
Pooing is common during or shortly after feeding. This is called the gastro-colic reflex.
As the weeks and months pass, you can expect changes in poo:
- consistency it can be firm, runny and everything in between
- smell it generally gets smellier when baby starts eating solids.
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