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my dog is having trouble with bowel movements
An_220863 posted:
My dogs looks and acts her normal loving way but she has a great deal of trouble with her bowel movements....I think she may have swallowed something that she shouldn't have...and my spouse says that he saw some blood....Is there anything treatment, like laxative or enema, that I can do for her until she passes the thing that is giving her problems.
thank you
Katherine Snyder, DVM, DACVIM responded:
There are several questions that I'd have for you to help clarify your dog's problem.

How old and what breed is your dog?
Are her stools watery, soft, normal, or very firm?
Does she seem uncomfortable when she defecates?
Is she able to posture like normal when she defecates?
Is she urinating normally?

If she's passing relatively normal stool, but it just takes her a long time to do it, chances are good that something is wrong with her rectum (the part of the colon closest to her anus) or the anal area itself. And this problem is usually NOT something they ate, because the colon is larger than the small intestine--so if the foreign object was going to get stuck, it usually gets stuck further up in the intestines where things are smaller. And dogs do NOT strain to defecate if they have a problem higher in their intestines.

She needs to be examined by a veterinarian. If there is nothing they can see on the outside of her body causing a problem, something is probably happening on the inside of her body. Your vet will probably start with a basic examination and a digital examination of her colon. If they don't find the answer, they may move on to X-rays, a neurological examination, or blood work.

I would not recommend giving her laxatives or enemas (both of which can be dangerous if given improperly) unless your veterinarian examines her and decides that it's the right thing to do.

Good luck!


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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