Dog Intestinal Blockages

Is your dog having trouble going to the bathroom? Like humans, dogs can get constipated too! Sometimes constipation can be caused by what you feed your dog. Sometimes it can be caused by what they are eating. Dogs can get into foods when you’re not watching. Whether it be waste from the garbage or inedible household items, dogs can be causing harm to themselves.

Constipated Dog

Is Your Dog Eating Garbage?

Make sure your dog doesn’t have access to the garbage. Your garbage barrels should always be covered or kept somewhere your dog can’t access. Many people aren’t aware what their dog is getting into. If they find those barrels, your dog could be eating garbage. Our sneaky little pups go rummaging when we are away at work or sleeping at night. We throw away food scraps that we have no use for but still smell yummy to dogs. Some hazardous foods that end up in the garbage include: chicken bones, cobs from corn, peach pits, and steak bones. We all know our dogs would be happy to get their paws on any of these items. Unfortunately, if a dog ingests these he/she can suffer from severe constipation, an intestinal blockage, or a puncture to their digestive system.

Is Your Dog Eating Toilet Paper?

Dogs don’t always look for food in the kitchen. Sometimes they look for treats in other rooms of your home. They may eat shoes in your closet, toys in your child’s room, or toilet paper in the bathroom. Chewing on these objects can cause serious damage. If your dog chews and swallows these items, you may face a real problem. Ingesting small toys and pieces of shoes can cause your dog to choke. If these objects make their way through your dog’s digestive tract into the colon, bleeding and blocked bowel movements can occur. If your dog is eating toilet paper and tissues it can cause blockages in your dog’s digestive system. Your dog may find them easy swallow so it doesn’t seem problematic. While toilet paper may not cause any bleeding or punctures, they are likely to cause extreme constipation. The tissues and toilet paper will bind up with your dog’s bowels. This will prevent their bowels from properly moving through their intestines.

Dog Constipation and Enemas

What should you do if your dog is constipated? The best option is to consult your vet. They may instruct you to add Miralax to their food. While Miralax is not a “dog laxative”, it is a type of laxative that can be ingested by dogs. It works best for dogs who are constipated because of something they ate like corn. Miralax is not good dog laxative if he/she ingested an object like a toy or rigid item. Forcing this object to move further through your dog’s digestive system could cause more damage. Your best bet is to bring your dog into the vet for them to surgically remove the object. If your dog ingested toilet paper then your vet may recommend an enema. During an enema your vet will flush your dog’s rectum with liquid. The liquid helps expel the contents inside your dog’s intestines and colon. Before performing an enema, an X-ray of your dog’s digestive system to locate the blockage may be required. Once the dog enema is performed and the blockage is released, your vet will be able to inspect your dog’s bowels to see what caused the blockage. Like most procedures performed at the vet, dog enemas can be expensive. Vets local to our area charge approximately $280 for an enema. Contact your vet for potential expenses. Although medical procedures can be costly, never avoid bringing your dog to the vet to avoid an expensive bill. Your dog’s life may depend on it!

Kimberly Mattar
Published October 6th, 2015
Updated May 21st, 2019