Dog Is Straining to Defecate (cont.)
How to Get Your Dog to Defecate
Laxatives are often an effective way to help your dog in her efforts to eliminate. They vary in their ease of use and their methods of accomplishing their goal. The lubricant types - such as petroleum jelly and cod liver oil - work by simply coating the gastro-intestinal surfaces, allowing material to “slide through” a bit more easily. The bulk laxatives - such as Metamucil, raw bran, and Lactulose - provide a bulky, indigestible substance for the alimentary tract to work on, forcing other materials out in their path through the stomach and intestines. The final types of laxatives are the propulsive types such as Ex-Lax and Dulcolax. These stimulate the muscular contractions of the digestive tract to move things along more rapidly. When using any of these, only do so on the advice of your vet, or with caution. It is easy to convert a constipated dog to one with a bad case of diarrhea if you're not careful.
When to Get the Vet
If the straining continues for more than two episodes, consult your veterinarian.
If your dog begins to vomit in conjunction with making repeated unsuccessful attempts to defecate, it is urgent that you see your vet for help.
Text © 2007 by Robert D. "Jake" Tedaldi, D.V.M.