It’s easy to tell when something is wrong with our dog on the outside, but what about on the inside? Dog blockage symptoms can sometimes be hard to spot if you’re not looking for them.
So, it’s a good idea to always closely monitor your dog’s behaviors to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Intestinal obstruction in dogs can be severe if not treated quickly. But how do you know if your dog is suffering from something internally?
What is a Blockage?
Dogs often eat whatever they can sink their teeth into, so it’s not impossible for them to get an intestinal blockage. A blockage refers to the obstruction of the nutrients flowing into your dog’s body. It can be either a complete or partial blockage. Blockages prevent your dog from fully ingesting their food and getting the nutrients they need. In some cases, it can even cause the blood flow to the GI tract to become compromised, killing intestinal tissue.
All blockages can be painful for dogs, even if their symptoms are not obvious. Intestinal obstructions can become dangerous or even deadly if not treated. So, if you suspect that your dog has a blockage, consult your vet immediately.
What Causes Intestinal Blockages?
There are lots of different causes for intestinal blockages in dogs, but the most common cause is your dog eating something they shouldn’t. Rawhide is the most common reason for a blockage because it’s a popular dog chew, but it’s very hard for dogs to digest. Thus, it’s a good idea to avoid rawhide at all costs and choose a safer alternative, such as bully sticks.
It’s also recommended that you stop your dog from eating objects they find on the ground. Rocks, sticks, fabric, shoelaces, and any other non-food item could get trapped in your dog’s body. This is especially common for curious pups who love to chew on anything they can find. So, if your dog is guilty of eating things that aren’t food, keep a close eye on them as much as you can.
Sadly, some blockages are just out of your control. Certain health concerns like tumors and inflammation near the intestines can cause a blockage. These health concerns cannot be prevented as easily and should be treated by the vet right away.
Dog Blockage Symptoms
Not all dogs behave the same when they have a blockage, but they will most likely behave out of the ordinary. The following are all common symptoms of a blockage for dogs:
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulties defecating
- Abdominal pain
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek help. The longer a blockage goes untreated, the more at-risk your dog will be.
Treatment for Dog Intestinal Obstruction
Dog blockage symptoms are not something that you can treat from home. Instead, you’ll need to turn to your vet for proper remedies. If you know the blockage is caused by a foreign object your dog ate, your vet may simply induce vomiting to get it out of your canine’s system. In most cases, if symptoms have already shown, it’s too late to remove it that way though.
Since blockages can be life-threatening, your vet will likely have to keep your dog hospitalized for full treatment. In some cases, they can simply give your dog fluids to help the obstruction pass through. However, in more extreme cases, surgery will be required. Your vet will need to directly go into your dog’s intestines to remove the object. It’s a serious procedure, but it could save your dog’s life.
After your dog goes through surgery, the vet will still have to monitor them for about two or three days. They will give them antibiotics, pain medication, or whatever else is needed to make your furry friend feel as comfortable as possible. Your vet may require you to continue to give your dog medication for a few weeks after they return home. The sooner you bring your dog to the vet for a blockage, the safer they’ll be in the end.
Keeping Your Dog Healthy
An intestinal blockage is a serious matter. Your dog’s symptoms might seem minor at first, but those behaviors could develop into something deadly in a short amount of time. So, as soon as you suspect your dog isn’t feeling well, talk to your vet. While vet bills can be expensive, it’s worth it if it can save your dog’s life. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s well-being.