Bowel obstruction is a serious disease in dogs. In the absence or delay of assistance, the animal may even die. Signs of the disease may be mild and resemble in most cases a simple poisoning. Some owners unknowingly ignore the symptoms or self-medicate, which only worsens an already difficult situation. Therefore, it is so important to know the symptoms of intestinal obstruction in order to immediately react and deliver the sick animal to the doctor.
Causes of the disease
Blockage or obstruction in dogs is conventionally divided into three main groups:
- Mechanical, the most common. Occurs for the following reasons:
— incorrect dosage of food (especially relevant for starving dogs from the street);
— indigestible or hard-to-digest food. This can include veins and bones that the dog can swallow whole;
— ingestion of foreign objects on a walk or at home;
— blockage as a result of worms after a course of deworming (manifested mainly in young dogs).Mechanical intestinal blockage is entirely the host’s fault. Before taking an animal home, you need to learn the rules of maintenance and care, know about the diet and do not overfeed the puppy. Deworming should be carried out strictly on schedule, even if you do not often walk with the puppy, and he does not communicate with his relatives.For games, select the appropriate toys that are sold in pet stores. Do not give your pet small sticks, foam toys, stones and small objects. If there are children in the family, then children’s toys must be kept in a special play bag or Cabinet so that the dog does not get to them.
- Pathological blockage – appears as a result of tumors in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Physiological obstruction is associated with inversion of the intestines. The main reason for this is the overactive behavior of the dog after eating a large amount of food. Also, obstruction can occur as a result of injury to the peritoneum, compression of the intestines by other organs.Physiological obstruction is divided into:
— acute – develops very quickly, accompanied by numerous signs. This type of blockage is very dangerous and requires immediate medical intervention. The prognosis of recovery is favorable with timely treatment in the veterinary clinic;
— chronic obstruction, which may not appear for a long time. Mainly caused by diseases of the stomach and intestines.
The first signs
As it was already written above, many dog owners take obstruction for ordinary poisoning. No wonder, because the symptoms of diseases are very similar:
- loss of appetite;
- nausea and vomiting;
- pain in the abdomen.
These are the primary symptoms. If there is no defecation during a walk, the animal feels bad, does not eat, and abdominal pain is noticeable by its behavior, then these are most likely signs of intestinal obstruction, and you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you ignore the primary symptoms, the pet’s condition will worsen and lead to the following problems:
- the tone of the abdominal muscles will increase, the dog will try to stretch its hind legs, while straining the tips of its paws;
- due to the large amount of gas, a strong rumbling in the stomach will begin;
- frequent prolonged belching with an unpleasant smell;
- continuous vomiting. It is possible to remove feces along with vomit.
With such symptoms, the dog can still be saved if you contact a specialist in time. In some cases, there is a rupture and necrosis of the intestine, accompanied by dehydration. Obstruction can also be partial, but it is also dangerous and requires contacting a veterinary clinic.
How can I help my dog at home?
The main rule for the owner of a dog with intestinal obstruction is not to self – medicate! No need to force the dog to eat or drink. Do not give your pet antiemetics or laxatives. Of the permitted medications – painkillers and antispasmodics.
Even if you are outside the city, you should find an opportunity to deliver a sick animal to a veterinary clinic. A dog with intestinal obstruction dies two days after the first symptoms of the disease are detected.
Treatment and diagnosis
To detect the disease, the dog must undergo a diagnostic examination, which includes:
- ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity;
- General urine and blood tests to detect intoxication;
- examination by a veterinarian, palpation of the abdomen to detect tone and pain.
If the dog has eaten a foreign body that cannot be seen during x-ray examination, the pet is given a special contrast agent to accurately determine the object. After a while, the images are repeated, and depending on the movement of the contrast in the intestine, they determine where the blockage occurred.
After finding a blockage site, the veterinarian decides whether it is possible to remove the foreign body without surgery. And if there is such a possibility, then:
- the dog’s intestinal tract is washed with special preparations;
- the pet is put on a dropper with medication that normalizes the gastrointestinal tract;
- as a result of dehydration the saline solution is introduced to normalize the water-salt balance;
- with severe pain symptoms, injections of antispasmodic agents are given.
Recovery after blockage without surgery includes:
- a balanced diet (food in small portions several times a day, food only in liquid form);
- massage of the peritoneum.
In severe cases, an operation is necessary, in which the doctor determines the intestinal lesion and the presence of ruptures. With necrosis, the affected areas of the intestine are removed.
Recovery after surgery is long. The first and second day after surgery, the dog is not fed, put droppers with saline. The dog should be under medical supervision for about two weeks. Depending on the condition, this time can be reduced or increased. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics.
Prevention applies only to mechanical intestinal obstruction. You can protect your dog in the following ways:
- training in which the pet must be well aware of what can be eaten and what is forbidden;
- during absences from the house, you should remove all available small items that the animal may accidentally swallow;
- if the character of a four-legged friend is capricious and wayward, then walking is performed only on a leash and with a muzzle;
- it is forbidden to feed the dog with tubular bones: both raw and cooked;
- all toys must be purchased only in pet stores.
At the first sign of intestinal obstruction and blockage, the pet owner should immediately contact a veterinary clinic. Ignoring the symptoms can be fatal. Be careful and watch your pet’s health.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.