One of the MOST common emergencies is for…..


One weekend in practice I saw 3 kittens and 2 adult dogs.

The owners were very concerned and they all
wondered what they could have done at home
to prevent this or even treat at home.

Here is a snippet of what is in Veterinary



Your pet cries or strains when passing stool. The stools
are hard and dry. Your pet has not had a bowel movement
in 48 hours.

Dogs often become constipated after a feast on bones.
Older pets, especially cats, get constipated due to
decreased activity and lowered fluid intake. Some pets,
such as Manx cats, are prone to constipation. Male dogs
may get an enlarged prostate gland which can obstruct
the colon, also leading to constipation.


BULK UP. Additional dietary fiber is key to having normal stools.
For dogs, ground flax seed is a great source. I give 1 tsp per
cup of dog food. Metamucil is another effective source. Give
1/2tsp per 10lbs of body weight daily. It can be made tastier
by adding it to canned food. For cats, the most successful
remedy I have used is canned pumpkin. I give 1 tbsp twice
daily and find that several cats eat it willingly.

HYDRATE. Ensure that there is more than adequate fluid intake.
You may have to add water to your dog’s dry food. If your cat
is reluctant to drink water, then try some milk or tuna juice.
Regularly provide fresh clean water. For cats prone to constipation
it is wise to feed only canned food. This increases their fluid
intake and most often result in normal stools.

EXERCISE. Regular exercise gets the bowels moving. If you are off-
schedule and not giving your dog his morning walk, then get back
on schedule. If your cat isn’t an outdoor cat, then get her some
toys to play with and have her run after the catnip mouse 2-3 times

HOMEOPATHIC. Nux Vomica has been especially helpful in cats.
It corrects energy imbalances in the intestines that lead to

HERBAL. Cascara, Ginger and Licorice. These herbs can be found in a human
combined formula.

LOOSEN UP. Vaseline is a very safe laxative and is used in the
compounds to prevent hairballs in cats.

TO THE VETERINARIAN. First, it is important to ensure that your pet is really constipated. Dogs will strain with diarrhea and this is
often confused with constipation. Cats will strain with urinary
tract infections or obstructions. Check your cat’s litter box to
ensure that he is urinating. If in doubt, call your veterinarian.

P.S. All 5 of the constipated pets are now
MUCH more comfortable, although two did
need an enema..

P.P.S. If you have any remedies for crankiness,
please pass them on…this getting back to school thing makes
for cranky parents..

P.P.P.S. It really is important for you as
a pet owner to be able to perform a basic
exam at home, and determine the problem.
Even if you have little interest in self treatment,
it helps for you to judge when your pet is in distress
and needs emergency treatment, or when you can wait
out the problem until the next day. I have the
the detailed At Home Pet Health Exam here: