Difficult evacuation, constipation, is difficult usually because the fecal mass is too large or too hard to pass through the anus because its consistency is such that it causes pain, or because of ineffectual peristalsis, weakness in the muscles that affect the evacuation. Unless the dog is greatly overweight, an impacted mass in the rectum may easily be felt through the abdominal walls.
One of the most common victims of constipation is the overfat, under-exercised city dog. For this condition, there is little excuse. It is caused more frequently than not by feeding an unbalanced mixture of dog biscuits, meat, and bones. Biscuits are usually made principally of second-grade white flour. Meat has very little residue. Bosses have a dry mineral residue. When the three are fed together without other materials, the stools resemble a kind of modified concrete.
Enlargement of the prostate gland frequently causes constipation when the diet is not regulated accordingly. The prostate, being just below the rectum in front of the pelvis, when enlarged will present a formidable obstruction that leaves a very small space for the passage of feces through the rectum.
A dog whose pelvis has been broken and has healed in a partially collapsed position is likely to be constipated again and again. The dog may have no more than half the natural pelvic orifice through which the stool can pass. Special attention must be given to its diet.
Diet is related to all forms of constipation. If owners would simply feed their dogs properly, the bowels could be easily regulated unless affected by a tumor. Too often, however, owners are willing to resort to drugs rather than take the trouble to regulate the dog’s diet to relieve constipation. The addition of an item of food or the elimination of one is usually all that is needed. Certain types of food cause increased taxation: the coarse, raw fibers in bran or alfalfa meal; milk sugar in skins milk, buttermilk, or whey; raw egg white; and fruits such as pears, apples, and peaches. Other foods are constipating: bones; muscle meat; hard-boiled eggs; boiled white rice; barley water; and dog biscuits. If a dog’s diet is regulated to include the proper amounts of the right types of food, constipation can easily be prevented or relieved.
A cure for the temporary condition is to give enemas, and if they do not enable the dog to expel the mass, the veterinarian will have to crush it with the aid of instruments until it is small enough to pass out of a disagreeable experience for any dog.
Accidents. The intestines are less often affected by accidents than are the other orgasms. It is not often that crushed or ruptured intestines are found in a postmortem examination of even a dog that has been run over by a vehicle. The liver and spleen may be split open and mashed, and the pelvis broken in many places, but unless the intestines are filled with a constipated mass they are usually unharmed. It is true, however, that they can be punctured by bullets or birdshot, but sharp objects that penetrate the abdomen generally push the intestines aside.
It is amazing how resistant they are. We once had the job of replacing a yard of the intestine in the intestinal cavity of a dog that had received a four-inch tear in the abdomen. The intestine had worked out and had been dragged through the dirt and hemlock needles in the woods. The owner brought in his pet wrapped in a blanket, with little hope that anything could be done. The dog was anesthetized, the intestines were washed, and the soil and needles were flushed out of the abdomen. After the intestine was replaced, the wall was sutured and the dog recovered.
See more: Dog Clipping
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