A pet dog giving birth to babies is an overwhelming time for the owner. As exciting it may sound but taking care of newborn babies requires extra effort. From keeping warm to feeding, newborn puppy finds it all quite difficult. If you observe your two week old puppy being constipated it’s time to take some action. You can try different home remedies but if this constipation persists for more than 1 and half-day, you should immediately take it to the doctor.
IS MY PUPPY CONSTIPATED?
If it’s the first time you are observing your dog giving birth, you may get confused if your puppy is constipated or not. Your newborn puppy should have smooth bowel movements 2-3 times a day. But if it hasn’t passed any stool in 24 hours, that’s an obvious sign. The owner should observe this infrequent bowel movement for a day and a half. Check whether the stool is dry or not or if your two week old puppy is having difficulty in passing the stool. If the answer is yes to both; all these signs show that your puppy is constipated.
REASONS FOR CONSTIPATION:
Before finding out the remedies for constipation, let’s first peep at the reasons why your 2-week old puppy could be constipated. Generally, constipation is caused when the food in the colon stays for too long and all the water content is absorbed. This low water content makes the stool hard and dry that causes extreme difficulty for the puppy to pass it out.
Some of the reasons for constipation are as follows:
1- DIET: From 3 to 5 weeks, puppies feed on their mothers. However, if your puppy is orphaned or not feeding by the mother for some reason, the responsibility falls on the owner. In such a case, owners need to take special care of their little puppy’s diet especially before starting weaning. At such a young age, formula feed must be given to the puppies which sometimes can be the reason for constipation itself. The formula should have an adequate amount of water and fiber.
Fiber plays a vital role in keeping the movement of digestive food material easy through the intestines. Just like humans, fiber gives bulk to the stool in dogs as well. Fiber keeps the stool not too hard and not too loose. The water content of the stool is also extremely important as moisture allows the stool to move through the bowels without any toil.
If dehydration is the underlying reason for your puppy’s constipation, then you should increase your water intake. Sudden changes in food routines can also be a reason for constipation. You should avoid doing that as certain changes aren’t healthy for the young ones. Gradual change can have fewer side effects on their stomachs and bowels.
2- STRESS: Stress might be a major reason behind your puppy’s constipation. Dogs in general are very sensitive to stress in various situations. If you have brought home a young puppy, the moving of home might be stressful for the puppy that in turn may affect its digestive system. The excessive waste material causes a build-up in the colon that leads to constipation.
On the other hand, stress can also cause muscle tension in young puppies that obstruct the smooth passing of stool. Normally, this problem settles within 1 day but if the problem persists for more than 2 days, you should consult a vet immediately.
3- COLON OBSTRUCTION: If there is any sort of blockage in your puppy’s colon, it can prevent bowel movement. This blockage can build up waste and irregular defecation.
Puppies have a habit of eating whatever comes in front of them and this habit clogs the digestion of stuff that is indigestible. Sometimes puppies eat common things like socks, plastic bags, small toys, or any other tiny plastic things. These things block the large intestine and slow down the bowel movement or bring a complete halt to the bowel movements. In such situations, a vet should be consulted immediately.
Younger puppies (1 to 2 weeks old) lick their fur a lot and swallow this fur. The fur gathers in their alimentary canal and takes a shape of a ball and causes obstruction in the colon. Another type of constipation is mechanical constipation or Psuedoconstipation which is caused by the long hair around the anus that gets tangled with each other and blocks the bowel movement.
4 – MEDICATION: If your newborn puppy has been on some medication, that can cause constipation as well. In such a situation, you should immediately cease the use of that medication and consult the doctor.
5 – DISEASE: Other kinds of diseases like tumors, bacterial infections, perineal hernia, or kidney diseases largely affect the digestive process of your puppy. Kidney disease is the most common cause of constipation because kidneys cause too much water to be absorbed from the stool. It is very important to treat these underlying problems.
6 – SURGICAL PROCEDURES: If your 2 week old puppy has recently undergone any sort of surgical procedure, the effects of anesthesia can cause slower bowel movements. Lack of activity due to surgery also slows down the digestive system.
TREATMENT FOR CONSTIPATION:
There are several treatments for constipation ranging from natural to medicinal treatment. Let’s have a look at some of these remedies:
1- Olive or vegetable oil: Mineral oils can be a short-term treatment but one should be very careful in using natural oil as it might cause vitamin A depletion. Mineral oils should not be used for more than 1 week. 1 tsp of mineral oil per 10 pounds of puppy’s body weight should be used.
2- Ginger and Chicken or Beef Broth: ¼ teaspoon of ginger mixed with ½ cup of chicken or beef broth is a great home remedy for constipation. Ginger largely aids in treating any digestive health as well as makes bowel movements smooth.
3- Exercise and Fresh Water: Excessive water is very crucial in keeping the bowel movements smooth and avoid constipation. You should take your puppy outside for a regular walk and exercise. This exercise along with excessive water greatly reduces the
risk of constipation.
4- Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics: Adding digestive enzymes and probiotics to your puppy’s diet can prevent diarrhea as well as constipation.
5- Mother’s Help: Mothers of young puppies lick their anus and belly to keep it clean and enhance elimination. Usually, mothers keep on doing this until a puppy is old enough to pass the urine and stool on its own. Young puppies do not defecate without this stimulation. Mother should feed their puppies properly and regularly so that they are not dehydrated and the water content in their bodies remain adequate. This water content aids in the prevention of constipation.
Do not try to give any kind of medicine or laxative to your pet as it might cause adverse side effects. Always consult your doctor prior to giving any medicine. Vet doctors will recommend specially designed laxatives for your pets that will relieve constipation.
1- Diet: Another mistake most owners do is that they try to give grains that humans use, thinking that it may cure constipation in pets as well. In spite of getting better, these high fiber human grains can cause more severe constipation in pets. Consult your vet as he/she will recommend other high fibrous diets. Some doctors advise using pumpkin in your pet’s diet. Pumpkin had high fiber content that gives bulk to the stool and lets it pass out easily. You should give 1 tablespoon of pumpkin per meal. This treatment should be continued until constipation is relieved. There are several dog foods available in markets that are specially designed for dogs to give relief to them from constipation.
2- Laxatives: Many laxatives give relief to your little puppy’s constipation. The most common pet laxative is Lactulose and its dose depends on the size and age of the pet. Other than Lactulose, there are other medicines like Laxatone, that treat swallowed hairballs, that are causing constipation in pets. Laxatone is also a laxative that keeps the intestinal movements strong and pushes the waste material out of the body easily.
3- Enema: Many pet owners try to give an enema to their pets at home. This is a huge mistake as it might cause more severe problems in your little 2-week old puppy. It might cause serious injuries and the risk of toxicity. You should always visit the doctor so that he can give an enema with proper care and in a professional manner.
4- Massage: Doctors will always ask you to give a good massage to your puppy’s tummy if it is in pain due to constipation. Always use a warm cloth while giving massage as well as apply little pressure on the tummy and massage in a downward motion towards the anus. This massaging helps to stimulate bowel movement.
PREVENTION TIPS FOR CONSTIPATION IN PUPPIES:
Your pet is back to its normal bowel movements, it is now your duty to take special care so that constipation might not reoccur. Following are some tips that you should make sure to do so that
your pet is not constipated again.
- Take special care of the dog’s diet. Try to invest in high-quality fibrous food especially for young puppies. Avoid over-processed and unhealthy foods.
- Make a regular exercise schedule and try to follow it strictly. Low level or irregular exercise routine slows down the digestive movements and ultimately causes constipation. Regularity in exercise keeps bowel movements smooth.
- Make sure to keep your pet’s hair trimmed especially around the anus area because long hair might cause mechanical constipation. Try to get your pet’s hair trimmed by a professional hairdresser.
- Always stick to dog food. Many think that human food can be beneficial for dogs but this is not true. So always use dog food because human foods may cause indigestion and in severe cases, causes toxicity. Low grain pet foods largely reduce constipation.
- Fluid intake should be adequate. Your puppy should have a constant supply of water. In hot weather, special care should be taken to avoid dehydration and extra fluids must be provided when your puppy is extra active.
An owner dreads a constipated puppy. Many puppies refuse to eat anything if they are constipated. They whine in pain and even do not want to go outside for a walk. This situation requires immediate attention and you need to take your puppy to the vet doctor. If possible, you can try some home remedies but if constipation persists, consult a doctor. Hopefully, this article has provided you with enough prevention tips that can help you to keep constipation at bay.