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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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I have an 8 year old male American bulldog. 3 weeks ago he

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I have an 8 year old male American bulldog. 3 weeks ago he couldn't not pass stools was being sick wouldn't eat or drink, took him to vet where they xrayed him, they said they thought there was a blockage, when they opened him up they could not find anything just lots of gas, he was given liquid paraffin and lactulose, also some tablets for his stomach. He still did not pass any stools, just straining and passing little amounts of fluid. They then decided to do an enema, first one did not work, so again back to vet to have another one, that one did work. I changed his food to a higher fibre food as well. he started to have stools like a blacky colour. now I am back to square one and my insurance money has run out because he has reached his maxium amount of insurance. he is just straining with just the tiny bits of fluids is not eating, but I am getting small amounts of water into him, he has been shaking but I have given him metacam incase hes in pain. he still wants to play. vet told me to give him 25 mls of liquid paraffin which I did and he just brought it all up. I think theres more to it than constipation I think something good been causing this. since last year he does collapse every so oftern but my vet also put that down to vestibular syndrome and his face goes down at one side, he had a brain scan and and fluid took from his neck but everything came back clear. What I really want to know is is there more tests he can have?, could there be an underlaying issue the vet has missed, just advise please on this matter I am at the moment at my wits end worrying about him. thank you

Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. I'm so sorry about Trooper's issues and all that you have been through. It seems that Trooper has been getting excellent care. I'm still not sure from what you have written if Trooper was actually constipated because you said when they did surgery to alleviate his constipation they found nothing!

Dr. Barbara :

But then you said that an enema produced constipated stool??


they said it was constipation because he could not pass any stools, and was being sick not drinking and not eating, so they said he was constipated


that's when they decided to take an xray to see if there was any blockages

Dr. Barbara :

Thank you for your response. Constipation is when hard stool has become clogged in the intestine. . .usually the large intestine.

Dr. Barbara :

However, colitis can cause exactly the same symptoms!

Dr. Barbara :

Colitis is inflammation of the large intestine which causes an animal to feel like they have to go and they strain and strain only to produce a small amount of liquid stool, mucus, and with or without blood.


yes its like white fluid just drops, he is so miserable

Dr. Barbara :

Black tarry stools would indicate an upper GI bleed (from the stomach or small intestine). You said he had blacky colored stools. In your opinion, were these truly black and tarry or were they very deep brown? Believe me, we are always asking this even of ourselves. Sometimes it's obvious, but a lot of time it's not!

Dr. Barbara :

I'm going to switch us to the Q&A mode so we can continue chatting without a further charge to you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for that barbara





Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it was black stools then went to a brown color, it wasn't a tar kind of stool, it wasn't sticky

So I am now here!
Can you say that he had black tarry stools?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wouldn't say tarry stools just normal but black

Could you provide me with a time line. . .when was his surgery, and when were the enemas? How soon after his surgery was he started on paraffin and lactulose? Is he, or was he on any antibiotics?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I cant remember the excat date but the op was beginning of april, then about 2 days after the op he had ememas, paraffin and lactulose was started after surgery because he still couldn't pass stools, he was on anitbiotics straight after surgery.i hope that makes sense

It does make sense. . .thanks. Do you remember which antibiotics? I'm sorry to be so full of questions because I too think something else is going on, and I'm not convinced that he was constipated (stuck stool). He could very well just have (and had) colitis, and this treatment is very different than treating for constipation!
Also, are you able to take his temperature rectally?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't mind u asking me any questions I want to help my baby, the antibiotics are synulox, no I am unable to take temperature im afraid, I did read about colitis and thought he had thesymptons

Synulox would be a great antibiotic to "cover" an abdominal surgery, but not a good or effective antibiotic for colitis.
Colitis can be caused by bacterial infection in the large intestine. It can also be due to parasitism. Also, other organ systems can be diseased leading to colitis like the pancreas, kidneys, and liver. Did your vet do a comprehensive blood profile on Trooper before his surgery?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

im not sure when she took the bloods but I know she did take them whether that was before or after I don't know, she said his kidney levels were a it high, but she thought that was because when he was on lactulose and paraffin it made him thirsty, trooper doesn't normally drink a lot.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

are you still there?

Thanks! The blood test must have been after his surgery then as your vet thought the kidney values were high secondary to the paraffin and lactulose.

I know this is not what you would like to hear, but I really advise that you have Trooper looked at again. I know your vet did do surgery on him because they thought he was constipated, and yet, could find no obstruction or constipation. I also know he was treated for constipation with paraffin and lactulose, but this honestly makes no sense to me since they found out through surgery that he was not constipated! Then within a few days of surgery he was given 2 enemas, again a treatment for the constipation that they did not find surgically!
Trooper's problem is still undiagnosed and the most important thing is to get a diagnosis so he can be treated accurately and effectively. He needs to be treated for what ails him!
I am so sorry that your insurance has run out, but Trooper is still quite ill with something that is undiagnosed. Your vet will likely do any follow-up diagnostics for much less, since this is an ongoing problem and Trooper is not doing well.
I'm not there, so I'm sure there are things about his case that I don't know. What I do know is that your vet needs to continue his care until he is healthy.
The only way I can directly help for tonight is to check on the metacam dose you are giving. What does Trooper weigh? Are you giving liquid or pills and do you know the concentration of the liquid or pills (how many mg per pill, or how many mg per ml of liquid?)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well I am meant to be taking him tomorrow he gets very stressed at the vets and is not an easy dog to examine and he is very scared.but I wanted a 2nd opinion on him. hes on 45 kg metacam his weight was 49kilos well he properly isn't now as he hasn't been eating. he was having 25mls of paraffin 3 times a day, but he just brings that back up and lactulose he was having 25 mls a day 3 times a day. the other tablets he was on arezantac metodopramide he only took the tablets for a couple of days. Do you think he has colitis? should I ask for tests to be carried out for this condition? thank you

Thank you so much! I am sorry that Trooper gets so stressed, but your vet will have good assistants there and can even use some mild chemical restraint if necessary.
He should be on 4.5 mg (I'll assume he has lost some weight)of metacam once daily. If you are giving him the liquid, then you are probably giving the 45 kilo dose which is premeasured into the liquid you are giving him.
I'd recommend stopping the paraffin since it makes him vomit, and I'd also recommend stopping the lactulose for now. . .until your vet sees him.
The metoclopramide and the arezantac were for an upset stomach.
I do think he has colitis which would be the result of intestinal bacterial or protozoal infection, other organ disease (like pancreatitis), or eating something that he is not used to (doesn't seem to be Trooper's problem.
Again, I realize I am not there, and there are several aspects of Trooper's case of which I don't have a clear picture. . .but your vet will know exactly what they did find and where to go from here.
I'll definitely want to keep tabs with you and Trooper as you are going through the next steps. Also, feel free to ask any questions or express any concerns, and I will do my best to address these. . .OK?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you so much, you have been very helpful, I will point colitis out to my vet tomorrow, I use advocate on trooper but I can never get it on his skin because he hates it and runs around the house so I cant put it on him.i just hope we can get to the bottom of this he has had a very rough year poor boy thank you again

You are welcome. I am really glad to have been of some help. Even after you rate, we can continue on this thread at no more charge for you. I'll also put you in for a follow up in 2-3 days, just to see how things are going.
Best of luck to you and Trooper!
Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you so much Debbie for your kind rating. . .greatly appreciated!
Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you at least I have something to point my vet towards which I feel she should have looked at thank you again

We'll talk again I hope after your vet there knows about Trooper's continuing problems.
Take care,
Dr. Barbara
Hi Debbie,
How are things going? Any more solid diagnosis yet? How is Trooper feeling?
Dr. Barbara