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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10861
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My cocker has been chewing on a shop bought bone over weekend

Customer Question

My cocker has been chewing on a shop bought bone over weekend and this morning he couldn't open his bowels properly, every time he tries he yelps really loud but continues to try every couple of seconds without success. Since yesterday morning he has only managed to pass a very small amount which was extremely hard, almost stone like. Is there anything I could give him to help soften his stools?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

Hello Lisa, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Baggins hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response,but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

When it comes to constipation issues in dogs, there are actually several options for you to try at home: manual removal and/or oral laxatives.

Removal options

1. Sometimes if you can remove enough hard feces that are present right at the anal opening, the dog is able to evacuate the remainder. So, if you'd like to try and remove fecal material, the following is how you would do so: Place a latex glove on your hand and lubricate it really well with K/Y jelly or Petroleum Jelly and lubricate his rectum, too. Gently insert your index finger into his anus up to your first or second knuckle, and hook your finger into fecal material and gently retract it. You may need to perform this procedure several times.
I would have someone helping you since this may be a little uncomfortable for Baggins and you don't want to get injured yourself.
I understand that this is not something that everyone will feel comfortable doing.

2. If you have a large syringe or turkey baster, you can also give him a warm water enema. Obviously, this is not for the faint hearted. I would lubricate the end of the syringe or baster as I mentioned above, gently insert into his rectum about 1 inch and gently squeeze the warm water into him.
You may also need to repeat this procedure several times to loosen up the hard stool.
Every step should be done gently so as not to hurt him.

3. You can give him an over the counter, human enema if it has DSS (docusate sodium) on the label. Another enema option would be a single pediatric glycerin suppository. (LINK)

Oral laxative options:

1. Laxatone or Laxaire (or similar products) which are hairball laxatives for cats. These products will work very well on a smaller dog. They are available at pet or grain stores. You would give 1-3 inches 2-3 times a day.

2. Canned pumpkin (NOT the pie mix); ½ -1 tsp daily in food

3. Over the counter, human Miralax 1/4-1/2th tsp twice daily can work very well.

4. Oral Docusate Sodium (Colace) 25 mg once or twice a day for small dogs; 50 mg for medium sized and larger ones.

Depending on the degree of constipation, oral options may not be effective at this point and you may need to remove at least some of the harder stool before they work.

I hope this helps; again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb