How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22467
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

my dog is has constipation or a blocked bowel (irish setter

This answer was rated:

my dog is has constipation or a blocked bowel (irish setter bitch 11 years old)

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


Now if Elizabeth is straining to pass feces and hasn't done so in over 24-36 hours, then this is a concern for her. Just to note, if she appears to have belly pain, paling of her gums, has recently vomited (especially if you saw blood or coffee ground appearing material), or has passed any black/dark feces then obstruction (from a foreign body, tumor, gut twist or telescoping, etc) would be suspect and this is something that would need checked urgently


Otherwise, as long as you are not seeing any of the above and she is not in distress, there are a few steps you can try to get her feces moving as they should. To do so, we can start with a bit of cow's milk. This can be helpful at getting things moving along as it should (though it can cause a bit of self-limiting loose stool in non-constipated dogs). As well, cat hairball medication (ie. Catalax, Laxatone, etc) can be used to get things moving. This is available from the vet or the pet shop. It works to lubricate the gut and can facilitate the movement of hard feces out of the rectum. . Alternatively, you can administer a small volume of Miralax (1 tsp per 24 hours), lactulose (available OTC at your local chemist; More Info/Dose), chemist grade liquid parrafin or mineral oil orally. If she is eating, these can be mixed into her food. If you have to administer via syringe, do take care to avoid aspiration ( since that would cause problems we'd best avoid).

Furthermore, if she is eating you can mix in some canned pumpkin or a 1/2 teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil/Benefiber. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. I would offer these with wet food to ease her eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into her (as canned food is 35% water). You also want to continue to encourage her to drink since constipation can be complicated by dehydration. Make sure she has have fresh water and you can even offer low sodium chicken broth if she won’t drink.

While you are doing this, I would advise that you monitor fecal and urinary output.
I would advise trying the above measures, but if you aren't seeing feces in the next 12-24 hours, or she vomits, goes off her food, show belly pain, or worsens, then they should be evaluated by her vet. Severe impactions of feces sometimes are beyond to our gentle colon cleaning treatments, and those cases can require more aggressive treatment (ie enemas under sedation).

Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have her seen today, some veterinary practices in our country have Sunday office hours. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get him seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get her checked out sooner then there are options to have her seen today too.



I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Dr. B. and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

elizabeth had a tumour in her back passage and was attached to her back,elizabeth had to be put to sleep, i like to thankyou for your help,w wallace

Dear Mr Wallace,

I am very sorry to hear that a tumor was found to be at the root of her struggles. Please take care & please do take comfort in the great life she surely had and the memories you two shared.

Please take care,
Dr. B.