Constipation

Difficulty in passing stools

Constipation, difficulty in passing stools, can cause a variety of symptoms in pets. Signs may include:

  • Infrequent or absent bowel movements
  • Straining or difficulty passing stools
  • Small, hard, or dry stools
  • Pain or discomfort while attempting to defecate
  • Loss of appetite or decreased food intake
  • Lethargy or reduced activity levels
  • Abdominal discomfort or bloating

Other health conditions may share similar symptoms with constipation, including Foreign Body Ingestion, gastrointestinal motility disorders, or intestinal cancer.

If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your pet's health, consult with your veterinarian. Early detection and intervention can improve the chances of successful management and prevent complications.

When you visit your veterinarian for concerns related to constipation, the following may occur:

  • Medical History: They will take a detailed medical history, including any signs and their duration.
  • Physical examination: The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet, checking for any abnormalities in their abdomen and rectal area.
  • Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic procedures such as radiographs (X-rays) or blood tests may be recommended to evaluate the presence and severity of constipation. In some cases, additional tests such as ultrasound or fecal analysis may be necessary.
  • Treatment options: Treatment options for constipation can vary depending on the underlying cause and severity. It may involve dietary modifications, increased water intake, stool softeners, or medications to promote bowel movement. For more severe cases, manual removal of hardened stool under anesthesia or surgery may be necessary.
  • Follow-up care: Your veterinarian will discuss a follow-up plan, which may involve regular monitoring of your pet's condition, additional tests, or adjustments to the treatment regimen.

Your veterinary healthcare team will partner with you to decide which treatment option is best for your pet's and your family’s specific condition and situation.

Here are some things you can do at home to help prevent constipation in your pet:

  • Provide a balanced diet: Feed your pet a well-balanced diet that includes an appropriate amount of fiber to support healthy digestion.
  • Encourage water intake: Ensure your pet has access to fresh and clean water at all times. Consider using a pet fountain or adding water to their food to encourage hydration.
  • Regular exercise: Engage your pet in regular exercise to promote proper bowel movement and overall gastrointestinal health.
  • Secure garbage and household items: Ensure that garbage bins are securely closed and not easily accessible to your pet. Prevent ingestion of non-food items (cat litter, bones, gravel, rocks, etc.) that might lead to an impaction in the gastrointestinal tract, including the large intestine.

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on preventing constipation in your pet. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your pet's specific needs and medical history.

Please note that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you suspect your pet has constipation or any other health concerns, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$500

You pay only

$50

Constipation

You save

$450

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$500

You pay only

$50

Constipation

You save

$450

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$500

You pay only

$50

Constipation

You save

$450

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.