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Constipation

Pug Dog Constipation

Overview

Has your Pug ever been constipated? Have you wondered if this is common? Can this be serious?

While some of us have dogs that have no trouble in this department, other owners will find times that their Pug is having trouble passing bowel movements. Constipation in dogs can be worrisome for owners and very 
uncomfortable for a Pug.

If a Pug drinks plenty of fresh water, gets daily exercise and is brought outside at least 3 times per day, this health issue will usually not occur.  However, there are some reasons why a dog would get constipated and some of them can be quite serious. Since this can be caused by everything from minor issues such as mild dehydration to emergency events such as blockage, let's take a look at what owners should know. 

How to Know if your Pug is Constipated

The normal signs and symptoms include:
  • No bowel movements for 2 or more days
  • Straining when trying to go to the bathroom - If a dog is constipated he will visibly show that he is straining to push out stools
  • Very hard, dry stools - Feces may look like tiny hard pebbles and only a small amount will be eliminated at any one time. 
  • Blood in the stools - This is often due to small rips in tissue due to straining   
  • Mucus - In some instances there may be mucus in the hardened stools
  • In very severe cases of dogs with constipation, the dog will have zero elimination and may be vomiting. This is a red flag to not only make an appointment with the vet, but to seek help ASAP
What can Cause Constipation 

Normally, there will be a change in a Pug's diet or activity level that causes the puppy or dog to become constipated. This includes:
  • Dairy Foods. Feeding your Pug too much calcium can cause this to happen. The biggest culprit is too much cheese.  
  • Too much or not enough fiber 
  • Lack of exercise  
  • Minor dehydration 
  • Blockage. Partial or full blockage may occur for several reasons: 
- Too many minerals, most often the type that is found in “real” dog bones
- Something that your Pug was not supposed to eat. If a dog swallows a small toy or any other non-food object, this can cause blockage in the intestines. Ingesting fur (shedded fur or in some cases clumps if the dog is chewing at his paws, etc.) can cause partial blockage.
- An enlarged prostate
- A hernia
  •     Engorged anal glands 
Other less common reasons that a Pug get constipated include:
  • Rebounding from a bout of diarrhea. For some dogs that are just getting over intestinal upset that included very loose stools or diarrhea, there can be a day or two immediately afterward that he dog does not have normal bowel movements. It is simply the process of a Pug’s digestive system getting back to normal and the bowels needing time to “refill”.
  • Orthopedic problems
  • Tumors
At-Home Remedies to Treat a Pug with Constipation

Since this condition can be caused by a dangerous blockage, it is always recommended to have the Pug evaluated by a reputable veterinarian. Other causes such as impacted anal glands, hernia, etc. are all health issues that must be treated by a vet. However, if a Pug is constipated due to diet, decreased activity and/or slight dehydration, there are some remedies that will work from home. This includes:

Foods high in fiber- Adding some fiber to a dog's diet can often get things moving along; however be careful not to overdue it since large amounts can also cause constipation. Adding a few heaping spoonfuls of fresh pumpkin - given twice per day -is one of the best methods to resolve things. Be sure to use fresh canned pumpkin (the fruit) and not the pie filling.

Adding a mix of shredded lettuce and kale- mixed up well into the main meals- can help.

Water - Encourage your Pug to drink more; keeping in mind that smaller amounts throughout the day as opposed to drinking a lot in one sitting is best since drinking water too fast is one possible trigger for bloat. Many dogs will drink more if led to the water bowl. Offering ice cubes (plain or flavored) is a good way to encourage more water consumption.

Exercise - If your Pug has not had his normal, daily walks recently, getting back on track in regard to daily exercise can help resolve constipation.

When to Call the Vet

It's really important to keep an eye on how your Pug is acting, because often the first sign of internal blockage is constipation or straining when going to the bathroom. Bring your dog to the vet if:
  • It lasts for more than 2 days
  • If your dog vomits (food, yellow, white or foamy bile or clear fluid)
  • Excessive drooling
  • The stomach appears bloated
  • Signs that the dog is in pain
What the Vet Will Do

For 'simple' cases of constipation that are not considered an emergency, the vet may prescribe stool softeners and/or laxatives. In some cases, an enema will be performed at the clinic.

A full physical will be done, including an inspection of the anal glands. If underlying medical conditions are suspected, the vet will run blood tests and perform other diagnostic procedures.

In the case of blockage, things will get more complicated. This is considered a life threatening event. X-rays will often confirm this and surgery will be done to remove the obstruction.
How You Can Prevent Constipation

There are some steps that you can take to try to avoid this health issue with your Pug.

Your dog’s diet. Reevaluate what you are feeding your Pug, including both main mains and snacks. Cheaper foods will have higher levels of inexpensive carbohydrates and fillers; both can cause digestive problems. Dry kibble also contains a lot less moisture than home cooked food or wet canned food, so dogs eating kibble often need to be encouraged to drink more water.

Hydration. As you know, water is vital to maintaining good health. A Pug can quickly become dehydrated. Dogs need about 13 ounces (13.53 Imperial ounces) of water each day. This equals 1.62 cups (.38 liters) for each 10 pounds (4.53 kg) of body weight.  Going by this guideline, a 10 lb. (4.53 kg) Pug should be drinking at roughly 2 cups per day and a 20 lb (9.07 kg) Pug would need about 4 cups. Dogs will need more if exercising more, if food is dry and/or if the weather is hot.

When out for walks, be sure to bring along water and take a break about 1/2 through.  If you leave your Pug home alone and he tends to tip his bowls, use a dispenser to that he'll have a fresh supply throughout the day. 

Exercise. It really helps for Pug to have daily exercise. This will you dog stay healthy in so many different ways including having healthy bowel movements.
To Summarize

Remember, you should follow the guidelines above to determine if you Pug is having a quick bout with constipation or if something serious is going on. However, it will be your instincts as a loving owner that will most help your Pug.

Whenever you feel that something is wrong, if your Pug is displaying discomfort and out-of-the-ordinary symptoms, always have your dog’s veterinarian perform a checkup. The worst thing that can happen is that your dog ate too much cheese and you have peace of mind!
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