Constipation is a common health problem when it comes to your dog’s digestion. It’s defined as an infrequent, difficult, or absent bowel movement. If your Chihuahua is constipated, they’ll feel discomfort and even pain.
But how do you know if your Chi is suffering from constipation? Most of all, how do you fix it? Can it be done naturally at home, or do you have to rush to a vet clinic?
These will be answered in this article.
How to Know if Chihuahua is Constipated
If you’ve ever been constipated, you know how difficult and uncomfortable it is. Now, imagine a small dog suffering the same thing you suffered.
But dogs have no words to communicate with you. You won’t know when they’re suffering from it. They might whine, bark, and cry; but it can take you a while to know what they’re trying to say.
That said, it’s your responsibility as their carer to observe their health. Check their actions and routine even their bowel movement.
If a Chihuahua is constipated, it will have a hard time defecating. The strain is obvious, and it’ll be hard to miss their discomfort. When they’re able to do so, their stools are hard and dry. Other Chis may also pass mucus instead of stool.
Know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy stool. It can tell you a lot about your dog’s digestion. If your dog is healthy, their stool should have a consistency that’s similar to a thick paste.
Infrequent or Absent Bowel Movement
Besides the telltale signs of constipation, infrequent bathroom breaks can be alarming.
Chihuahua pups should take bathroom breaks every after meal. It normally happens 20 to 60 minutes after eating. Adult Chihuahuas may have just one bowel movement a day.
But constipated Chi pups or dogs may only take bathroom breaks once a day. Some may even go for days without defecating. They’ll only be able to push their waste out once in a few days.
Causes of Constipation
They say that prevention is the best cure. If you’re able to know the most likely causes of constipation, you can avoid them.
That said, here are some of the common causes of dog constipation:
- Not enough water – Your dog’s stool is hard and dry because your dog lacks proper hydration. Besides giving them high-quality food, you should ensure they have water as well. Chihuahuas don’t need too much water. But they have to take it to hydrate their bodies.
- Lacks exercise – There are certain reasons why your dog needs exercise. Besides keeping them physically fit, it also helps keep their body’s balance. Exercising helps prevent sluggish bowel movements. It’s able to shorten the time for the food to reach the large intestine. Exercise can also limit the water that’s being taken out. Thus, your dog has healthier stools.
- Too much or too little fiber – Fiber keeps the stool softer as it retains a certain level of water. When your dog’s stool is soft, it’s easier to pass. That’s why the lack of fiber may cause hard and dry stools. But don’t overdo it as well as too much fiber can also cause constipation.
- Stress – Our dogs also get stressed. This often happens when there’s a sudden change in their routine. Or perhaps they’ve been left alone for the first time. Like with humans, stress can mess your body’s balance. It may cause certain health problems, especially with digestion.
- Too much self-grooming – If your dog loves to groom and lick itself, it may also lead to constipation. That’s because they can swallow the loose hairs that stick to their tongue. It can accumulate in their intestine and make it harder for the stool to pass.
- Obstruction – Our dogs love licking and biting almost everything. But they can accidentally swallow little toys, stones, or grass. It can get caught in the intestinal tract and may cause obstruction.
Several health problems may also cause constipation in your dog, including the following:
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Abscessed or locked anal sacs
- Tumors in the rectum or anus
- Pelvis injury
- Illnesses that cause dehydration
- Neurologic disorders
- A side-effect of certain medications
How to Treat Constipation
If you want to try treating it at home, here are a few home remedies:
- Give your dog more exercise.
- Hydrate your dog’s food by adding a few teaspoons of water.
- Besides hydrating your dog’s food, give your dog more water. Ensure they have access to clean water at all times.
- Give your dog a stool softener or a laxative agent. Read the instructions well before giving it to your Chi.
For the best treatment, you can bring your Chihuahua to the vet. There, vets are able to diagnose the main cause of the problem. Then, they will provide your dog with the best treatment plan based on their case.
You can ensure that your Chihuahua is given the right medication.