Constipated Cocker Spaniel!

Question from: Chris
Sioux, LA. USA

Beautiful golden or orange roan cocker spaniel playing with soft toy on kitchen floorMy Mom says I'm a constipated cocker spaniel...whatever that means!

Help, I have a constipated cocker spaniel! She has a hard time going #2 sometimes but it becomes a major problem when she gets so bound up that she gets physically ill. 

I took her to the vet and found out she has colitis. Isn't there some kind of puppy laxative I can give to her?

Constipated Cocker Spaniel:
Pauline's Answer

Hi Chris,

Colitis is often mistaken for constipation in dogs so I'm not surprised you thought your dog was constipated. 

Natural Remedies for Constipation

It's often better to use natural remedies for constipation wherever possible, such as those listed here:

  • Adding bran or a few drops of olive or mineral oil to their food may help to alleviate the symptoms. 

  • An increase in fresh vegetables (cooked or raw, but raw is better) can also help.

  • A few drops of water to moisten the biscuits can also help to aleviate constipation.

  • Regular exercise.

  • Plenty of fresh, clean water.

In short, a healthy diet, coupled with plenty of fresh drinking water and lots of exercise will help to keep our cocker spaniels fit, regular and healthy.

Treating Colitis and Diet

However, if your vet didn't prescribe a laxative then I wouldn't use one. She probably doesn't need it. 

(I'm surprised your vet didn't prescribe something for the inflammation which is often present in colitis. I can only assume it is a mild condition). Did he recommend any changes to her diet?

Just like us humans, their diet should be a healthy mix of nutrition: the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals and oils. You can follow the link to learn more

You could ask your vet to recommend something for her, or you could increase her fiber and liquid intake which will go a long way to ensure she's more 'regular'. 

Don't feed your dog junk food (bread, cakes, pizza etc) as you'll only be making the situation worse. (Yes, we're all guilty of (occasionally) feeding our cockers such table scraps.)

After a week or so you should see an improvement in your cocker's bowel movements. However, if the constipation/colitis continues, I'd suggest you go back to your vet and ask him to take another look at her.

Follow this link to learn more about constipation in Cocker Spaniels.

Visitor Comments: Constipated Cocker Spaniel!

Constipated Cocker Spaniel!
Comment By: Anonymous 

You could try feeding your dog a little cooked, mashed pumpkin or steamed cabbage leaves. I don't recommend lots. Start with a little, perhaps a tablespoon mixed in with her food for 3 days. If nothing happens, increase it to two tablespoons for the next 3 days. 

If that doesn't work, try the cabbage in the same doses. You should see results from one of them.

If you don't, you may have to resort to using laxatives, but personally, I wouldn't.

Whatever you do though, don't give her any laxatives meant for humans.

Constipated Cocker Spaniel!
Comment By: Raji

My cocker has had colitis and it was not good. I was fed up with cleaning up the mess (from both ends!). My vet gave him something for the inflamed colon to settle it down and he recommended changing him on to a hypoallergenic diet and increase the fiber in his diet.

I followed his advice and within a couple of weeks he was as good as new!

Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to continue feeding him the hypoallergenic dog food so I had to change him back to his other food. It's good, but not as good as the hypo food, but I often give him sweet potato or greens mixed with his kibble.

Hope she's better soon.

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