Tuesday, 21 September 2010

dogs, constipation after surgery and weight-control

Today I came across a short article about dealing with constipation in dogs, following surgery. I would have liked this info last week, when we were stressing about her lack of defecation.

It suggests feeding canned pumpkin. I notice many sites in the US suggest this, and I wonder why plain cooked pumpkin is not recommended. I just bought pumpkin and boiled it up, because I wouldn't buy canned pumpkin in case it has sugar added. I also mixed cold cooked potato in with her food, as it is not digested and gives her a sense of fullness. I was told about this by a fellow club member of Cindy's Walk and Talk group, and it's mentioned at this site on weight loss in humans. I think we have to be careul about assuming what is right for humans will be okay for dogs, though. But it did mention that the hunger-satisfying effect was tested on animals, so that could be worth further internet research.

I notice the article also suggests
If it's been a few days and you're starting to worry, try adding some psyllium husk to some canned dog food. Follow the directions on the container to get the proper amount for your dog's weight. As a general rule, a child's dose is ½ to 1 teaspoon per day. Most veterinarians feel a teaspoon per day for a 60 pound dog is adequate. Make sure the dog drinks plenty of water after eating psyllium husk.
Salt-free beef or chicken broth may get your dog readily drinking fluids. Make the broth yourself by throwing in some meat bones with water and simmering the liquid for an hour or two. Offer this liquid by itself or add it to your dog's food.
That's exactly what we did, giving her chicken broth so she'd drink, and adding a teensy tiny bit of psyllium husk to her food. But because we didn't know how much to add, we only threw in a couple of grains, so I guess it didn't have any effect.

She's still only defecating about every second day, where she used to do so every day, but, as the article says,
a dog's urge to have a bowel movement is closely linked to exercise.
They suggest taking the dog for a short walk, but as we can't do that, I took her for a drive in the car today, and that worked its magic.

Yep, I'm driving my dog around the streets so she can poo on someone else's grass. But I do pick it up!


Hound Girl said...

When mine are constipated I give bacon with some bacon grease and it does the trick :) Here in Texas we can buy the canned pumkin without sigar so I get that alot too but so many of their homeade treats are made with the canned pumkin in no longer works as a laxative for them. Any veggies that have a high fiber amount have worked for us.

Slavenka said...

Parlance, really is wonderful how much you care about Penny.

Maggie and Mitch said...

Your poor mom, Penny! It sounds like she's stressed! I eat butternut squash and turnip and sweet potatoe all the time so I would assume fresh pumpkin with be fine too. I've also had psyllium husk added to my dindin (before I had kidney disease. Mom used to take an ice teaspoonful and stir it into about 1/4 cup of water and wait 10 minutes till it turned to a sloppy gel and then she'd pour it over my food.
The things our moms do for us! What would be ever do without them?!

Love ya lots

Two Pitties in the City said...

We use the canned pumpkin for both loose stool and constipation. I don't know how it can do it all, but I'm happy it works.

parlance said...

Hound Girl, that's interesting about the bacon. Penny hasn't tried bacon, except for an occasional off-cut of the fatty part. I'll add it to our list of interesting things to eat.

parlance said...

Slavenka, thanks! And thanks for your interesting site. I don't know where you find such a range of topics! I love your blog.

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, I guess I am a bit stressed, lol, but I'm getting a handle on it and we're staring to relax now that Penny has recovered from the surgery.

parlance said...

Two Pitties, I was looking at a site about pumpkin and it said it helps with constipation. A surprisingly useful vegetable!

I love cooked pumpkin. I think we eat it more often in Australia than people in the US do.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Glad to hear that Penny's come through her Op okay! Personally, I think keeping them quiet post-surgery is the HARDEST part! :-)

I had to laugh at your detailed post - Paul and I often think we have an unhealthy obsession with Honey's bowel movements but now I see we're not the only ones!


parlance said...

Hsin-Yi, until I got Penny I didn't realise bowel movements could be so interesting, lol.
Oh... except for the time I had my gallbladder removed (the old-fashioned, ten-week-recovery way) and spent the week obsessing about my own bowel!