Symptoms of Bowel Blockage in a Dog

Take note of your dog's bowel movements.
Take note of your dog's bowel movements. (Image: dog walking image by Wendi Evans from

Gastrointestinal blockages are common occurrences in dogs, mainly because they eat just about anything. Bowel blockage and other gastrointestinal obstructions can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal system and often result in constipation.

Constipation can occur in dogs because of anxiety, stress, diet or lack of exercise. Ingested materials and parasitical infections may also cause constipation in dogs. Minerals in dog bones and dairy products sometimes cause constipation according to the Dog Health Guide. Infected anal glands or other diseases may also cause constipation, notes Vet Info. Pet MD reports that gastrointestinal blockages may be related to gastroenteritis, hernias, intestinal twisting, pyloric stenois or tumors. In some cases, dogs recovering from diarrhea will skip bowel movements for a few days.

Since pet owners usually let their dogs out or walk them to take care of their needs; constipation or bowel blockage symptoms are normally evident.

Frequency of Bowel Movements

Dogs normally have one to two bowel movements every day. Some dogs with bowel blockages may defecate more often but excrete much less stool than normal.

Dairy products can cause constipation in dogs.
Dairy products can cause constipation in dogs. (Image: Yellow cheese image by Plamen Yanev from

Quality of Stool

Small, hard and dry feces are another sign of constipation or bowel blockage. Blood or mucus may be present in the stool if there is a gastrointestinal blockage.

Behavioral Symptoms

You may see your dog straining excessively to pass stool. Bowel blockage symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness and weight loss. Your dog may seem especially lethargic if its suffering from constipation or a gastrointestinal obstruction.

Your dog may seem lethargic or lose its appetite.
Your dog may seem lethargic or lose its appetite. (Image: sadness image by Adam Zdebel from

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