Intestinal block in dogs It is also known as intestinal obstruction, occurs when the flow of ingested food is partially or totally interrupted.
It is not surprising to know that dogs have a high risk of intestinal obstruction. This is because they tend to be undemanding with what they eat.
It is important to seek veterinary attention as soon as you suspect that your dog has ingested something that could cause a blockage..
How is intestinal blockage manifested in dogs?
The blockage can occur in the stomach or intestines.
- If it happens stomach blockage, stomach accumulation of ingested solids and liquids occurs. This can cause vomiting.
Given the acidic nature of gastric secretions, vomiting can cause erosion of the gastric and esophageal mucosa.
Constant vomiting can cause dehydration, weakness and weight loss.
- On the other hand, if a obstruction of the small intestine, the accumulation of solids and digested liquids will occur in the obstruction area. The most visible symptom is vomiting, but no doubt there will be pain.
Secondary to vomiting, significant dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can occur. Depending on the cause of the obstruction there may be damage to bowel tissue, including intestinal perforation.
In case the obstruction prevents tissue irrigation, There may be intestinal ischemia. This can lead to necrosis – or death – of the tissue. In both cases the dog will show swelling, weakness and loss of appetite.
What causes intestinal blockage in dogs?
With more frenquency, intestinal obstructions are caused by the ingestion of foreign objects, such as rocks and bones, which can also cause perforation of the stomach and intestines.
Other causes include the appearance of tumors, gastrointestinal inflammation, torsion of the intestines on themselves: intussusception. Also pyloric stenosis, which is a condition that causes severe vomiting.
Thus, there are important risk factors for intestinal blockage in dogs, for example the tendency to ingest foreign bodies, and suffer from intestinal parasites, as the infection is associated with intestinal invagination.
Dogs that tend to ingest foreign objects have a high risk of intestinal obstruction, especially young puppies
To confirm the diagnosis of obstruction -if it is at the gastric level – endoscopy may be useful. In this procedure a small tube with a small camera is introduced through the mouth, which allows the observation of images. With this method, the veterinarian can also try to recover the foreign body that causes the obstruction.
Too, the abdominal images obtained by ultrasound or x-ray, can reveal any foreign body. If the object does not move inside the intestine, the dog may need surgery under anesthesia so that the veterinarian can open the abdomen and eliminate the cause of the blockage.
What to do after an obstruction?
Once your dog has been treated, it is necessary monitor the dog to detect any symptoms recurrent.
It is recommended keep your activity level low, without races or long walks for a few days.
It is especially important to monitor intake, surely your veterinarian will indicate a soft diet of dry foods – avoiding any treat – for a few days. You must also make sure replace lost fluids to avoid dehydration.
How to prevent intestinal obstruction in dogs?
Although, as we saw, there are multiple causes of intestinal obstruction, it is in our hands to prevent the most common cause: The intake of objects.
If we manage to prevent our dog from trying to eat all kinds of inappropriate things like bones, sticks and twigs, rocks and the like, we can keep it safe.
Of course, it will be necessary make “safe” spaces for your curiosity, this means keeping things that may be tempting for your dog out of reach.
Additionally, show him the command “let go!” You can prevent your dog from trying to explore something harmful to him.
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