View Full Version : Would it be OK to use baby suppositories on a small constipated dog?

Badtz Maru
01-30-2003, 03:34 PM
My mom has a dog that's apparently having trouble defecating. It's an app. 15 year old schnauzer, and she goes out on the porch and strains for about 30 minutes before giving up. We sent her back out several minutes ago and she's still trying. We recently changed her dog food to a formula for older dogs that is supposedly easier to digest, and I'm wondering if the change in food is responsible. The dog is also senile.

We really can't afford to take her to the vet, so far I gave her a small piece of chocolate and I've mixed some metamucil in her drinking water, but she hasn't drank any yet (she's still outside). My mom was thinking that maybe baby suppositories might do the trick, does anyone with veterinary knowledge have any advice?

Duck Duck Goose
01-30-2003, 03:46 PM
What's the active ingredient in the baby suppositories?

01-30-2003, 03:49 PM
I can't answer your question, but I can tell you that feeding chocolate to dogs is not a good thing. (http://www.supervet.co.uk/dog/chocolate.html)

That said, good luck getting the little lady to poop.

01-30-2003, 03:53 PM
Don't give her any chocolate. That can cause nerve damage, or even poison her.

I give my cat psyllium fiber twice a day and that does the trick. I got it at a health food store. Psyllium fiber is what they put in Metamucil. I got the plain stuff at a health food store so it would be unflavored.

Twice a day I give her a small portion of canned food with 1/8 teaspoon of fiber. Try this with your dog and see if it works. You should be able to use the Metamucil you have. Your dog probably won't mind the flavor.

The good thing about this is you can adapt it. You can give her more or less as she needs it. Also, you can do this every day. A suppository will just be a one time fix.

You may be right about the new food giving her problems. Many people complain that "premium" food constipates their pets.

Good luck. I hope your mom's dog is better soon.

Duck Duck Goose
01-30-2003, 03:53 PM
If it's just glycerin, if it's perfectly safe for infants, I can't imagine why it would hurt a dog. All they do is soften the stool that's already in the rectum, making it easier to come out.


But, on all the "dog constipation" websites that I'm looking at, they all mention that it's possible for Doggie to have a potentially serious and lethal intestinal blockage causing the constipation, so if the glycerin suppositories don't help, I'd definitely take her to the vet. So for that reason, I'd go easy on giving her things like mineral oil and bran, which some of the sites mention--but only after you've established, at the vet's, that it isn't a blockage, because if you give her more roughage, and it IS blocked, it can kill her.

Sorry not to be more helpful. :(

Duck Duck Goose
01-30-2003, 03:55 PM
Oh, and--all the websites also mention as the Number One cause of constipation, "Change in Diet".


So maybe you just have to wait it out.

01-30-2003, 03:55 PM
Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. It also tends to "bind things up" more, when it is usually better to go the other way and loosen the stool (which is what human products like Ex-Lax do. Note: DOn't give the dog Ex-lax unless a vet says it's okay -- it can be dangerous to give human meds to animals if you don't know what you're doing.)

You may try a teaspoon of mineral oil to see if that softens the stool. One teaspoon at night, one in the morning. Do NOT over do it or you'll end up giving the dog the runs and that will make quite a mess.

Watch the dog carefully -- you want to be sure there's nothing else going on like some kind of urinary blockage due to kidney/bladder stones. If doggy doesn't poop in a day or so, you'll have little choice but to go to the vet.

Seriously constipated pets must receive medical treatment (a doggie enema).

01-30-2003, 03:56 PM
Depending on the ingredients in the suppositories, it could either help the dog poop, or help the dog into the grave. Call a vet and ask if it's safe before you do anything.

Don't give the dog anymore chocolate, please. Instead, make sure she's getting plenty of water, and try giving her some vegetable or mineral oil. If you feel up to it, you can even give her an enema (call a vet and ask what they suggest you put in it). I'll warn you now, though, dog enemas aren't pretty. Not during the administration, not during the effects.

01-30-2003, 03:58 PM
Oh, I forgot re: urinary blockage -- some animals behave as if they are constipated when it actually a urinary thing. Hence keep an eye on the pooch and be sure there's no blockage of ANY kind (intestinal or urinary.) That's something only a vet may be able to determine.

Badtz Maru
01-30-2003, 04:05 PM
I knew that chocolate in large amounts can be bad for dogs, but a vet told my wife that it wasn't likely to do any serious harm unless they ate a piece as big as their head, and I had always heard it had a laxative effect.

She tried the water with metamucil, we'll try try mixing a little into a can of dog food here in a bit. Thanks for all the advice.

01-30-2003, 04:06 PM
Baby suppositories are usually just glycerin. It just melts, and provides lubrication to ease evacuation. The other type of suppositories used for constipation are Ducosate Sodium, or DulcolaxTM. This is a drug that, in humans, increases the strength of peristalsis, causing evacuation to be more frequent, and more thorough. I am not a Veterinarian, but I think the drug would have the same effect on a dog, but the dose would need to be based on the weight of the dog compared to a 150 lb. "Average Human". A fifteen pound dog would only need one tenth of the dose, and that's gonna be hard to measure accurately.

By the way, ducosate sodium has the same effect at either end of the alimentary canal. I found that out when someone I knew ate a suppository, and I called Poison Control. They were right, about half an hour later, just what you would expect happened. Ask at a dog food place, you know, one of those "We have everything for pets" type of places. Ask for laxatives in proper doses for small dogs.


Badtz Maru
01-30-2003, 04:09 PM
I meant to say the dog tried the water, but didn't drink much.

01-30-2003, 04:09 PM
Give her some Taco Bell, works for me.

01-30-2003, 06:18 PM
I've used oil when my dog gets a little constipated, but never mineral oil. I mix in about a tablespoon of either olive or vegetable oil into some dry kibble.

Canned dog food can lead to constipation because of lack of fiber. I strongly suggest feeding the dog dry kibble on a regular basis instead of canned. Not to mention that it's better for a dog's teeth. (I only used canned food as a treat.) If she turns her nose up at dry food, try adding dry kibble to her wet-food, and gradually decreasing the amount of canned food over time. You can also make the dry food more palatable by drizzling some Dog Gravy over the top. (It's sold in pet stores, and has loads of vitamins.)

Do you ever give the dog rawhide chews? These are famous for causing blockages. I agree with the previous suggestions of seeing a vet. Gently press on the dog's abdomen to see if you can feel any hard lumps, which might indicate a blockage.

If the dog seems to have urinary problems, see if you can get her to drink some watered-down cranberry juice. (IIRC, about half water/juice.)

Badtz Maru
01-30-2003, 07:41 PM
Well, we went and got some mineral oil and suppositories. My mom was about to insert one when she realized the dog had hair matted around it's anus. She cut away the hair and the poop started tumbling out.

Troy McClure SF
01-30-2003, 07:53 PM

Maybe I won't grow my hair that long.

01-30-2003, 08:10 PM
I would definately trim the hair around your dog's anus. If matting continues to be a problem, use baby wipes to clean the area.

01-30-2003, 08:34 PM

I'm glad the dog is doing better.