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Young dogs in particular, who repeatedly swallow objects, are at risk of suffering from an intestinal obstruction. Small toys can clog the intestinal loops and lead to the fatal disease. If you notice any symptoms in your dog, see a veterinarian immediately.
Intestinal obstruction in dogs: what exactly does that mean?
Bowel obstruction in dogs is basically divided into two types: incomplete and complete bowel obstruction. In the former, there is a constriction in the digestive tract, which means that food accumulates in one place in the intestine and can only pass partially.
Complete bowel obstruction is significantly more drastic. Here the digested food cannot slide and be excreted. The food porridge collects in one place and exerts massive pressure on the intestinal wall. In this state, action must be taken immediately. There is an acute emergency that, if left untreated, can lead to the dog's death within a few hours.
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Intestinal obstruction in dogs: what are the possible causes?
The causes of an intestinal obstruction can be varied. Young dogs in particular run the risk of swallowing objects that block the digestive tract while playing. Therefore, only offer your protégé harmless chewing options and puppy toys to play with - wool threads, gift ribbons, small, easily swallowed objects and unstable toys from which small parts can detach should you keep away from your pet.
Especially in older animals, other causes than swallowed foreign bodies can be behind the intestinal disease. For example, tumors in the abdominal cavity can press on the intestine and close it at certain points. But long-lasting constipation or bowel rotation put your fur friend in danger.
Recognize signs: what are symptoms of an intestinal obstruction?
With incomplete bowel obstruction, the symptoms are much milder and harder to interpret than with full bowel obstruction. The dog rarely or no longer has an appetite and repeatedly suffers from vomiting and diarrhea. The general well-being also seems to be affected: the dog looks lethargic, loses weight and loses stamina.
With a complete bowel obstruction, the signs are stronger. Often the animals cannot stop vomiting, can no longer be touched on the belly and suffer from fever or low temperature and rapid heartbeat. If you touch your dog's belly, it feels firm and your mouth is bright red, see an emergency doctor immediately.
In any case, take care of your dog's digestion. If he hasn't done his big business for a long time, you should consult a veterinarian. Persistent diarrhea can also promote intestinal obstruction by indenting the intestine.
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Why quick treatment is vital
Fast action is required for both complete and incomplete bowel obstruction. Otherwise, large parts of the intestine can die or tear - both life-threatening situations.
If you arrive at the veterinarian, he will carry out an X-ray examination and, if the result is positive, initiate an immediate operation. The intestinal obstruction is removed, sustainably damaged parts of the intestine are removed and the healthy parts are connected.
When it comes to follow-up surgery, one thing is on the agenda: rest. To ensure that the wounds heal well, the dog is observed in the clinic for a few days and then sent home with a ruff - so that it does not lick or scratch the wounds.
If you act quickly and the operation is successful, your four-legged friend will surely get his paws back soon.