There are various issues with your dog's intestinal tract that can cause pain or serious health concerns such as malnutrition. Many are related to a dog's non-discriminating tastes in consuming inedible items or contracting intestinal worms from contact with contaminated fecal matter from infected dogs.
Possible results of inedible objects being eaten by dogs.
Dogs can suffer from an intestinal blockage from eating objects that become wedged in their small intestines. This can be a life threatening event that may require a trip to a veterinarian to assess the situation and possibly surgery to remove the foreign object.
Dogs may chew on a dangerous object and accidentally swallow it, eat an inappropriate item when it is offered by a child or thoughtless adult, or simply gulp something down for reasons known only to themselves. Swallowed items may include:
- String, toys, or small balls
- Socks and underwear
- Cat litter (some dogs enjoy eating cat feces and will also swallow litter)
Items such as cat litter and tampons, which absorb moisture, are particularly an issue because they swell inside the intestine.
Whatever the reason or item, if the small intestine becomes obstructed, a dog may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Refraining from eating and drinking
- Painful and/or bloated abdomen
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Drool and vomit
Of course, these symptoms may be related to other issues, but a trip to a veterinary clinic will be needed to diagnose the problem and attempt to remedy the situation without surgery if possible.
Fluids and walks may be used to allow the offending object to pass through the intestine naturally. If the dog is severely dehydrated or ill, immediate surgery may be required.
Intestinal worms can be contracted by puppies in their mother's womb from eggs that have laid dormant for years, or they can be passed through eating feces or soil that has been contaminated by fecal matter from infected dogs.
Symptoms of worm infestation may include:
Diarrhea (may be accompanied by blood)
Haggard appearance with dry hair
Some worms, such as round worms and tapeworms, may be visible in the stool or vomit, while others may not be visible. A visit to the veterinarian to have a stool sample analyzed is the best way to diagnose and treat an infestation.
Over-the-counter wormers are not effective for infestations that are severe enough to exhibit symptoms such as the ones described above. Treatment should be prescribed by a veterinarian, and may involve a single round of medication or a regular schedule of treatment throughout the year.
Contact a center like All-Pets Hospital to learn more.