When your dog is constipated, you may be desperately looking for some remedies to help your dog get relief and you may be wondering whether Miralax for dog constipation may work. Before trying to give your dog an over-the-counter product such as Miralax, it’s important to first determine the underlying cause of constipation in your dog. Constipation in dogs is not something that happens very often, and owners at times confuse a dog who is straining to urinate or a dog straining from diarrhea for constipation, with the end result of making matters much, much worse!. So read on before giving your dog a product like Miralax for dog constipation.
Is My Dog Really Constipated?
As mentioned, what looks like constipation doesn’t necessarily mean you are dealing with a dog who is having a hard time having a bowel movement!
If your are assuming your dog is constipated because you have seen him repeatedly position himself as to have a bowel movement and nothing came out, you may need to take a closer look at what is really happening.
Chances are, your dog is straining to urinate rather than defecate which is a common symptom of a urinary tract infection. Female dogs are particularly prone to these.
Suspect a urinary tract infection if your dog is straining and urinating small droplets of urine frequently. Dogs with a urinary tract infection will also have accidents around the house, there may be blood in their urine and they will often lick their private area as it burns.
In addition to differentiating a dog that is straining to defecate from one that is straining to urinate, you also need to distinguish a dog who is straining to defecate from a dog who is straining because he is suffering from a bout of colitis. A dog with colitis has an inflamed colon and will often have soft stools and diarrhea with mucus and possibly, a droplet or two of blood.
Additionally, dogs with colitis often develop tenesmus, which is the urge to have to frequently empty the bowels, often only producing a drop of diarrhea or nothing at all. So if you weren’t aware of the fact your dog had diarrhea and you just saw him straining, you may assume he’s constipated while instead, the problem is quite the total opposite!
So if you have noticed your dog producing stools, it’s likely not a case of constipation you’re dealing with, but a case of colitis, points out veterinarian Dr. Andy.
“If you are trying to relieve constipation be careful. Straining to defecate can also be caused by colitis. So, if there has been any recent diarrhea, mucous, or blood in the stool, giving something like Miralax will make it far worse.”~ Dr. Andy
Dealing with True Constipation
Constipation in dogs is not really common as it is in humans. When a dog is constipated, it’s more likely because of a side effect of some narcotic pain medication such as tramadol or butorphanol (often given by vets before or after surgery) or because the dog is in pain after surgery and has been holding it for some time.
Constipation in dogs can also be a symptom of elevated levels of calcium in the blood or a sign of kidney problems. Because of this, it’ always a good idea to see the vet so to find the underlying cause of your dog’s constipation before trying anything at home. Once the vet has determined you are truly dealing with a case of constipation that is not secondary to any underlying conditions, you can ask your vet whether Miralax for dog constipation may be used. Chances are, you vet may want to prescribe you something more effective
Giving Miralax for Dog Constipation
Miralax is an over-the-counter stimulant laxative meant to relieve constipation. This drug works by stimulating the nerves in the colon, causing muscle contractions that propel the stool through the colon. Miralax also has an osmotic effects, meaning that it increases the amount of water in the stool, making the stool softer to pass.
Miralax can be added to a dog’s food and it should soften the stool enough to ease a dog’s constipation, generally working after about 24-48 hours, explains veterinarian Dr. Dan. Consult with your vet for dosage instructions.
As with all medications, there are certain guide lines to follow though. Miralax should not be given at around the same time other medications are given to your dog because it can reduce their absorption. If your dog is taking other medications, it’a best that they are given two hours apart from each other, point out Dr. Kate Roby and Dr. Lenny Southam, in the book “The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat.”
You should always consult with your vet before giving any over-the-counter products that are meant for humans. See your vet immediately if, on top of showing signs of constipation your dog is also vomiting and acting lethargic. A drug such as Miralax can cause a ruptured bowel if your dog is suffering from an intestinal blockage!
If you want to try more natural approaches to help your constipated dog, you can try getting your dog to drink more and you can also add some plain canned pumpkin (not the pie mix) to his food, but your best bet is to play it safe and see your vet.