Definition of Constipation
Constipation is the absent, infrequent or difficult passage of stool out of the colon. The condition can be caused by dietary indiscretion, drugs, hormonal disorders, pelvic pain, trauma, arthritis, spinal disease, cancer, anal gland infection, bite wounds and dehydration. Dogs that are obese, losing mobility or are stressed are predisposed to becoming constipated. Most healthy dogs defecate once or twice a day. Constipated dogs build up feces in their lower bowel, which is called the large intestine or colon. Retained fecal matter becomes dry and hard, making it difficult and painful to pass. Affected dogs may yelp and drag their rear-end along the ground. They often squat and strain forcefully to try and pass stool. They may have a dribble of diarrhea, with or without blood, or they may eventually pass small hard fecal balls.