Intestinal Blockage In Dogs:
Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is an intestinal blockage?

An intestinal blockage occurs when a foreign object blocks an animal’s intestines. It can be extremely painful and dangerous, so you should contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has this condition.

Causes Of Intestinal Blockage

Foreign objects can get lodged in a dog’s intestines and block the flow of food. These include bones, toy pieces, and even rubber bands.

Parasites like tapeworms can cause intestinal blockage in dogs by attaching themselves to the walls of your pet’s intestine and sucking nutrients from his blood supply. This leaves him with anemia and malnutrition—two causes of intestinal blockage that are often fatal if left untreated.

Tumors can grow on your dog’s intestines or other organs as well as within them; these tumors are usually malignant (cancerous). If you see unusual growths developing on or near your pet’s abdomen or groin area, schedule an appointment with your vet immediately.

Intestinal infections that affect the stomach lining may lead to nausea or vomiting beforehand; once this happens, food will back up into the small bowel instead of continuing down through it where it belongs—resulting in an entire system shutdown known as “starvation.”

Need To Be Seen Now?

What Are The Symptoms Of An Intestinal Blockage?

An intestinal blockage may cause your dog to:

  • Vomit
  • Have diarrhea
  • Lose their appetite
  • Experience abdominal pain and discomfort (which can be minimized if the colon is empty)
  • Be lethargic or depressed, as the blocked intestines do not get enough oxygen from blood flow. In addition, the buildup of gas within the intestines can result in bloating and more abdominal pain. Finally, constipation is also possible due to lack of peristaltic movement in the bowels.

Treatment Options For Intestinal Blockage

If your dog is suffering from an intestinal blockage, the vet will need to assess the situation and determine whether or not surgery is necessary. Surgery is likely required if they determine that it’s an intestinal blockage (meaning it’s in one of your dog’s intestines).

If surgery is necessary, there are two options: open surgery or laparoscopic surgery.

  • In open surgery, large incisions are made in your dog’s abdomen so that doctors can access their digestive tract and remove any obstruction that needs to be removed.
  • In laparoscopic surgery (also known as “keyhole” gastric bypass), small incisions are made where surgeons insert cameras through which they can see inside of your dog’s body; because these incisions are smaller than those used in open gastric bypass surgeries and result in less scarring around them afterward compared with those from open procedures

When To See A Doctor

As you can see from the short discussion of intestinal blockages in dogs, many considerations should be considered. First, it is vital to learn the potential for your dog to have this issue before it arises. This will allow you to take the proper steps when your dog does need an emergency vet visit. You should also identify if your dog needs immediate medical attention because they have abdominal pain or vomiting, which may indicate an intestinal blockage. Lastly, if these symptoms last longer than a day or two, please call a vet as soon as you can.

Ellison Drive Animal Hospital understands that an intestinal blockage can be an intense situation for you and your dog. But, rest assured, vets everywhere are equipped to handle such situations regularly. For more information about the benefits of hiring a consulting firm or individual veterinarian to help with this issue or anything else to do with your pet’s well-being please get in touch with us today!