Your dog’s health and Megacolon are just as important as yours. This is why it’s important to take note of any changes in your dog’s stool. Unfortunately, megacolon in dogs is fairly common. There are, however, treatments available for megacolon. Here’s what you should know about it and if you follow along, Healthier Pets Today can provide you with detailed, expert advice on how you can safely and adequately care for your furry friend!

What is Megacolon in Dogs

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When extra waste is left in your dog’s colon after a poo, it is known as a megacolon. This medical condition causes severe and extreme constipation. This condition can come about later in a dog’s life, or it can be a congenital condition, which means your dog can have it from birth. When dogs have congenital megacolon, they are born with an abnormal lack of smooth muscle function in the colon. When megacolon makes an appearance later in life, it is usually because faeces have been retained and all the faecal water has been absorbed. The water and matter then bond. This causes the poop to become solidified within the colon. 

If you notice any problems with your dog’s digestive system, it’s important to consult your vet. Your veterinarian will provide a proper diagnosis as well as treatment.  

Megacolon | Healthier Pets Today

The Symptoms in Dogs

Your dog’s ability to poo is greatly affected by megacolon. The symptoms all show a connection to this instance. 

  • Constipation
  • Straining when needing to poop
  • Vomiting 
  • Weight loss
  • Passing very hard and dry poops
  • Dehydration
  • Hard Colon felt when examined
  • Infrequent pooping
  • Dehydration
  • Small amounts of diarrhoea after prolonged straining

Megacolon in dogs can become dangerous if not handled as soon as possible. Only a vet will be able to provide a proper diagnosis. If your dog presents any of these symptoms, take them to a vet for a medical opinion as soon as possible.

What Causes Megacolon in Dogs

Megacolon | Healthier Pets Today

There are many causes of megacolon in dogs. Unfortunately, it often happens that the precise cause is unknown or idiopathic, whilst other times the condition has been inherited.

Common causes include:

  • Suffering a bodily trauma such as a limb or pelvic fracture
  • Neurological disease
  • Anus diseases
  • A reaction to certain drugs or medications
  • Metabolic disorders

These are common causes but not the only causes. Megacolon can be congenital as well. Always pay close attention to your dog to ensure that no blockages occur. 

How The Vet Diagnosis Megacolon

Megacolon | Healthier Pets Today

Your veterinarian will prioritise performing a comprehensive physical exam of your dog, paying special attention to the abdomen and rectum. Blood tests will also be done, and you’ll need to provide a full medical history of your dog. It’s a good idea to think about possible trauma incidents that could have caused megacolon to appear in your dog. This will help with the diagnosis and treatment plan.

The vet might use a radiograph to look at the colon properly. The images will give the vet a clear view of whether or not the colon is full of faeces or if there is a mass blockage in the colon. It will also show if other underlying conditions might have caused the megacolon. It’s important to note that the Megacolon could result from a birth defect or a simple ailment passed on from one pet to another! You should not worry that it is something that you have done wrong or could have done differently! 

The Treatments Your Vet Could Offer

If your dog has been diagnosed with megacolon, he might need to spend time in the hospital. During his stay, he’ll receive fluid therapy. This will help with the rehydration of your dog and balance electrolytes. When this is done, the vet will manually clean out the colon. This is done under anaesthesia, where the vet will inject warm water enemas and water-soluble jelly. This will allow the vet to easily extract the poop with a gloved finger or sponge forceps. 

If the vet notices that the problem is recurrent or especially severe, and no improvement is showing with medical management, your vet might suggest surgery to repair the colon. Your dog can be cured of megacolon after the surgery. 

Help Your Dog Live With and Manage Megacolon

Megacolon | Healthier Pets Today

Your vet will likely recommend some lifestyle changes to fight off megacolon. It is advised that dogs that suffer from megacolon receive adequate exercise as regular activity helps strengthen their digestive and abdominal muscles. A low residue, high fibre diet may help prevent megacolon from recurring. Your vet might also suggest nutritional supplements such as fibre supplements or canned pumpkins. You mustn’t feed your dog any bones. The bones can cause injuries to their colon and block the intestinal tract. 

In The End

Your dog suffering from megacolon could be a scary situation for you. None of us wants to see our beloved pets suffer. Rest assured that the vets have many treatments available. Lifestyle changes, as well as the right treatment, could greatly benefit your dog.