Before we dive into some helpful at home remedies to cure constipation, it is important to note that there are some medical issues that do have constipation as at least one of the symptoms. If a Chihuahua does not respond to treatment at home, it will be important to bring the dog to the veterinarian to rule out the following:
Blocked anal sacs
- All canines have a pair of anal glands; one on each side of the anal opening. These are also sometimes referred to as scent glands. They normally hold an oily substance that is typically released in very small qualities when one dog meets another or when the dog pushes out a bowel movement.
Sometimes these can become engorged with too much fluid or impacted in which case the fluid turns into a thick paste-like substance. If so, they may block the otherwise normal passage of feces.
Enlarged prostate gland
- This can be due to hormonal imbalances can is considered an age
related issue for male dogs that are intact. Other possible signs include difficulty urinating, blood in the urine and/or stools that come out in thin strips (often referred to as ribbon-like).
- If a Chihuahua ingests a non-food item or an unsafe food such as rawhide that is not easily digested, this can cause partial or full blockage in either the stomach or intestines, which can cause constipation among other serious internal issues.
The items that dogs have been known to mouth and swallow are quite shocking and include everything from rolls of medical tape to paper clips to socks, shoelaces, pebbles… the list is endless.
Any dog of any age can mouth something and dogs often do this not intending to actually swallow the object, but rather just to figure out 'what is this?' And the consequences can be quite severe. Without treatment, stomach or intestinal blockage can be fatal.
Signs include: attempting to vomit, vomiting (this can be food, water or stomach bile - both yellow and clear), straining to go to the bathroom, panicked behavior
, trouble eating or drinking and/or swollen abdomen.
If you notice that your Chihuahua has gotten into something that he shouldn't have or otherwise suspect that he has swallowed something that is causing the constipation, it will be important to have the vet rule this out ASAP.
- As we mentioned above, not drinking adequate amounts of water can cause constipation, therefore the more serious condition of actual dehydration certainly can affect bowel movements.
This can occur if a puppy or dog is active in hot weather or exercised without being given enough water or in cases of illness or other circumstances in which the dog is not drinking.
Other symptoms include sunken in eyes, heavy or labored panting, weakness, dizziness, confusion and/or pale gums.
A quick test to see if your Chihuahua is dehydrated (even in minor cases) is to test blood vessel response in the gums. You press your finger onto the gums and hold firmly for a count of 5.
When you let go, there should be a small white spot where you held your finger and when hydrated, this will turn back to its normal color
within a few seconds. If a puppy or dog is suffering from lack of fluids, it will take longer than 5 seconds for color to return.
- While rare other possible causes include trauma to the pelvic area, neurological disorders or tumors located in the rectum area. For older, senior Chihuahuas
there may be some orthopedic issues that affect the dog's ability to properly position himself to push out bowel movements, which can lead to impacted stools.