7 Symptoms of intestinal blockage in dogs

Worried that your dog has a bowel obstruction? If you have a dog with a reputation as a “vacuum cleaner”, you need to be especially careful to recognize the early symptoms of bowel obstruction.

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The list of objects extracted from the dog’s digestive system each year is quite impressive and at times surprising. The most common are coins, bones, sticks, toy parts, socks, stones, buttons, underwear, balls, tampons and marbles. Although digestible to some extent, chewy skins can also cause problems for some dogs, especially if they tend to swallow their treats.

7 Symptoms of intestinal obstruction in dogs

Symptoms of intestinal blockage in dogs vary depending on the location of the blockage in the digestive tract. The most common signs of blockages include:

  1. lethargy
  2. dripping
  3. Hitting the lips
  4. vomiting
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Abdominal pain (praying position)
  7. Difficulty defective

If left untreated, obstruction in dogs can lead to fatal complications such as intestinal perforation and peritonitis. However, if your dog can be seen quickly, you can sometimes avoid surgery and remove the device by endoscopy.

Also, depending on what the dog has eaten, the veterinarian may suggest inducing vomiting before a blockage occurs; this can work if the dog swallows a soft object, such as a sock.

If your dog just vomits once, but otherwise looks good and continues to have normal bowel movements without other symptoms, you may have just had an upset stomach that can be treated at home. If your dog doesn’t care, it may just be constipation that you can deal with at home (if it’s a mild case).

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However, constipation in dogs is not very common and many times dogs that appear to have constipation actually have diarrhea with tenesmus (the dog feels like having diarrhea, but nothing comes out or just a few drops make their way outside). rectal pain as it can happen with problems with the anal glands or they really deal with obstruction.

In general, the combination of symptoms is especially alarming, and even more so if your dog has a tendency to swallow things.

See a veterinarian immediately if your dog swallows anything

Dogs that begin to look pointless or uninterested in food, begin to vomit, have abdominal pain, pass bloody or brown stools, strain to pass stools, or simply do not function normally should be seen immediately by a veterinarian.

Timeline to block the dog’s intestines

Blocking location Symptoms Display time (normal)
esophagus Lip licking, swallowing a lot, regurgitation immediately after eating Shortly after swallowing something
stomach Vomiting, which occurs within a few hours after eating. This type is usually caused by large, smooth elements. A few hours
Small intestine Vomiting after eating, abdominal pain, bloated stomach, fever, shock It varies
Towards the end of the small intestine Vomiting usually occurs 7 – 8 hours after eating, diarrhea 7 – 8 hours after a meal or later

Generally, the symptoms of intestinal obstruction usually appear within 24 hours after swallowing something. However, the earlier an item is submitted, the sooner symptoms will appear. Keep in mind, however, that an object that a dog has eaten may not fit only up to m

Rough timeline of onset of blockage symptoms

Given that the time for the elements to pass through the gastrointestinal tract is between 10 and 24 hours, no matter what is a tampon, corn on the cob or chicken bone. Symptoms of intestinal obstruction usually appear within 24 hours after ingestion of the problem object.

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However, depending on where the position is located, the time frame may vary – the earlier it is filed in the system, the earlier symptoms will appear.

If the blockage is in the esophagus , the symptoms appear quite quickly after swallowing the object. Affected dogs probably:

  • Lick their lips.
  • Swallow a lot.
  • Adjust immediately after eating. Vomiting may occur in an elongated tubular shape and may involve undigested sausage in large chunks.

They also often suffer from dehydration because they cannot eat or drink properly. Because they can’t hold food down, these dogs get down pretty quickly.

If the blockage is in the stomach, the pylorus is often blocked, which will prevent food from passing through the intestinal tract. Therefore, episodes of vomiting usually occur within a few hours after eating. The objects that most often create blockages in the stomach are large smooth objects such as golf balls, marbles and bones.

If the obstruction is in the small intestine, the object is able to do so through the pylorus, but is stuck in the curves of the small intestine. When this happens, gas builds up, causing the intestines to swell. Eventually, the blood supply may be interrupted, leading to tissue death.

In this case, the dogs will start vomiting soon after eating and show symptoms, including:

  • Stomach ache
  • Distracted abdomen
  • Fever
  • shock

This can even lead to death if left untreated.

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If the blockage is further down the road, towards the end of the small intestine, diarrhea becomes a more common symptom. Vomiting may still occur, but will occur 7-8 hours after eating.

Symptoms do not always occur immediately

Some symptoms of obstruction may not appear immediately, as the object may partially block the digestive system at first. For example, a dog once entered our office six days after swallowing part of a stuffed animal. What happened was that the foreign item slammed around the dog’s stomach for several days before moving into the small intestine and causing problems.

The relatively large size of the dog’s esophagus allows it to swallow objects much larger than what can easily pass through the intestines.

– Chris Ann Fazio, DVM

Veterinarian Dr. Eric discusses intestinal obstruction in dogs

My dog ​​swallowed a bone! What to do?

This is something quite common. You look for a second from the table, only to find your dog reaching for a chicken wing. When you chase him, he swallows it whole. What do you do in this case?

Cooked bones are more likely to break down than raw bones, which is a danger to your pet. Here are three things you can feed your dog that will hopefully help protect his stomach and intestinal lining by wrapping itself around the bone and allowing it to move smoothly through its system.

  • 1/2 to 1 slice of high fiber bread
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup plain canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup boiled brown rice

Then we just have to wait and see.

As mentioned above, dogs that begin to look pointless or uninterested in food begin to vomit, have abdominal pain, pass bloody or brown stools, strain to pass stools, or simply do not function normally, should be seen by the vet immediately.

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For more details with some advice from veterinarians, visit What if my dog ​​eats chicken bones?

What if my dog ​​swallows.,,,

Article “Food” Dangerous for the swallow? What to do if your dog swallows it
Boiled chicken, pork or rib hens Yes. Boiled bones can crack and split, which can be harmful to your dog at any point in the gastrointestinal tract, from the entrance to the exit. Feed your dog 1/2 to 1 slice of high-fiber food and watch carefully for signs of injury or blockage.
Corn cob It can cause problems if your dog swallows it whole or in large chunks. Watch carefully for signs of blockage
raw skin It can cause an obstacle if your dog swallows large chunks of it If your dog tends to try to swallow raw skins, do not give them as treats. If swallowed a large piece, watch for signs of clogging.
tampons Yes. They can swell and cause obstruction. Try to determine how much your dog has eaten so that you can give the vet as much information as possible (if you are done). Watch your dog carefully for warning signs.

How much do you worry about swallowed bones? One vet explains

If you go to the vet: Diagnosis of gastrointestinal foreign body

Veterinarians will begin with a physical examination. They will palpate the dog’s abdomen, looking for signs of pain and dissatisfaction – they will often even be able to feel the foreign object during this step.

X-rays can reveal the absorbed object and its exact location, but not all elements can be seen with an X-ray. For example, a rock can be shown easily, but a piece of bone made of raw leather cannot.

In some cases, your veterinarian may need to feed your dog’s barium to make certain items visible on X-rays. The veterinarian can then determine if it is possible for the item to go away on its own or surgery may be necessary.

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Treat small objects swallowed less than two hours ago

If the dog swallowed the foreign object less than two hours ago and the object is safe to recover, veterinarians may recommend vomiting with 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Call your veterinarian ASAP to see if it is safe to induce vomiting (if the object was toxic or acute, it may not be). If so, your veterinarian will tell you how much hydrogen peroxide to use. In some cases, if this does not help, your veterinarian may use more effective medications to induce vomiting.

Note: Do not try to induce vomiting without seeking advice from a veterinarian. Some items can be dangerous to recover! Talk to your veterinarian about when it is appropriate to induce vomiting and when not.

How to induce vomiting if a small foreign body was swallowed less than two hours ago

Other cases of removal of obstruction of the dog’s intestines

In other cases, the object can be removed with an endoscope (an instrument used to examine the inside of your dog’s body), armed with instruments made to grasp the object. This is useful if the object is still in the stomach and it is not easy to catch.

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Unfortunately, once the object makes its way through the pylorus and small intestine, surgery is required.

If there is necrosis (tissue death) in some parts of the gut, they will need to be removed along with the foreign object and both ends of the intestinal tract will need to be sutured back together.


The prognosis varies depending on the severity of the obstruction and the presence of complicating factors such as necrosis or peritonitis. Most pets get a fine refund. However, after surgery, dogs should be monitored for signs of leakage from the intestinal tract. Fever and abdominal pain should be reported to a veterinarian immediately.

After the operation, the dog will need to gradually return to solid foods. She should eat a liquid diet for the first few days. You can then gradually introduce porridge, soft food until the veterinarian allows a normal diet. The dog may also need to wear an Elizabethan collar to avoid chewing on its seams.

How to prevent intestinal obstruction

  • Keep an eagle on your pet. It only takes a few seconds to turn your back on a toy as you turn your back.
  • Never give boiled bones (they are more prone to splitting), raw skins or dangerous toys to dogs with a reputation as a vacuum cleaner.
  • Keep your dog out of the trash – especially after a barbecue. Steak bones, ribs and turkey carcasses are major swallowing problems.
  • Always make sure that the toys are larger than the dog’s throat (and therefore impossible to swallow).
  • Learn the “let and leave” command.

How dangerous is the object my dog ​​swallows? Here is a list of the worst offenders

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While everything ingested is dangerous when it blocks the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, there are some elements that can cause additional damage as they pass. Here are some elements that are known to cause ingestion complications:

  • Penny – Penny often causes intestinal obstruction in dogs. Moreover, they can also cause zinc toxicity if cut after 1982.
  • Strings – The string may appear to be an innocent object. But once in the intestinal tract, its waves can cause the bowel to fold like an accordion. As the cord becomes tighter, it can eventually be cut through the intestines. This is known as a linear foreign body.
  • Alkaline batteries – the dog’s teeth can break the battery, releasing acids that can corrode the dog’s throat and stomach. Dogs that have ingested alkaline batteries should not induce vomiting, as their contents are corrosive and may cause more damage on the way up. Consult a veterinarian immediately or call for poison control.
  • Cat Toilet Cat – As the litter can start to accumulate after swallowing, this can lead to problems – especially if your dog has eaten a large amount.
  • Sharp objects – Sometimes sometimes sharp objects pass unimpeded because the intestinal tract detects their sharpness and does not spasm around them, as in smoother objects. If your dog swallows something sharp, try feeding him 1/2 to 1 slice of high-fiber bread that will wrap around the bone, hopefully protecting the stomach and intestinal lining. Alternatively, you can feed him 1/4 to 1/2 cup plain canned pumpkin or 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.
  • Tampons – The problem with tampons is that they are made to swell with moisture. When this happens inside the dog, it creates problems and increases the chances of bowel obstruction. If this happens, feed your dog one of the foods recommended for swallowing sharp objects (listed above) to prevent the plastic from scraping on the intestinal mucosa.

How much will the surgery cost?

If your verse is not lucky enough to need surgery, you could spend a huge amount of money. Prices, of course, vary depending on the region and the type of operation that is needed.

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According to Dr. Phil Zeltzman, the operation also varies depending on which part of the dog’s body is being operated on. His blog gives the following numbers for different types of surgery:

  • Mouth: $ 370
  • Esophagus: $ 920
  • Stomach: $ 1,140
  • Small intestine: $ 1,640
  • Colon (or colon): $ 640

However, these are only averages. So you can pay a third or three times these amounts depending on your location, the type of doctor you see, and the clinic or hospital you go to.

I wish your pet good health!

Good luck with your pet! Hopefully, you won’t have to see the vet, but if you think you’re doing it, don’t hesitate.

And don’t forget that dogs that like to eat everything, be especially vigilant and careful about what you leave around.

Do you have a tip or question? Leave a comment!

Is your dog eating something weird? Do you have any advice or story to tell you what happened to your dog with a Hoover reputation? Any questions? Feel free to post in the comments section below!