Your assessment results for:

Difficulty Urinating or Defecating (Straining)

Urgency level: Possible emergency

Contact an emergency veterinary hospital

What to do next

Contact an emergency hospital ASAP and don’t feed your dog

  • Contact the vet before travelling to ensure they are able to see your pet. They may also need to give you specific instructions on handling and caring for your dog in the meantime.
  • Some regular hospitals will be able to treat your pet.
  • Do not feed your dog unless the vet advises otherwise. It may worsen the condition of your dog and may impact the results of X-rays if the vet recommends radiographs.
  • Do not remove their water.
  • If possible, collect a urine/fecal sample to bring to the vet.


Why it’s an emergency

Partial blockage of the urinary tract or complete inability to pass waste is a life-threatening condition

  • Difficulty passing waste doesn’t always require immediate veterinary attention, but partial blockage of the urinary tract or a complete inability to pass waste is a more urgent matter.
  • Based on the other signs you’ve selected, your dog could have a life-threatening condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Some of the conditions we are worried about include blocked bladder, foreign body, and colitis. These situations are time sensitive and require specialized equipment.


First aid tips

Restrict exercise

  • Restrict exercise to short bathroom breaks only.
  • Remember not to feed your dog until you’ve checked with a vet, but ensure they have access to water.


Talk to a veterinarian now

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Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.