Health Topics  >  Digestive  >  Constipation

How do you know if constipation is a sign of a serious problem or an emergency?

If you notice other signs of distress or abnormal behaviors displayed by your dog, or if the constipation lasts for more than three days, then it’s usually a sign of something more serious. Other clinical signs (symptoms) of a more urgent medical issue are:

  • Vomiting or not eating
  • Blood in the stool
  • Pain and yelping when defecating (or when straining to defecate)
  • Distended or swollen belly
  • Weak or lethargic
  • Prolonged decrease in appetite and/or thirst

Sometimes string, dental floss or hair can get caught in the stool, but be careful to never pull on this or try to yank it out. There’s no telling how deeply the object is caught in your dog’s digestive tract, so pulling on it may cause the string to cheese-wire through your dog’s intestines which is a very serious injury.