This Article is About
lower abdomen
trapped gas
x rays
blockages
rest of the day
veterinarian
My Dog Is Gassy And Seems Uncomfortable
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My Dog is Gassy And Seems Uncomfortable

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Zanna was passing a lot of gas and one particular day it smelled like pure sulfur. Another change I had noticed was that she had gone from being slightly pudgy to her ribs being almost visible - indicating weight loss. Her lower abdomen however, remained distended. She would move like she was uncomfortable. She became less enthusiastic about eating. She did vomit once, but that was all – it was shortly after she ate and she seemed fine afterwards, so I didn’t think anything of it. Finally, she wasn't eating her breakfast until noon. The rest of the day she seemed more lethargic, wouldn't play for more than a few minutes and then would lie down for hours. I didn't notice whether she was still drinking water, but she hasn't been a big water drinker anyway. A couple of times at night, she would cry out briefly as if in pain, but

wouldn't wake up.

I became very concerned and decided that I needed a better understanding of what was going on and she needed professional help. So we went to the veterinarian who did a physical exam and took some x-rays.

It turned out that Zanna was badly constipated and had a large section of trapped gas with blockages above and below the gas pockets. If you look at the x-rays you can see balloon or egg-shaped forms that are blockages and dark areas which are pockets of gas. You can actually see bubbles in the gas, too. It seems that the bones she had eaten had irritated her intestines and were causing her gas and constipation. Apparently, the movement of food and bone from the stomach to the intestine and the colon had slowed to nothing.

I was surprised too, that even though it was more than 6 hours since she had eaten, her food was only minimally digested (you could see the individual pieces in her stomach) again, indicating there was little if any movement from the stomach to the intestinal tract.

This condition is not to be confused with a condition called "bloat" which for dogs is a scary diagnosis. It also points out why it is important for a veterinarian to see the dog, so that the correct diagnosis and treatment can be given. This was not a life-threatening situation, but if she had had bloat, it would have been and time would have been working against us.

Her veterinarian prescribed stool softeners and laxatives to start and gave us a single dose. The kind given to people are pretty harsh for dogs, so you don't give it for very long. She recommended maybe following that with medication to help with the gastroenteritis and colitis. I elected to use the single dose of stool softeners and laxatives which helped but didn’t have a lasting effect. I then started Zanna on Dr. Christopher’s Fen LB - 2 capsules added to her food twice daily for several days. This restored the movement of food through her digestive system. The Fen LB also heals/restores the intestinal walls. I also gave her 2 heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt for probiotic benefits daily for a few days, then less often.

I checked towards the end of that time to see how her stools were. I can’t say she was regular at that point, but she was definitely improving. I continued on a few more days and then ended the treatment. Her routine went back to normal.

I was a little reluctant to go back to feeding her bones so I tried her out first on beef rib bones and she seemed to do okay. Then I gave her a knuckle bone but did not let her eat the whole thing in one sitting. She seems to have handled that well and we have had no further difficulty.


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