Why is my dog straining when he goes to the toilet?

Who said straining can only happen in humans? Not! Unfortunately, dogs are susceptible to straining in two aspects or situations. They can strain because of some difficulty with passing urine or some trouble passing faeces. The dog may experience only one of the two although it is still possible to have both at the same time. So once these kinds of incidents happen, it is best to take the dog to the vet for an early check up and diagnosis.

Nevertheless, both conditions have quite a number of varied causes. Fortunately, there is also a handful of proven safe and effective treatments that can help combat such. These treatments are normally determined depending on the cause of the strain.

In normal instances of stool or faecal straining, it is more or less due to constipation. The dog may find it difficult to pass stool. Faecal straining due to constipation is most likely a result of improper diet. The dog may have eaten something which is causing it to constipate. Constipation itself has different degrees or levels, which includes mild, moderate and heavily constipated. As mentioned, constipation is normally caused by the nature of food the dog eats or some sudden changes in his diet regimen. This, in turn, can upset his digestive tract.

Specifically, constipation can be brought about by constantly chewing or eating bones. In this regard, the manner in which the bone was eaten is also to be considered. If it was chewed up poorly then the dog may experience constipation since it is not easy to pass small bone fragments through the digestive system. Also, there may be an actual object obstructing the dog’s tract that blocks the normal passage of faeces. This maybe some foreign objects the dog ate or it can also be an abnormal tissue growth in that area.

The passing of faeces can also be a cause of strain because of an enlarged prostate gland. This enlarged gland can put unwarranted pressure on the large intestine which leads to struggling in passing faecal matter. Prostate enlargement occurs mostly in older male dogs. The best solution to address this enlargement is to castrate the canine. In bizarre cases, the dog can lose his ability to pass or propel faecal matter when the colon loses a proper nerve stimulation or nerveous supply.

Urine straining has another set of causes unlike that of faecal straining. Straining in terms of urine is usually caused by bladder inflammation, otherwise known as cystitis. It's actually a very common condition that is either due to urine crystal build up or a simple matter of bacterial infestation in the bladder. Subjecting your pet to a quick test can help determine what the real cause of cystitis is. Also, certain urinary obstructions are caused by bladder stones. These stones are the end products of crystal formalization within the bladder for a certain period of time. Overall whatever the cause for straining really is, medical treatment should be sought at the earliest convenience.


This pet health article is for reference only.

If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.