more commonly called costiveness, is also a very common complaint. It
often occurs in the progress of other diseases, but is just as often a
Perhaps no complaint to which our canine friends are liable is less
understood by the non-professional dog doctor and by dog owners
themselves. Often caused by weakness in the coats of the intestine.
The exhibition of purgatives can only have a temp
rary effect in
relieving the symptoms, and is certain to be followed by reaction,
and consequently by further debility. Want of exercise and bath common
Youatt was never more correct in his life than when he said: Many
dogs have a dry constipated habit, often greatly increased by the
bones on which they are fed. This favours the disposition to mange,
etc. It produces indigestion, encourages worms, blackens the teeth,
and causes fetid breath.
Symptoms--The stools are hard, usually in large round balls, and
defecation is accomplished with great difficulty, the animal often
having to try several times before he succeeds in effecting the act,
and this only after the most acute suffering. The faeces are generally
covered with white mucus, showing the heat and semi-dry condition of
the gut. The stool is sometimes so dry as to fall to pieces like so
There is generally also a deficiency of bile in the motions, and, in
addition to simple costiveness, we have more or less loss of appetite,
with a too pale tongue, dullness, and sleepiness, with slight redness
of the conjunctiva. Sometimes constipation alternates with diarrhoea,
the food being improperly commingled with the gastric and other juices,
ferments, spoils, and becomes, instead of healthy blood-producing
chyme, an irritant purgative.
Treatment--Hygienic treatment more than medicinal. Mild doses of
castor oil, compound rhubarb pill, or olive oil, may at first be
necessary. Sometimes an enema will be required if the medicine will
Plenty of exercise and a swim daily (with a good run after the swim),
or instead of the swim a bucket bath--water thrown over the dog.
Give oatmeal, rather than flour or fine bread, as the staple of his
diet, but a goodly allowance of meat is to be given as well, with
cabbage or boiled liver, or even a portion of raw liver. Fresh air and
exercise in the fields. You may give a bolus before dinner, such as
the following: Compound rhubarb pill, 1 to 5 grains; quinine, 1/8 to
2 grains; extract of taraxacum, 2 to 10 grains. Mix.