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Blockage Symptoms

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Blockage Symptoms
  • I'm posting here cause I kind of want a quick answer and with all the forum changes, I didn't know how many people are looking at the health section right now.

     What are the symptoms of a blockage?  Onyx has just turned her nose up at a rec bone, and now that I come to think of it, I didn't see her poop at all today.  Albeit, BF put her outside for a bit today and didn't bother to watch her.  (I've been keeping a close eye on her ever since her Houdini act the other day)  I find it odd that she isn't interested in her bone.  Crusher dove at his and they came from the same package.  She still has it, but she's just laying beside it in her crate.  Its just not like her.  She ate her breakfast and an early dinner today.  And she hasn't vomited.  I haven't seen her drink much today either though... Am I worrying for nothing?  How long should I wait?

     She has a history of eating foreign objects, socks, baby cloths, other strange things, but she has a good leave it and drop it.  But there is always the chance that she got a hold of something...


  • Easily recognizable signs include:

    Vomitting, lethargy, lack of appetite, diarrhea (sometimes), not having bm's (sometimes)

  •  Well she still hasn't vomitted... but she is lathargic... but it is bedtime and she's in her crate... she wasn't before she went to bed.  Maybe I'll get her up and see if she has any energy.  I don't know if that will be very accurate though seeing as this is her down time. 

  •  Penny has been plagued with bowel blockages her whole life (I'm told it's a corgi thing). With her, I always watch her do her morning poo and the warning bells go off if she keeps stopping and straining, but nothing comes out. At that stage, I give her a dose of parrafin oil, which often does the trick. For Penny's size, I give her a large syringe full (about 10 mLs). If that doesn't get it, she would usually start showing signs of pain later in the day or the following day, maybe. She tries to go more often and sometimes moans or whimpers or even yelps as she tries. That's when she goes to the vet. You could try pressing firmly on the abdomen to see if there's any tightness in there. If Penny is feeling dodgy, she tightens her tummy muscles when I press. I've never taken Penny to the vet before she's become vocal about trying to go to the toilet. I guess it's always got to that point quite quickly.

  •  Actually, I just thought, what you're describing is very similar to the vague problems Penny was having when she was on kibble. She'd get lethargic and a bit tender in the tummy and not want her food. Apparently the kibble she was on was the problem. She stopped having those little episodes when I changed her food to homecooked.

  •  if it is a blockage, her symptoms will probably get dramatically worse quickly. at least that was our experience with sydney.

     saying that she has eaten seems like a good thing. i dont remember sydney wanting to eat at all. he went from lethargic to not being able to hardly get up at all.

    hopefully, she just didnt want a bone today.

  • Well Once again this forum is great for calming my worries.  Update today:  Onyx ate her bone last night.  Well she chewed on it and cleaned it out pretty good since its a rec bone.  When she started it, I had to run downstairs cause chewing a bone in a crate sounds remarkably like a dog trying to vomit... but she was just laying there gnawing away.  This morning she jumped up and went outside for a pee... still no poop, but thats a normality for her first outing.  Usually she doesn't go until after she eats anyway.  Right now, she's still chewing on her bone.  So I'm gonna go out on a limb and say she's ok, and I'm just a big worry wart.  I'm gonna keep an eye on her though..

     Thanks All.

  • GRAPHIC but should be helpful -- If you think about what goes on, then the progression makes even more sense.  When there is any sort of an obstruction, at first there's no reaction (unless it causes pain -- rarely). But -- depending on where the obstruction is -- that means that food can't move thru.  So the poop that is already in the intestines will exit the body but nothing more.  Food processed by the stomach will move INTO the intestines but can only go as far AS the obstruction.

     So the dog may poop pretty soon after an obstruction but then stop.  However, anything eaten post-obstruction will move from the stomach into the intestinal tract but that "fills up" (because nothing can exist). 

     USUSALLY about 6 - 36 hours after the obstruction occurred food will back up INTO the stomach.  THEN you get the fiercest symptoms.  Because the intestinal tract is 'full' to that point, food can no longer exit the stomach so ANYTHING eaten just sits in the gut with stomach acid pouring in.  This quickly causes nausea and most anything put IN the stomach will be vomited and there is real stomach distress and the dog now feels horrible.

     Blockages can be stellarly difficult to diagnose depending on what the material was that caused the blockage.  Some things (like bits of fiber, natural things, etc.) don't show up on an x-ray -- and all you may see is the empty intestines but finding WHERE it is can be tricky.  And if the blockage is near the stomach it can be really tough to locate it. 

     People tend not to think about the time factor -- and they expect the non-pooping to completely coincide with the nausea -- and that may not be the case. 

     Also -- be cautious trying to give any sort of oil or something to 'grease' the obstruction -- an obstruction can look very very like pancreatitis -- and pancreatitis can look like an obstruction.  Many years ago my dog had what both my vet and I *thot* was a bone obstruction/injury (the dog was throwing up bloody ugly puke and having bloody diarreha).  Earlier in the day the dog had injested some chicken bones (she found a KFC box on a walk and while my friend and I were trying to get a chicken bone out of HER dog's mouth, MY dog found what had previously been in the rest of the box but had been just thrown on the ground). 

     We thot it was an injury and a stuck chicken bone -- the vet told me to give her mineral oil as a 'first aid' type of gesture because he was so far from the vet clinic.  Unwittingly I gave her the mineral oil -- except it was NOT a blockage at all!!  It was pancreatitis (probably brought on by the greasy chicken skin)  But the mineral oil made it WORSE.

     Huskymom just watch for a couple of days.  Frankly, I'd walk her on leash - it's a pain but you'll know what she passes.  And make sure you know how much the dog has eaten.  (GIGO -- what goes in has gotta come out)


  •  Thanks Callie,

    I've been keeping an eye on her, but she seems fine.  She ate her breakfast with gusto and is still carrying around her bone, plus she tried to steal Crusher's too.  Basically she's back to her same old self. 

  • That's not a dog with an intestinal blockage!! *grin*

    Once upon a time Callie had another buffy cocker who ate an 8 foot hole in a brand new Vellux blanket.  He got mighty sick of having to do ALL his pooping in front of me over the following 6 days.

    One day I'm absolutely positive he turned around and I saw his lips move when he said "MOM -- LET IT HIT THE GROUND before you look, ok???????"

  • dogfan

    well kindaBig Smile

    WTF??? Hmm