Q:

Is it safe to give caster oil to a constipated dog?

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Castor oil is not a suggested treatment for constipation in canines, according to both WebMD and PetMD. It is suggested that pet owners consult with a vet before starting any course of treatment. A vet may instruct pet owners to use a stool softener or laxative, or he may prescribe medication. In some cases, a constipated dog may require hospitalization and treatment with enemas if there is an obstruction blocking the bowels.

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A vet may also suggest adding fiber to a dog’s diet, notes WebMD. Items such as wheat bran, canned pumpkin or products such as Metamucil are common sources of fiber. Increasing the amount of exercise the dog gets is another suggestion.

Tips for immediate care include washing the anal region with warm, soapy water and then applying a water-soluble jelly to soothe the inflamed area, suggests PetMD. Wearing rubber gloves, owners can inspect the anus for grass and gently ease it out if present. Never pull a string or thread hanging out of the anus because it could cause internal damage. If matted feces is present around the anal area, trim the matted fur away carefully with scissors.

Prevention is another suggested method for controlling constipation, states PetMD. Owners should avoid giving bones as treats and opt for nylon chew toys instead. Owners should provide plenty of water and use laxatives that aid in softening the stool. Dogs that are neutered also have a lower risk of constipation because it prevents prostate growth.

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