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Painful defecation in my dog

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

Doctor I have a Chow Chow he is 1 year old, like 3 months ago, he starts to have painful defecation, can you please tell me what can we do because we are really worry with that situation if there's something that we can give him or if we have to take him to the veterinary. Thanks for your time!

Viviana Romero


Hi – thanks for your email. Painful defecations is not that common in a 1 year old dog. Is his stool really dry? Is he constipated? Has his food been changed? Is he urinating normally? Has be been neutered? Has he had anal gland problems? Any history of trauma such as a fractured pelvis?

There are different reasons for dogs to be "constipated" or to have difficult or painful defecations. It is difficult to tell you why he is having this problem without examining him.

If it has been going on for 3 months, I'd recommend having him examined. Your vet will probably want to look at a stool sample and feel his rectum. When checking the rectum, your vet will want to determine if the opening is normal, check the consistency of the stool, and look for abnormalities of the prostate or anal glands.

In the mean time, make sure he is eating a good quality food and has plenty of fresh clean water. You might encourage him to drink by topping off the water bowl frequently. I would not recommend anything else (such as over the counter medications) for him until you know why this is happening.

Two articles that might be helpful to you on includes "Constipation in Dogs" and "Dyschezia – Painful Defecation".

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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