To administer an enema to a dog, you need to introduce a liquid into the animal's anus to loosen dry stool and relieve constipation. This is not a difficult task, but it is very important that it is done correctly, as the use of excessive force, the wrong type of liquid or the wrong position can end up injuring and injuring the animal. It is also important to know that the animal really needs the enema, as only a veterinarian can truly diagnose the animal's problem. When in doubt, always consult a professional, performing a complete veterinary check-up on your pet.
Method 1 of 3: Assessing Enema Need
Step 1. Take the dog to a veterinarian
Before deciding to administer an enema to your dog, it is important to see a veterinarian. Is your pet not defecating or is it straining when evacuating? Make an appointment with a veterinarian as there may be a bowel obstruction or some other problem that needs treatment causing constipation.
Improperly administering an enema can be dangerous for the animal, so do not attempt to do so without first consulting a veterinarian
Step 2. Understand that enemas should only be given to treat constipation
To be clear: constipation is the accumulation of stool in the lower part of the intestine, and it is a problem often caused by a lack of fiber in the diet, causing hard and dry stools. Other less common causes of constipation include:
- Lack of exercise. If your pet does not practice many physical activities, it can end up with constipation.
- Dehydration. If the pet is drinking less water than ideal, it is possible that it develops a cold.
- Obstruction. If the pet is exercising, eating, and hydrating enough, but not defecating, it is possible that it has an obstruction in its intestinal system.
- Anatomical change in the pelvis, probably caused by an accident. Running over and falling can narrow the pet's pelvis, making evacuation difficult.
- Arthritis pain in the hips. This type of pain can cause the pet to defecate less often to avoid discomfort, causing the poop to dry out and making evacuation even more difficult.
Step 3. Keep an eye on the dog's bowel movement
Your pet's bathroom habits can help confirm your suspicion of constipation. Do you think the little dog is constipated? Watch him when he goes to the toilet mat or the yard and see if he is defecating. Some things to watch out for:
- Production of hard, dry and small stools. If your dog's poop is hard, small, or non-existent, it's possible he's constipated.
- Lack of evacuation for days. If the dog is eating well but does not defecate for days, it is possible that he is constipated.
- Make the effort to defecate. If the animal pushes and doesn't eliminate any poop, it's likely that the problem is some kind of constipation.
- Crying when trying to evacuate. If the animal starts crying whenever it tries to go to the bathroom, take it to the vet immediately.
Step 4. Think about possible medical conditions that could increase your pet's risk of constipation
There are some conditions that make evacuation difficult, such as an enlarged prostate in males. In this case, the prostate, which is just below the rectum, grows and puts pressure on the region, compressing the animal's anus and making it difficult to eliminate feces.
Step 5. Check that the problem is not difficulty urinating
A dog that cannot urinate may appear to be constipated, especially in the case of females. If your pet exerts a lot of force when urinating, especially if he can't pass any urine, it's a good idea to take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Step 6. Rule out possible diarrhea
It is normal to confuse constipation with diarrhea because of the common symptoms of the two problems. It is normal for a dog with diarrhea to squat frequently, due to the "urgency" to defecate. Therefore, it is very important to analyze whether the animal is defecating or not, thus ruling out possible diarrhea.
If the pet defecates liquid stools, it is unlikely that it is constipated. In this case, the enema is neither necessary nor advisable
Method 2 of 3: Preparing for the enema
Step 1. Find a place that is easy to clean
The canine enema is a messy and messy procedure, so work in a place where you won't have a problem cleaning up the dirty liquid with feces, well away from the kitchen and food in general. Some good options:
- A yard or cement area that can be hosed down later.
- A garage, the floor covered with old newspapers.
Step 2. Wear protective clothing
If possible, buy a disposable plastic apron to protect your clothing. Choose waterproof shoes that you can wash easily, such as rubber overshoes. Rubber or latex (disposable) gloves are also essential for protection and hygiene.
After administering the enema, discard soiled protective clothing and wash your hands thoroughly
Step 3. Use a microenema if the pet is suffering from moderate constipation
Is the pet only mildly constipated - that is, is it having trouble defecating, but hasn't been that long without a bowel movement? A microenema may be the most suitable solution.
- These products are designed for human use and can be found in common pharmacies.
- Microenemas contain some lubricant that helps to hydrate and lubricate the stool, giving a gentler effect when used in the early stages of constipation. In other words, in many cases, this can be a good option to help your pet to defecate normally.
Step 4. Use warm water if the dog needs a full enema
If you're going to use a regular enema, you'll need to introduce more fluid into the pet's anus, and it's good to use warm water or warm water with a little liquid paraffin.
Do not use pure liquid paraffin as it can cause an imbalance of electrolytes in the pet's bloodstream
Step 5. Prepare enema equipment and fluid
The liquid can be introduced into the animal's intestine via an enema pump (common among veterinarians), a bulb, or a syringe with a rubber tube (home enema). You can buy the kit at a pharmacy or on the internet, as the principle for all models is the same; the idea is simply to use a reservoir of fluid to deliver it to the anus through a soft tube.
- Choose an outfit suitable for the size of your dog. A larger breed may need a large enema bag, whereas a miniature breed may only use a 2.5 ml syringe. When in doubt, consult a trusted veterinarian.
- Assess the amount of liquid needed. When administering a complete enema, the recommended amount of fluid to insert into the rectum is 10 to 20 ml/kg. In other words, a 30 kg Labrador would need something between 300 and 600 ml. However, it is very difficult to inject a lot of fluid as it will start to come out of the rectum.
- Prepare extra liquid and leave it nearby. If the dog does not evacuate after the procedure, it may need to be repeated after an hour or two.
Step 6. Ask someone for help
Having an assistant to hold the animal, keeping it still and with its tail raised, is a great idea. This way, you will have your hands free to administer the enema with more ease and precision. Although the process is not painful, it is not comfortable and can frighten the dog, and having an assistant can go a long way towards keeping the pet calm.
Method 3 of 3: Administering the dog enema
Step 1. Position the animal
Take the dog to the chosen spot, which should be covered with old newspapers. Ask your helper to hold the dog, without letting it sit or lie down, and keep its tail elevated when administering the enema. Stand behind the dog so you have a good view of his anus.
If the animal has long hair near its anus, it is a good idea to shave the area to better control the dirt in the feces
Step 2. Fill the enema bulb
Enema kits usually come in a bulb, pump, or syringe format, and the procedure is very similar between them. Simply submerge the end in the enema fluid and press the bulb to release the air. Then release the pressure so that the negative pressure inside the instrument pulls out the liquid.
- Assess the temperature of the water by touching it on the inside of your wrist. It is important that the liquid is not too hot, or you could injure the animal. If the water is too hot, add some cold water to balance the temperature.
- If using a syringe, connect the tubing to the syringe and pull the plunger to fill it with liquid.
Step 3. Locate the anus, the hole through which the animal defecates
This is usually quite easy for males as it is the only hole present. In the case of females, the anus is just below the tail, while the vulva is lower, between her hind legs.
Step 4. Prepare the enema pump
With your protective clothing and gloves on, release some of the liquid through the tube to lubricate it, or apply a little Vaseline to the end of it. Then insert the end of the tube into the animal's rectum, very carefully. Finally, apply light pressure to the center of the anus.
In some cases, you may need to slightly rotate the tube when inserting it
Step 5. Insert the tube straight
As the rectum is parallel to the animal's spine, it is necessary to insert the tube very straight with the spine to follow the correct path. Never exert force or apply pressure for real - if the tube doesn't enter any more, leave it where it is and try to release some of the liquid, as it is possible that it is stuck against a build-up of stool.
The idea is to insert the tube about 2.5 cm to 5 cm deep into the animal's anus
Step 6. Administer the enema solution
Once the tube is inside the pet's rectum, slowly press down on the syringe or bulb, releasing the liquid. Take it easy, to minimize the animal's discomfort and not damage its intestinal walls.
Slowly remove the enema tube after releasing all the liquid
Step 7. Take the pet to the designated area for him to do his needs
Take the dog to the place where he normally urinates and defecates and encourage him to relieve himself. It's a good idea to walk, very slowly, to help the liquid mix with the stool and start the softening process.
- If the animal does not defecate on the first attempt, repeat the process after an hour or two.
- Remember to give the dog plenty of opportunities to defecate between enemas. When the urge to poop hits, he will immediately relieve himself, no matter where he is.
- Don't be mad at the pet if he poops in the wrong place, as he has no guilt or control over the situation right now. To avoid accidents indoors, it's a good idea to leave it only in a space where it can defecate without spoiling anything, such as the laundry area, a porch, or the backyard.