Dog Health: Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Dog | Gastrointestinal Obstruction

An Introduction to Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Gastrointestinal obstruction occurs when contents of the intestinal tract are prevented from moving through the tract, usually due to a foreign object. Obstructions can be partial or complete.

Dog Gastrointestinal Obstruction information

Causes of Gastrointestinal Obstruction

The most common cause of a gastrointestinal obstruction is a foreign body. Therefore, we often see these in Labradors, beagles and other breeds that think with their stomachs.

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Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Partial obstructions cause vomiting and sometimes diarrhoea or lethargy over days/weeks. Complete obstructions cause intractable vomiting, abdominal pain and no faeces.


Gastrointestinal obstructions are usually diagnosed by imaging with xrays or ultrasound.

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Treatment of Gastrointestinal Obstruction


Partial obstructions can sometimes be managed medically. However, complete obstructions are much more serious and require surgery - usually quickly! There is a risk of damage to the gastrointestinal system and even rupture the longer it is left.


Avoid leaving objects around which may tempt your pooch (especially if they think...
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