Intestinal blockages in dogs usually occur as a result of a dog swallowing something other than food. Coins, small balls, marbles, stones and tampons are routinely retrieved from the esophagus, stomach and small intestine of dogs. Endoscopic surgery is the standard method for clearing blockages. But before opting for surgery, you might want to try at-home remedies or holistic approaches.
First determine if the blockage is indeed in the small intestine. A dog with a blockage in the esophagus will generally lick his lips and salivate excessively, swallow repeatedly, regurgitate food not long after eating, and become dehydrated. A blockage in the stomach will usually cause vomiting. A blockage in the small intestine causes intestinal distension, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Treat intestinal blockages right away. If left untreated, an intestinal blockage can lead to tissue deterioration, fever, shock and eventually death.
Depending on the size and type of item that is in the dog's small intestine, inducing vomiting may dislodge it so that it can pass through the small intestine or come up with the vomit. Induce vomiting by dosing your dog with hydrogen peroxide (one teaspoon per every 10 pounds), syrup of ipecac or a mixture of equal parts salt water and mustard seed water. In some cases, a lubricating agent such as petroleum jelly can also assist with relieving the intestinal blockage. Smear a small amount of petroleum jelly on your dog's favorite food or treat to encourage it to eat it. Canned pumpkin in pureed form is a holistic remedy for easing the passage of a foreign object and softening stools. Liquid stool softeners may also assist with removing a blockage.
Avoid intestinal blockages by preventing access to foreign objects that your dog could fit into its mouth. Provide your dog with toys and chewable bones that are safe and appropriate for its size. Limit access to areas of your home or outdoor areas that contain objects that could potentially be swallowed.
Contact your veterinarian if your dog is showing signs of an intestinal blockage. Never induce vomiting or give your dog any type of medication without first consulting with your veterinarian.