Archived Message

bowel difficulties-help needed

by Ivan & Priscilla Mellado

Hello, We thought we'd ask you for some advice regarding a health challenge our loveable little Maltese is having. Coco lives with us here in Melbourne, Australia but unfortunately he's having a problem. Several vets which we have seen do not seem to be able to help.

Coco is a two year old pure bred Maltese. He is having incredible difficulty clearing his bowel. Every time he needs to go, he screeches and runs in circles, and is obviously in a lot of pain. He also spends quite a lot of time licking his bottom and at one stage he was dragging it across the ground. Our vet determined he had a problem with the anal glands and these were duly removed. He no longer drags his bottom but still screeches whenever he goes and still nurses his bottom. The University of Melbourne veterinary clinic has thoroughly examined him, including taking a biopsy from the colon and could only identify a small allergic reaction. They did, however, believe this was the root cause of the problem. They suggested we divide his feeding into two small portions and include some Metamucil (a natural laxative available in Australia) to assist him pass stools. We have been doing this but poor Coco still screeches every time he goes to the toilet.

Have you come across this problem before? Is there anything you can suggest which might help? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you


Puppies, when they first start eliminating on their own, will cry. I have not had an older Maltese do this. I did have a problem with a puppy with a slight bowel problem and my vet put her on Metronidazole 250 tabs--1/4 tablet 2 times a day. He said that it eased bowel discomfort and prevented secondary infections from setting in. (My puppy had loose stools however.) It might be a remedy to help his bowel heal--you might ask your vet about it. My puppy was on a regimen for 10 days and is perfectly fine now--no recurring problems. Good luck!
-Linda (Snow Angel)

I've had some success adding raw vegetables to the diet instead of metamucil (it requires extra water intake to be effective)also keeping a bit of ointment on the anus to avoid fissures if he's very constipated. Hope this is helpful.

I only had one with this problem, and I did what I do for my Grandchildren. I bought some bran and added it to her food. It worked well. I added 1 teaspoon every day for the first two or three weeks, and when she was regulated, I added it weekly. You can sprinkle it over their food, and they eat it up. It only took 3 months and she was o.k. She is grown now and has no problems.
-Marsha A.

I had a labrador retriever once that did THE EXACT SAME THING. We were told she was constipated and the vet gave us a special laxative (which was given anally as opposed to the orally given Metamucil). It helped only for a short while, and after a while she had to be put to sleep. I cannot remember what the exact condition was, but it was a bowel problem I know. I will find out what exactly it was and get back to you.
-Paige H.

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