Puppy Colic - Causes and Treatment
Puppy colic is a condition similar to the human baby variety, but treating it is a bit different.
First of all, it will help to know what causes colic in puppies. Then you'll have a much better understanding of what it takes to treat this potentially serious condition.
But don't worry, with enough patience and understanding, this condition can be treated successfully.
A puppy suffering from colic will appear fretful and panicky, cry, and in extreme cases have seizures.
What causes colic? No matter how your puppy is being fed: strictly by their Mother; bottle or tube fed by you; or a combination of the two - food is going to sit in your puppy's little tummy until eliminated.
This food will produce more and more gas the longer it sits in his/her tummy. It will continue to build up until your puppy goes to the bathroom (defecates).
The problem is, a very young puppy cannot go to the bathroom without some stimulation to his/her private areas. This enacts the reflex to eliminate.
How is a puppy stimulated to go to the bathroom? Most of the time a Mother dog takes care of this situation by stimulating the private areas of the puppy with her tongue. This causes the puppy to eliminate and the gas doesn't build up and cause colic.
But in some cases, a Mother will not provide this stimulation for whatever reason. And obviously, if you're bottle or tube-feeding your puppy, the Mother won't be providing the necessary stimulation either.
So you'll have to provide this stimulation using a warm, damp cloth. Gently rub your puppy's genital and anal areas with the warm, damp cloth before and after each feeding. This should lead to elimination and help to prevent any colic.
Here are some more puppy litter tips:
- Place a heating pad under their litter box or kennel to help keep Mother and puppies warm. Make sure the cord is safely out of the way, and don't turn it past medium. You can also use a heat lamp in addition to the heating pad. Any puppy that gets chilled is susceptible to illness.
- Make sure any food you deliver through a bottle or tube is warm also.
- Try not to wean your puppies too soon. And when you do begin the weaning process, make sure it's gradual.
If you're not able to get your puppy to defecate, and he/she is in constant distress, then you need to get advice from your veterinarian. Although puppy colic is a condition that is easy to treat, you shouldn't let it get out of hand - it could be deadly.