What To Expect After A Dog Enema?

Most vets suggest Enema if dogs are constipated or have a bowel obstruction. But are there any side effects? What to expect after a dog enema? Let’s find out.

Your dog may sometimes find it difficult to pass stool. If so, your dog will feel restless and may even start to feel pain in the stomach. He may give certain signs that he needs an enema.

This extreme form of constipation usually happens because he has eaten something that he cannot pass out, such as chicken bone. 

Enemas are normally given to humans to relieve them from constipation. But is it okay to give dogs Enema? Yes, if your dog is constipated and has a bowel obstruction, most vets recommend giving an enema. 

What To Expect After A Dog Enema

This article will tell you what to expect after a dog enema, the reasons behind constipation in dogs, and how to prevent them.

What is a Dog Enema?

An enema is a fluid injected into the dog’s lower bowel through the rectum, which helps to clean out the bowels and brings relief to the dog. An enema treatment helps in bowel movements. Your dog will be able to pass on the stool once the Enema has softened it.

One thing that we would like to say upfront about enemas: avoid giving an enema to your dog yourself, as you might hurt your dog in the process. Always consult a vet to get medical procedures done, it will not cost you much money and you should not put your dog’s health at risk to just save a few bucks.

Types of Dog Enemas

There are mainly five types of enemas that are administered to dogs:

  • Lactulose (5–10 mL/cat).
  • Mineral oil (5–10 mL/cat)
  • DSS (5–10 mL/cat)
  • Warm isotonic saline (5–10 mL/kg),
  • Tap water (5–10 mL/kg)

You might need to administer any of these enema solutions yourself or through a vet with a 10–12 Feeding tube or French catheter. The dog would have to be sedated first. 

What Happens After Enema Is Given?

One Enema is given to dogs; bowel movements will happen in an hour. If your dog is having any trouble, consult your vet immediately.

If dogs suffer from dehydration, giving Enema helps retain fluids dogs, and fluid is absorbed through the colon, and giving Enema for a few hours can help retain fluid. And if your dog is dehydrated due to diarrhea and vomiting, Enema will help reintroduce fluids that your dog may have lost.

What To Expect After A Dog Enema

What to expect after a dog enema?

Your dog will be able to get back to its routine within 24 hours. After injecting an enema, dogs get relief almost immediately. Your dog will be able to pass stool in a few minutes to an hour. Enema helps soften the stool and will make your dog pass stool easily. 

What Are The Side Effects Of Enema?

If the Enema is inserted incorrectly, it can damage the tissue in the rectum and cause perforated bowel and infections. Regular use of dog enema can lead to electrolyte imbalances. Some temporary side effects of Enema include bloating and cramping.

Is It Safe To Give A Dog A Saline Enema?

Enemas are mainly designed for humans, but it is appropriate to choose micro-enema for your pet if he has mild constipation.

Some dogs may have an electrolyte imbalance with sodium phosphate or fleet enemas. Though these are given to clean bowels and relieve constipation, they are highly toxic for both cats and dogs

If dogs have any underlying health issues, saline enemas can result in high toxicity. The toxicity that results from giving fleet enemas includes malaise, dehydration, vomiting, weakness, and sometimes even death. Using just warm water and certain dietary changes will instantly help your dog get relief from constipation. 

How Long Do The Effects Of Enema Last For?

Once the Enema is given, your dog will start having bowel movements within minutes, and your dog will be able to get back to its daily activity within 24 hours.

What To Expect After A Dog Enema

What if nothing comes out after an enema?

If the enema was not successful in relieving your pet, the vet might opt for more extreme measures such as manually extracting the feces. In this case, you have to first ensure rehydration for the dog.

Next, the dog will have to be sedated once again, and a tube (endotracheal tube) is inserted in the mouth to make sure the dog does not suffer from aspiration. It may take as many as two to three attempts to get the manual extraction process to work. At all times, you will need to maintain the dogs’ hydration levels.

Constipation In Dogs

One of the most common health issues related to pets’ digestive systems is constipation. Your dog will find it difficult to pass stool or have infrequent bowel movements. Dogs who constipate either pass a hard stool or will not go at all. 

You may find some dogs scooting frequently or passing mucus when they try to defecate. When you touch their abdomen or lower back, they may feel some pain that will cause your dog to growl. It is advisable to take them to the vet and get them treated.

Causes Of Constipation In Dogs

There are many factors that lead to constipation in dogs. One of the main causes of constipation in dogs is ingesting any indigestible thing or a substance. Also, a dog with long and thick hair who has a habit of licking itself is at risk of suffering from constipation. Let us look at other causes of constipation in dogs.

What To Expect After A Dog Enema
  • Diet. Many dogs have a habit of eating things like toys, hair, and litter. These things may lead to blockages and difficulty in bowel movements. Ingesting bone meals also leads to constipation in dogs.
  • Medical issues. Sometimes dogs are prescribed medications that result in constipation.
  • Blockage. If your dog has been eating and drinking well but can still not pass stool, he may have some blockage.
  • Anxiety, behavioral changes, and fear also lead to abnormal bowel movements.
  • Lack of exercise and physical activity.
  • Hormonal diseases like hyperthyroidism
  • Prostate enlargement

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Constipated?

Many dogs pass stool at least once a day, and though for many, it depends on the number of times you feed them. If your dog is constipated, he will find it challenging to pass feces, and you will find him scooting and squatting frequently. 

Other signs of constipation include decreased appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and passing mucus. It is advisable to consult your vet if your dog does not pass stool within 72 hours from its previous bowel movement.

How To Help Your Dog With Constipation

If your dog cannot pass stool or has abdominal pain, it is advisable to get him checked with a vet. Avoid giving your dog any over-the-counter human laxatives unless told by your vet. Some laxatives used for humans can be toxic to dogs and other pets. Your vet may treat your dog by giving him an enema. 

Your vet will get a complete physical check-up done and even take X-rays to check for severe intestinal issues.

If your dog has been constipated for a long time, it can lead to blockage and may have a loss of appetite. If left unattended for a long time, it can further damage the tissue and can be life-threatening for your dog.

What To Expect After A Dog Enema

So if your dog is having difficulty with bowel movements, you can try these home remedies below.


Pumpkins have higher moisture and fiber. Feeding your dog pumpkin puree will help your dog’s indigestion. Dogs will like this taste and take it as a treat, and it will help them relieve from constipation and diarrhea.

Canned Food

Canned dog foods have good moisture content, which helps regulate the dog’s digestive system. You can mix some canned dog food with your dog’s regular meal to avoid diarrhea and constipation.


Taking your dog for regular walks will keep them healthy and fit. Exercises like running, walking, and chasing are some ways that help in maintaining a healthy digestive system in dogs.

Stool Softener

Some vets may recommend giving your dog a stool softener or laxative to help their bowel movement. 


If your dog is constipated, vets recommend giving an enema to your dog. An enema is a fluid that is injected into the dog’s lower bowel through a rectum, and it helps them pass stool and get relieved faster. Avoid doing this treatment at home by yourself as you can injure your dog.

What To Expect After A Dog Enema

A Few Final Words

As a dog owner, it is essential to take care of our dog and check for its daily bowel movements. Make sure your dog has a proper diet and exercise. 

Enema helps relieve your dog if he is constipated, dehydrated, or has any bowel obstruction. Enema effectively flushes out stool from your dog’s colon, but some enemas can be dangerous for your dog. 

Simply using warm water will help from constipation. However, it is advisable to consult your vet and get adequate treatment. Thank you for reading, we hope this article will be able to help your dog’s constipation.

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