Mineral Oil For Dog Intestinal Blockage

Photo by on Angela Mabray on Flickr

Some months ago, I wrote an article that looked at whether olive oil could fix a bowel obstruction

And the long and the short of that article is that for most bowel obstructions it should be your vet who is treating it.

They are too risky to mess around with a home remedy such as olive oil.

Another popular question that lots of you have since asked is whether mineral oil can be used for a dog’s intestinal blockage?

To find out what I recommend, please read on…

What is a dog intestinal blockage?

An intestinal blockage is something that blocks a dog’s intestine. 

It is also called a bowel obstruction or gut blockage.

This is when the stomach or intestine are blocked or partially blocked and nothing or very little can pass through.

Can I use mineral oil for a dog intestinal blockage?

The simple answer is no.  

You shouldn’t use mineral oil for an intestinal blockage as it is far too serious a condition to try and sort out with a home remedy, such as mineral oil. 

So now that I have given a brief and simple answer to your main question, it is time to look a little deeper into intestinal blockages and mineral oil.

Yes, it isn’t the most savoury of topics, is it?

What are the causes of a dog intestinal blockage?

Gut blockages in dogs are normally caused by a dog swallowing something that they shouldn’t.

You know how nosey dogs can be?

And puppies are the worst because they want to know about and explore everything.

And they do this by putting things in their mouths, much like human babies do. 

On top of this, puppies are sometimes on the lookout for things to chew or mouth to relieve teething pain. 

The list of objects is as varied as it is long and can include:

  • Rocks
  • Tennis balls
  • Socks
  • Children’s toys
  • Bones

What are the symptoms of a dog intestinal blockage?

Some of the common symptoms could include:

Sore stomach

Vomiting 

Diarrhea

Constipation

If you have a dog with a complete or partial intestinal blockage, he will be feeling very sorry for himself.

If their stomach is sore then they won’t like it if you try to touch it. 

They might sit or lie awkwardly, in a prayer position with their front legs out in front of them with their bum raised slightly.

Doing anything to get comfortable. 

Are any breeds more susceptible of a dog intestinal blockage?

No dog breeds are more susceptible to an intestinal blockage than any others. 

A Golden Retriever is just as likely to suffer from a gut blockage as a Chihuahua. 

This is unlike bloat, which is far more likely to affect a deep chested giant breeds such as a Great Dane or beautiful Weimaraner.  

What is mineral oil?

Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum. 

It has many uses as a lubricant, laxative and a moisturiser. 

Mineral oil is available as an oil but it is also available in many commercial laxatives and enemas.

How does mineral oil work as a laxative?

As a laxative, mineral oil works by lubricating the bowel and by keeping the stool moisturised.

It is a well known home remedy for constipation in people and it can be incredibly effective.

How can you use mineral oil with a dog?

As I said at the start, trying to treat an intestinal blockage with mineral oil isn’t ideal.

But there is no reason why you shouldn’t try using mineral oil to cure a bit of constipation in your dog.

Intestinal blockage and constipation. What’s the difference?

But here’s the thing.

There is a huge difference between constipation and an intestinal blockage.

A huge difference between trying to lubricate poop (however hard) and trying to lubricate a sock, tennis ball or children’s toy. 

But what exactly is the difference?

Well, both constipation and an intestinal blockage are both blockages.

But constipation is when the blockage is only caused by hard poop whereas an intestinal blockage is caused by a “foreign body” such as a rock or a tumour or growth. 

But how do you know if your dog is suffering from a bit of constipation or if they are suffering from an intestinal blockage?

Hmm, that is a tricky one.

The only way that you would know for certain if your dog was suffering from an intestinal blockage is if you saw them eating a foreign object or maybe a recording from a home security camera to prove it.

Or they might have “form”- a history of swallowing strange things!

Three possible ways that your vet might treatment an intestinal blockage?

In treating your dog, your vet will perform a very thorough physical examination which might include a radiograph or ultrasound which hopefully will identify what and where the object is.

Treatment 1

The least invasive procedure will be if your vet believes that the foreign object is small enough to pass. 

They will treat your dog with some laxatives and pain relief and will send them home.

Treatment 2

A more serious and invasive treatment involves sending a camera tube (with a grabber arm attached) down their throat to locate the object and try to retrieve it.

This is called an endoscopy. 

Treatment 3

The most serious intervention is surgery to remove the object.

Five home remedies to fix a dog’s constipation 

So to finish off this post, I want to take a look at some other home remedies that there are for fixing constipation.

After all, we have already looked into mineral oil, but are there any more?

And of course the list is long and varied which is great because it gives you lots of options. 

But the important thing to remember about trying to fix your dog’s constipation- especially if it happens frequently-  is that it will take a few days or a week to see a real improvement.

And so, with that in mind, choose one or two from the tips below and stick with them for a week or 10 days.

Don’t flip flop between all the different methods within a week and then hold up your hands in despair claiming that nothing works!

[1] Drink more water

[2] Exercise more

[3] Add some soluble fibre (lentils and beans)

[4] Add some live yoghurt (a probiotic)

[5] Add some chickpeas (a prebiotic)