What causes a dog's intestines to twist

Bowel Obstruction Dog: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

You didn't know that there is also an intestinal obstruction in dogs? This problem can even become a life-threatening situation for your four-legged friend! Find out everything about causes, symptoms and treatment now so that you can react correctly!

A bowel obstruction, also known as an ileus, is an obstruction to the passage of the bowel. At this point, the feed can no longer be transported through the intestine. The food builds up and a life-threatening situation arises. A distinction is made between one incomplete intestinal obstruction, in which parts of the food still pass the obstacle in the intestine and a complete intestinal obstructionwhere no more feed can be transported.

Causes of intestinal obstruction in dogs

A bowel obstruction can have many causes, such as:

  • Mechanical disabilities: The dog can accidentally swallow foreign objects such as toys, hairballs, wood, fruit kernels, stones, bones, etc.
  • Parasite infestation
  • constipation
  • Bowel rotations
  • Inversion of the intestine, also called intestinal invagination: This occurs mainly in young dogs after a diarrheal illness
  • Intestinal paralysis
  • Tumors


There are many signs of illness, which can indicate a bowel obstruction:

  • stomach pain
  • Refusal to feed
  • fever
  • Vomiting and
  • lack of droppings

If the intestinal obstruction is incomplete, the signs may be less noticeable at first. Sometimes even Diarrhea, emaciation and weakness are the only symptomsthat stretch over several days to weeks. In exceptional cases, signs of shock can even occur and the animals will die within a few hours without treatment.

The symptoms described do not necessarily have to occur as described. Depending on instinct, your four-legged friend can show his affliction very late. If you see some of the signs described, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible. This may not be able to make a diagnosis immediately and must first carry out further examinations - nevertheless, in the end you have certainty!


An intestinal obstruction is usually an emergency that needs to be operated on as quickly as possible. For example, foreign bodies or the like are removed. If a section of the intestine has already been permanently damaged, it unfortunately has to be removed. However, the healthy sections of the intestine can then be sewn together again. After the operation, the dog will have to spend a few days in the veterinary clinic so that it can be provided with infusions, painkillers and antibiotics.

Tips after intestinal obstruction in dogs

After the operation, it is necessary for the dog to wear a neck collar until the wound has healed completely (i.e. until the stitches are pulled). This prevents licking and scratching. Since the oral cavity is very heavily colonized by bacteria, licking the seam can cause the ZThe tissue can be prevented from growing together. This of course also delays the healing process and can even lead to reoperation. Especially when the wound heals and starts to itch, the urge to scratch is very strong.