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Can I Use Milk of Magnesia for Dogs?

Milk of Magnesia for dogs is usually given in small amounts to treat mild constipation, but getting the right dosage from the vet is still the best option.

A pet dog suffering from constipation often show symptoms of passing out hard stools, infrequent bowel movements, or sometimes no bowel movement at all. He may manifest with much straining, lack of appetite and vomiting. Causes of constipation usually include lack of fiber in the diet, less fluid intake, parasite infestation, swallowing foreign materials and side-effects of some drugs he may have been given. More serious causes are bowel obstruction and other underlying diseases which can result in constipation. A pet dog may experience constipation at one time, but pet owners should be concerned when constipation occurs frequently.

What Dog Owners Can Do

So what can dog owners do when they have a constipated dog? When a dog owner observes the signs of constipation in his dog, he can first review the diet and liquid intake of his pet, or the kind of medication he is giving to him at the moment. He should also assess if this is the first time he has seen his dog constipated or if this happened quite a few times over the weeks. It is also best to bring the pet to the vet for evaluation of his condition so he may be given the proper medication for relief of his constipation. The vet may usually give a laxative to the dog. One example of this type of medication is Milk of Magnesia.

Benefits and Side-Effects of Milk of Magnesia

Milk of Magnesia is an antacid. It is approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in veterinary medicine to treat larger animals. It is an over-the-counter drug. This medicine is frequently given in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or heartburn and in stomach ulcers. For a dog with constipation, it may also be given, but it is often recommended to ask the vet for the dosage in order to prevent overdosage and other complications.

Side-effects of taking Milk of Magnesia include diarrhea, loss of appetite, and imbalance of electrolytes in the body. It can also interfere with other drugs the pet may be taking. These include corticosteroids, valproic acids and aspirin, among many others. The long term intake of antacids may result in bone thinning and weakness of the muscles. An overdose of this medication can lead to problem in heart rhythms. This medication is also not recommended for pets with kidney disease and those who are pregnant and nursing their puppies.

Other Considerations

Milk of Magnesia for dogs is usually given in small amounts to treat mild constipation, but getting the right dosage from the vet is still the best option. There is also a wide variety of information the vet may need to know in order to evaluate the dog. For instance, he may ask about the medications the dog is currently being given, his type of diet and his behavior in the past days. He may also have to perform several tests aside from physically examining the dog for signs of other problems. Thus, in order to give the best relief for his constipation, pet owners are encouraged to ask for the expert's advice.

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