There’s nothing worse than having a pet with chronic diarrhea or constipation.
These conditions can lead to many serious health problems like dehydration and weight loss.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help ease your pet’s discomfort.
One way to treat these issues is by using a laxative.
Laxatives are medicines that are usually given orally to pets as a way to clean out their bowels and encourage them to pass stool.
There are many kinds of laxatives available on the market, including natural remedies like aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar, and prescription medicines like Miralax (generic name: bisacodyl).
What is Miralax?
Miralax is one brand of a popular over-the-counter laxative medication that has been used for decades to treat gastrointestinal disorders in both humans and animals.
It contains a combination of two drugs: sodium phosphate and magnesium hydroxide.
Together, these two ingredients work together to increase the amount of water that your pet passes through their digestive system.
This helps to soften up the stool so it can be passed more easily.
Miralax comes in different doses and strengths and should only be used under the supervision of a veterinarian who has prescribed it for your pet.
If you administer this medicine incorrectly, it could cause harm rather than relieve your pet’s symptoms.
What are the active ingredients in Miralax?
Miralax is made up of two main ingredients: Bisacodyl and Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (PEG 3350).
Both ingredients have been used for years to treat symptoms of diarrhea and constipation in humans and animals.
The exact mechanism of how each ingredient works isn’t entirely known, but it is believed that both act by stimulating bowel movements.
Bisacodyl is an anticholinergic drug that acts by blocking certain nerves, which causes muscles to relax.
This leads to increased water secretion into the intestine, and eventually results in the stool passing through the colon more easily.
PEG 3350 is a polymeric compound that has a high molecular weight, meaning it is large enough to be able to absorb moisture from the intestinal walls.
It then releases this moisture back into the bloodstream, which helps soften the stool so that it becomes easier to pass.
The American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology recommends that Miralax be administered at a dosage of 1 mg/kg bodyweight every 12 hours.
This means that if your dog weighs 20 pounds, he should receive 20 milligrams of bisacodyl per kilogram of his body weight.
While this dose may sound like a lot, it is actually very small compared to what human adults typically take.
How does Miralax work?
Miralax works by stimulating the muscles in your pet’s colon to contract.
This causes the intestines to squeeze together, which prevents waste from backing up into the bloodstream and causing further digestive problems.
The medicine also helps to soften stools so they can be passed more easily.
As is the case with all medications, it’s important to talk to your vet about proper dosage amounts and how often you should give your pet this treatment.
Too much Miralax can cause severe stomach pain and even death in some cases.
If you notice any symptoms like vomiting, weakness, lethargy, or seizures, contact your vet immediately.
What are the side effects of Miralax?
Miralax is a popular brand of over-the-counter laxative used to treat constipation in both cats and dogs.
While the drug is generally considered safe for most dogs, it may still have some potential side effects.
The main concern with Miralax is that it could cause an obstruction in the digestive tract.
This could be dangerous because it is difficult to remove an object from the body once it has been lodged inside, especially if it is large.
In addition, it can be very painful for the animal to pass this object through its digestive system and it can also cause irritation around the area where it was stuck.
While Miralax is not known to cause any long term adverse affects, there are some other possible side effects that should be monitored closely.
Some of these include:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody stools
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
How do I give Miralax to my dog?
Miralax is an over-the-counter laxative that comes in tablets and capsules that are easily swallowed.
The recommended dosage is one tablet per day, depending on the size of your dog’s body.
Most veterinary clinics will have this medicine available to you at no cost, so make sure you ask if they offer it when you visit the clinic.
You should also talk to your vet about how often you need to administer the medicine.
Some dogs may only take one dose per week while others may require two doses each week.
Your vet will know which type of treatment is right for your dog based on its individual needs.
They might recommend increasing the dosage if your dog has been taking the same amount of medicine for several weeks without experiencing relief from his symptoms.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all dogs will experience the same results after receiving Miralax.
It’s possible that your dog will have no effect at all, or he may experience severe stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, stop administering the medicine immediately and contact your vet.
If you want to use Miralax at home, follow these steps:
- Take one capsule with food every day.
- Keep track of how much your dog eats daily.
- Use this information to determine whether your dog needs more Miralax.
- When your dog begins to show signs of bowel movement, stop giving him Miralax.
What are some other laxatives that can be used for dogs?
While most people think of laxatives when they hear the word “medicine,” there are actually a variety of different types of medications that can be used to help your dog deal with constipation.
Some of those include:
- Pooping pads
- Chewable treats
Of course, not all of these products will work for every dog.
You need to make sure that your pet has no allergies, and that they aren’t on any medication currently.
If this is the case, you may want to try one of the following options instead:
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Apple Cider Vinegar
What are Pooping Pads Used For?
The first thing you should know about poop pads is that they are designed to help keep your pet’s bathroom area clean at home.
When your dog goes outside to relieve themselves, he might come back with an unpleasant surprise — namely, feces everywhere!
This is especially true if your dog eats grass or gets into trouble while playing in the yard.
Poop pads are small pieces of material that you can place under your pet’s bed so that he doesn’t soil his house.
They absorb urine and moisture, which helps prevent messes and odors from spreading throughout the house.
When should I see a vet for my dog’s constipation?
You should never give any medicine to your dog without first speaking to your vet.
This is especially true if your pet has been taking a particular medication regularly, such as Miralax.
If you notice changes in your dog’s behavior after starting this medication, or they become
lethargic or seem unwell in general, you should consult your vet right away.
If your pet suffers from severe diarrhea, your vet may prescribe an antibiotic to kill off the bacteria
causing the infection.
Your vet will also likely recommend feeding your dog special food, which is high in fiber content, to
help keep their digestive system functioning properly.
You can find a list of foods that contain high amounts of fiber here.
Constipation can also have dangerous consequences for your dog.
In severe cases, a blockage could cause your dog to suffer from pain, vomiting, bleeding, and even
It’s important to get your pet checked out at a veterinary clinic if you suspect they might be
experiencing symptoms of constipation.
Here are some signs your dog may need to visit the vet:
Your dog isn’t acting normal
Your dog appears uncomfortable while lying down
Your dog seems to hold onto their poop more than usual
Your dog shows signs of discomfort when defecating
Your dog doesn’t drink water as often as usual
Your dog’s poop is dry and hard to remove