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What To Expect After a Dog Enema (Answered!)




Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Roberston

What To Expect After a Dog Enema



Dr. Joel Robertson

Veterinarian, BMT

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research

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Dogs are not exempt from gastrointestinal problems and, just like humans, they may require an enema to clear out the blockage. This can be a stressful experience for both the dog and the owner.

In this article, we will discuss what to expect after a dog enema. We will go over the steps that you need to take to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort during and after the procedure.

Key Takeaway

  • Enema in dogs is the process of introducing liquids into the rectum and colon through the anus to relieve constipation or remove fecal matter from the colon.
  • After a dog enema, it is normal for your dog to experience some discomfort, have loose stools, and be more tired than usual; however, these symptoms should resolve within a day or two, and additional symptoms such as dehydration or bleeding should be monitored closely and reported to a veterinarian if necessary.

What Is Enema In Dogs?

What To Expect After a Dog Enema

Enema is the process of injecting liquids into the rectum and colon through the anus. This liquid helps to soften and break up the stool, making it easier for your dog to pass.

Enemas can be used for both constipation and diarrhea, but are most commonly used for constipation. If your dog is having trouble passing stool, your veterinarian may recommend an enema.

Enemas are usually safe, but there are a few risks to be aware of. The most common complication is abdominal pain. If your dog experiences pain after an enema, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Other complications include perforation of the intestine, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration. These complications are rare, but it’s important to be aware of them.

If your dog is constipated, an enema may be a treatment option worth considering. However, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian first to make sure it’s the right option for your dog.

There are other treatment options available, and your veterinarian can help you choose the best one for your dog.

What To Expect After a Dog Enema

What To Expect After a Dog Enema

After a dog enema, you can expect increased bowel movements, temporary discomfort, changes in stool consistency, and potentially some abdominal cramping, nausea, or vomiting.

Bowel Movements

Once the enema is complete, your dog will likely need to defecate. The timing can vary – it may happen immediately or could take a few hours. It’s also normal for a dog to not poop regularly after an enema. In fact, a period of 2-3 days without defecation is considered normal because the enema has reduced blockage.

From my experience as a veterinarian, I’ve seen dogs typically poop within 15 to 30 minutes post-enema. However, this time frame can be shorter or longer depending on the dog’s individual response and the severity of the initial constipation.

Discomfort and Changes in Stool Consistency

Your dog may experience some discomfort after the enema, but this should pass within a couple of days. I’ve observed that changes in stool consistency are also common. You might notice softer stools or even diarrhea as a result of the enema.

Abdominal Cramping, Nausea, or Vomiting

In some cases, dogs may experience abdominal cramping, nausea, or increased gas production following an enema. While these symptoms can be concerning, they’re usually temporary and should resolve on their own. If they persist beyond a couple of days, it’s advisable to seek further veterinary attention.

Potential Side Effects

It’s important to monitor your dog carefully after an enema. Side effects such as blood and mucous in stools are not uncommon, particularly if the dog was severely constipated. This is because the lining of the colon may have become inflamed.

As a veterinarian, I’ve also encountered more serious cases where dogs have experienced symptoms like vomiting, depression, rapid or shallow breathing, and dehydration after an enema. These could be signs of sodium phosphate enema toxicity and require immediate veterinary attention.

Learn how to prepare your dog and carry out an enema.

What Are The After Effects Of An Enema?

  • Discomfort: It is common for a dog to feel some discomfort after undergoing an enema.
  • Loose stools: After an enema, your dog might have loose stools for a short period of time.
  • Dehydration: The procedure can lead to dehydration, so it is important to encourage your dog to drink more water.
  • Tiredness: Your dog may feel tired or lethargic after the procedure due to the stress of the experience.
  • Increased appetite: Some dogs may experience an increase in appetite after an enema because their bowel movements are more regular.
  • Flatulence: Your dog may experience increased flatulence due to the release of gas during the enema.
  • Bleeding: Rarely, an enema may cause rectal bleeding or irritation. If you notice any blood in your dog’s stool or around their anus, consult with your veterinarian immediately.

After an enema, your dog may experience some mild cramping as well as the urge to have a bowel movement. It is important to give your dog plenty of time to relieve himself after an enema; do not try to hurry him along.

Some dogs may need a little help getting started, but eventually, they should be able to expel the fluid on their own. If your dog does not have a bowel movement within a few hours of the enema, or if he seems to be in pain, contact your veterinarian.

Things can go wrong with an enema in dogs. If the enema is not done properly, your dog could end up with a serious infection.

Additionally, if your dog has any pre-existing medical conditions, an enema could make them worse. Finally, if an enema is done on a dog who is not constipated, it could cause them to have severe diarrhea.

Learn more about the possible side effects of enemas in dogs.

Can An Enema Help a Dog With a Blockage?

Yes, enemas can help a dog with a blockage. An enema is the introduction of liquid or air into the rectum through the anus to flush out fecal matter or intestinal obstructions.

Enemas can be done at home or at the vet’s office. Home enemas are usually safe if done correctly, but it’s always best to check with your vet first.

There are three types of enemas for dogs: water, saline, and soap suds. Water enemas are the most common and least invasive, while soap suds enemas are the most invasive.

Saline enemas can be used for either constipation or diarrhea and are considered to be the middle ground between water and soap suds enemas. The steps for giving a dog an enema are as follows:

  • Place your dog in a comfortable position on its side or in a standing position. If they are standing, make sure they are supported so they do not fall over.
  • Gently insert the nozzle of the syringe or enema kit into your dog’s anus.
  • Slowly release the solution into your dog’s rectum.
  • Remove the nozzle and massage your dog’s abdomen in a clockwise direction to help move the solution through its system.
  • Monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or distress. If they appear to be in pain, stop the enema immediately and consult with your veterinarian.

Enemas are a relatively simple procedure that can be done at home, but it is always best to consult with your veterinarian beforehand to make sure you are using the correct type of enema and doing it correctly.

Giving your dog an enema can be a messy process, so make sure you have everything you need before getting started.

How Many Times Can a Dog Have An Enema?

A dog can get an enema every week or so. Enemas should only be given when medically necessary, such as before certain surgeries. Over-use of enemas can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, so it’s important to only use them as directed by a veterinarian.

Dehydration is a common side effect of enemas in dogs. This is because the enema flushes out not only water but also electrolytes, which are essential for hydration. When electrolytes are depleted, it can lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration in dogs include lethargy, dry mouth, sunken eyes, and increased thirst.

If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, it’s important to take them to the vet right away as severe dehydration can be life-threatening. To prevent dehydration from enemas, make sure to give your dog plenty of fluids before and after the procedure.

How Fast Do Enemas Work In Dogs?

Enemas usually work within a few minutes, although it may take up to 24 hours for some dogs. If your dog is having difficulty passing stool, an enema may be a helpful treatment option.

Enemas are commonly used for constipated dogs, as they help to expel feces from the rectum and colon. A dog enema procedure is relatively simple and can be done at home with some basic supplies.

To give your dog an enema, you will need:

  • A plastic bag or small bucket
  • An enema nozzle or syringe (without the needle)
  • A lubricant such as KY Jelly
  • Warm water (not too hot or cold)

Fill the bag or bucket with warm water, then attach the lubricated nozzle or syringe to the opening. Gently insert the nozzle into your dog’s anus, being careful not to push it in too far. Squeeze the bag or syringe to release the water into your dog’s rectum.

Your dog may need to expel the water immediately or may do so later. If your dog does not expel the water within a few hours, repeat the process.

With each successive enema, use less water until your dog is able to hold the enema for at least 30 minutes. This will help soften and loosen any hard feces in the colon, making it easier for your dog to have a bowel movement.


Q: Why would a dog need an enema?

A: Dogs may require an enema if they are constipated or have a blockage in their colon that prevents normal bowel movements.

Q: What are the signs that a dog needs an enema?

A: Signs that a dog may need an enema include straining to defecate, passing small amounts of hard, dry stool, abdominal discomfort, and a distended abdomen.

Q: How is a dog enema performed?

A: A dog enema is typically performed by a veterinarian or a trained professional. The procedure involves gently inserting a lubricated tube into the dog’s rectum and slowly injecting a warm saline solution or other prescribed liquid into the colon.

Q: Is a dog enema painful?

A: When performed correctly, a dog enema should not cause any pain. The insertion of the enema tube may cause some mild discomfort, but the solution should help to relieve any discomfort associated with constipation.

Q: How long does a dog enema take to work?

A: The time it takes for a dog enema to work can vary. In some cases, the dog may start to defecate within a few minutes to an hour after the enema is administered. However, it may take longer in other cases depending on the severity of the constipation or blockage.

Q: Are there any side effects of a dog enema?

A: In general, a dog enema is a safe procedure with minimal side effects. However, some dogs may experience mild irritation or inflammation in the rectal area as a result of the enema. If you notice any persistent swelling, bleeding, or other concerning symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Q: Can I give my dog an enema at home?

A: It is generally not recommended to perform a dog enema at home unless you have been specifically instructed and trained by a veterinarian. Improper administration of an enema can cause harm to your dog. It is best to consult with a professional before attempting a dog enema at home.

Q: How can I prevent the need for a dog enema?

A: To prevent the need for a dog enema, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and ensure your dog stays hydrated. Regular exercise and providing plenty of opportunities for your dog to go outside and eliminate can also help prevent constipation and blockages says Cute Pet Care.

In Conclusion

A dog enema can be a helpful procedure for relieving constipation and removing fecal matter from the colon.

After an enema, it is normal for your dog to experience some discomfort or have loose stools for a short period of time.

However, with proper care and monitoring, your dog should return to their normal self within a day or two.

If you notice any concerning symptoms or your dog’s condition doesn’t improve, be sure to consult with your veterinarian for further guidance.

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