Dog colic refers to any condition that causes pain, inflammation, gas, or other discomfort in the dog's colon. This page looks at the causes and symptoms of colic in dogs, and how to use natural remedies such as herbs to ease the abdominal pain and discomfort in the dog's colon.
Colic affects dogs of all ages and breeds, but young puppies are particularly prone to it.
Most commonly, colic is as a result of flatulence (trapped gas).
Colic is usually associated with abdominal distention (bloat) and irritability. It can cause extreme discomfort in our pups, and is potentially life threatening in some serious cases if proper treatment is not given immediately.
Colic can be acute or chronic.
Acute colic is most commonly caused by something eaten by the dog, such as spoilt food, garbage, toxic or poisonous substances such as pesticides. It may also be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.
Chronic colic is usually the result of more serious underlying causes, such as a parasitic infection (e.g. worms, giardia), a deficiency in liver or gallbladder functions, an ulcer, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, a tumor, or an injury in the digestive tract.
If your dog has colic, he will show some or all of the following symptoms:
To cure colic (especially chronic, recurring cases), it is important to have your dog undergo a physical check-up so that the underlying root causes can be identified and dealt with.
In the meantime, natural remedies such as herbs can be used to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of colic.
Herbs that are carminatives (i.e. herbs that relax stomach muscles and relieve intestinal gas) are helpful to eliminate excess gas and stop flatulence in dogs.
Here are some carminative herbs that you can easily and safely feed to your dog:
You can just sprinkle any of the above dried herbs on your dog's food.
If your dog's colic seems to be caused by inflammation, the following herbs are helpful:
These herbs have anti-inflammatory and mucilaginous properties. They are very effective in reducing inflammations inside and on the body.
They also provide a soothing, lubricating, and protective barrier between the mucous membranes such as stomach and intestinal linings and substances that contribute to the irritation.
If your dog's colic is suspected to be caused be an ulcer, try:
Licorice stimulates cell growth, helps protect the stomach's walls, and alleviates ulcers. Slippery elm soothes, lubricates and protects the stomach walls and digestive tract, and aloe vera juice prevents nausea and help ulcers heal faster.
If some form of bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection is part of the underlying cause of your dog's colic, goldenseal and licorice are helpful. Goldenseal is antimicrobial and can inhibit the microbes while licorice can speed up the healing of the digestive tract.
As dog colic is a digestive problem, it is essential to help and improve your dog's digestive system by giving him supplements of digestive enzymes and probiotics.
Here are some natural products that can help dogs strengthen their GI system and aid digestion (click on the links to find out more):
This natural digestive enzyme supplement contains a combination of four plant-derived enzymes (lipases, amylases, proteases, and cellulases). It can be sprinkled on your dogs as a dietary supplement. It aids digestion and enables greater nutrient absorption.
This probiotic supplement can replenish your dog's GI tract with good friendly bacteria that can aid digestion and fix digestion problems such as indigestion causing flatulence and bloat.
This formula contains a lot of good herbs such as licorice root, slippery elm, and alfalfa, as well as supplements such as L-glutamine, Quercetin Chalcone, probiotics, and enzymes. It is excellent for dogs suffering from chronic or recurrent GI problems, such as poor digestion, colic, IBD, etc.
To prevent the onset of a colic attack in your dog, try the following: