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Dog colic refers to any condition that causes gas, pain, inflammation, or other discomfort in the dog's colon.
Dogs of all ages and breeds can get colic, but young puppies are particularly prone to it.
Most commonly, colic is as a result of "trapped wind" or "trapped gas".
Colic is usually associated with abdominal distention (bloat) and irritability. It can cause extreme discomfort in puppies, 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:
If your puppy or 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 home remedies such as herbs can be used to relieve the gas pain caused by colic.
Herbs that are carminatives (i.e. herbs that relax stomach muscles and relieve intestinal gas) are helpful to eliminate trapped wind 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.
Alternatively, use gripe water, which is a formula that usually contains carminative herb extracts (e.g. ginger, fennel seed, chamomile, dill) and sodium bicarbonate in water or juice. Gripe water relieves gas and gas pain in babies and it does the same in puppies and dogs!
Here are some brands of gripe water. If you have a dog prone to colic, it is advisable to keep one handy at home:
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 (Affiliate links):
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.
To prevent the onset of a colic attack in your dog, try the following: