is a 6-year-old larger mixed breed dog that lives with a
family of five people. He is well taken care of,
spending time both inside and outside the house where he
has free roam of a large back yard.
Alex has had to spend more time outside recently because
he has, over the last few months, developed an
embarrassing problem. It seems he is producing an
inordinate amount of gas and this flatulence has gotten
bad enough that his caretakers have sent him to the
yard. Alex desperately wants to return to time spent
inside the house interacting with his two-legged family
members and needs help solving his problem.
is a fairly common problem we see as veterinarians in
both dogs and cats. In a "normal" companion
fed a consistent, proper diet without inappropriate
supplementation, flatulence is not common thus implying
that this condition is abnormal. I suspect that
infrequent gas production is not to be worried about
however, as is the case with Alex, frequent gas
production likely indicates a dietary disorder.
production from the digestive tract most often comes
from the large intestine, termed the colon. More
accurately, it is produced by bacteria within the colon
through a process called fermentation.
within the colon are a normal finding but the
fermentation process is not a normal occurrence. It most
commonly occurs as a result of the presence of
incompletely digested food products reaching the colon.
colonís primary function in dogs and cats is to absorb
water from the stool thus firming up the stool and
conserving water. When the colon is presented with food
products, there is interference with this water
resorption and the stool can become larger or loose and
sometimes contain mucous. If the colon becomes extremely
inflamed, fresh blood may show up along with the stool.
Alexís case, his excess gas production is likely due
to a problem with digestion. It may be as simple as a
diet that does not agree with his system. Alexís
veterinarian can determine what would be a proper diet
in that case.
is very common for dogs that are inappropriately fed, at
the very least, to develop flatulence, especially when
the inappropriate diet includes other than food
specifically for dogs. In other words, as youíve heard
from me before, do not feed human foods to your
are other more complex processes that can cause
flatulence in our companions. Inflammation of the
pancreas, called pancreatitis, can case digestive
problems as well as a condition known as malabsorption.
fact the list of potential causes of digestive problems
that can cause flatulence, as one symptom, is quite
long. Hopefully, in Alexís case, his gas problem will
be an easy case to solve.
the cause, a trip to his veterinarian is the first step
in bringing about a resolution to flatulence and a
return to his cherished time inside the household with