A condition where the colon is dilated, has poor muscle tone and is unable to evacuate fecal matter.
Megacolon can be congenital-meaning dogs are born with an abnormal colon or it can be caused by chronic constipation where fecal matter is repeatedly retained within the colon resulting in a chronically distended colon. Over time, the muscular layers of the colon can no longer contract to void feces.
Clinical signs include straining to defecate, infrequent bowel movements, hard, dry feces, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration.
Stool softeners and enemas can be used to in mild cases. More severe cases may need intravenous fluids and, manual removal of fecal material. Cases which do not respond to treatment may require surgery to remove the colon and attach the small intestine to the rectum.
Update version: 4/24/2014, © Copyright by www.enpevet.de
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