A dog intestinal blockage timeline is a sequence of events in a dog bowel obstruction case. Dog Intestinal blockage is partial or complete obstruction of the intestines, which has life-threatening complications. 

The dog intestinal blockage timeline begins when the intestine becomes blocked and continues until the blockage is diagnosed and treated. The dog intestinal blockage timeline ends with the death of the dog within 3 to 7 days of the blockage if left untreated. Getting veterinary treatment early in the dog’s intestinal blockage timeline means the blockage is curable.

The most common cause of intestinal obstruction in dogs is swallowing a foreign body. A foreign body is an object originating outside the dog’s body. The second most common cause is intestinal tumors or masses. Swallowing a foreign body, such as toys, garbage, fabric, or socks, is widespread in young dogs, and intestinal tumors or masses in senior dogs in seniors. 

Signs of intestinal blockage in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea or difficulty defecating, dehydration, abdominal pain, appetite loss, hunching, crying, and lethargy. Dog blockage symptoms progress quickly and require immediate veterinary attention. 

The treatment for dog intestinal blockage is non-surgical or surgical depending on factors including the dog’s size, the shape of the foreign body, and the dog’s health at the time of treatment. The same factors influence the treatment’s prognosis. 

The surgical treatment of intestinal blockage is followed by a lengthy recovery period. The pet owner must adhere to the vet’s instructions and ensure rest during recovery. CBD oil and other pet CBD products like treats and peanut butter support dogs through post-surgery recovery. 

What is Dog Intestinal Blockage?

A dog intestinal blockage is a partial or complete obstruction of the intestines that prevents food and water from passing through. Intestinal blockages disable the absorption of water and nutrients, resulting in dehydration and electrolyte and acid-base imbalances. 

The dog intestinal blockage timeline progresses quickly. Severe dog intestinal blockage puts too much pressure on the intestinal wall, causing tissue death or necrosis. The dead tissue is not a solid barrier and is prone to breaking, known as bowel rupture or perforation. 

Intestinal content leaks freely from the intestinal rupture into the abdominal cavity, resulting in life-threatening infection of the peritoneum or peritonitis.   

The common cause of dog intestinal blockage is foreign bodies, especially in puppies and young adult dogs, while in seniors, frequent triggers are tumors and masses. A 2004 study, “Intestinal obstruction due to sand in a dog,” explains that “foreign bodies constitute the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in small animal practice.” 

The 2003 paper “Intestinal foreign bodies in dogs and cats” states that “the size of the foreign body determines whether obstruction is partial or complete.”

The Journal of Small Animal Practice published “Linear versus non-linear gastrointestinal foreign bodies in 499 dogs: clinical presentation, management and short-term outcome” 2014. The study included 176 dogs with linear and 323 with non-linear foreign bodies and found that linear foreign bodies cause severe dog blockage symptoms.

Why Dogs have Intestinal Blockage?

Dogs have intestinal blockages because they are curious and use their mouth to experience the world. Dogs chew on objects, and it is not uncommon for the dog to swallow the object. Chewing is a puppy trait, and foreign bodies are the most common cause of intestinal blockage in puppies and young adult dogs. 

Allotriophagia causes intestinal blockage in dogs. Allotriophagia or pica is a disturbed appetite that manifests with eating non-edible items. Dogs with allotriophagia eat foreign objects, increasing intestinal blockage risk. The exact cause of pica is not determined. 

The 2021 study “Link between Foreign Body Ingestion and Behavioural Disorder in Dogs,” published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, says that pica is associated with “behavioral conditions including hyperactivity, impulsivity, obsessive-compulsive oral/ingestive disorders, anxiety or attachment related troubles.”

What is Dog Intestinal Blockage Timeline?

Dog intestinal blockage timeline is the chronological sequence of events after an intestinal obstruction develops. The timeline is critical because it dictates the treatment, affects the prognosis, and results in death within 3 to 7 days if left untreated. 

The timeline has an early stage of 30 minutes to two hours after a dog swallows a foreign body. The veterinarian is able to provoke vomiting and get rid of the object before causing an intestinal blockage during the early stage. 

The key phase of the dog intestinal blockage timeline is two hours after the blockage occurs. The foreign object moves from the dog’s stomach to the intestinal tract.  

Everyday food transits the entire digestive tract within 10 to 24 hours. Foreign bodies take much longer, depending on size and shape. Following veterinary treatment, dogs need up to a week or longer to pass a foreign body. 

Intestinal blockage evolves quickly, and without proper treatment or supportive therapy, the blockage is fatal in dogs as quickly as 3 to 4 days of the obstruction development. 

Can Surgery Be Necessary for Dog Intestinal Blockage?

Yes, surgery can be necessary for dog intestinal blockage. Surgical correction is recommended for obstructions due to foreign bodies that are unable to pass on their own and obstructions triggered by non-foreign-body causes like tumors, strictures, torsions, or telescoping. 

The surgery outcome is better when performed early in the dog’s intestinal blockage timeline. Bowel obstruction surgical procedures are complicated and associated with complications like sepsis or blood poisoning, hypoalbuminemia or low protein count, or wound re-opening. 

Can CBD Oil Help Dogs in Pain Due to Intestinal Blockage?

Yes, CBD oil can help dogs in pain due to intestinal blockage once the blockage is stabilized and the veterinarian has determined the appropriate treatment approach. CBD is not the first choice for intestinal blockage in dogs. Dogs with intestinal blockage require immediate veterinary attention and stabilization before deciding on the best treatment approach. 

The veterinarian gives the dog anti-pain medications intravenously alongside other medications for managing the symptoms and correcting the electrolyte and acid-base imbalances. 

CBD is ideal for managing dog pain during the recovery phase of the dog intestinal blockage timeline and is suitable for traditional medications.

CBD oil for dogs in pain works on several levels, from mimicking the effects of the feel-good hormone serotonin to blocking specific pain-signaling pathways. CBD achieves the anti-pain effect naturally through the dog’s endocannabinoid system. 

Is CBD safe for Dogs?

Yes, CBD is safe for dogs. Hemp-sourced, tetrahydrocannabinold, or THC-free CBD products made specifically for pets are safe for daily use in dogs of all sizes and over four months of age. 

CBD is a relatively new product in the pet industry, and owners are still wondering, “Is CBD safe for animals?” Pet parents must rest assured the answer is yes, and CBD is safe for dogs when used responsibly and with the veterinarian’s approval. CBD is suitable for dogs in the recovery phase of the dog’s intestinal blockage timeline.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information issued a study in 2019 titled “Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats.” The study showed that “CBD-rich hemp nutraceuticals appear to be safe in healthy adult dogs.”

The results were confirmed in the 2023 paper “Scientific Validation of Cannabidiol for Management of Dog and Cat Diseases,” published in Annual Reviews of Animal Biosciences. The paper states, “CBD appears to have good bioavailability and safety profile with few side effects.”

What are the Causes of Dog Intestinal Blockage?

The causes of dog intestinal blockage are listed below. 

  • Swallowing Foreign Bodies: Small intestinal foreign body obstructions are the most common type in dogs and account for 80% of all cases, according to the 2020 report by Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, “The Pathophysiology of Small Intestinal Foreign Body Obstruction and Intraoperative Assessment of Tissue Viability in Dogs: A Review.” Frequently swallowed foreign bodies are non-linear and include rocks, sand, toys, paper, cloth, bones, or linear, ribbons, strings, yarns, threads, and pantyhose. 
  • Intestinal Tumor or Mass: Blockages in older dogs are caused by tumors or masses inside the intestines or pressuring the intestinal walls. The three dog intestinal tumors are lymphoma, adenocarcinoma, and leiomyosarcoma. Lymphomas occur anywhere along the intestines, adenocarcinomas in the large intestine, and leiomyosarcomas in the small intestine. 
  • Strictures and Adhesions: Intestinal strictures are scar tissues causing narrowings of the intestines and contributing to intestinal blockage in dogs. Intestinal strictures are associated with chronic inflammation and are seen in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Adhesions are bands of scar tissue from previous abdominal or pelvic surgeries.  
  • Intussusception: Intussusception is a telescoping of the intestines or where one segment folds like a telescope, with one intestinal segment slipping into another segment, causing dog intestinal blockage. Intussusception is a life-threatening emergency requiring immediate veterinary attention.  
  • Heavy Parasite Infestation: Intestinal worms cause intestinal blockage in dogs when present in large numbers. Intestinal worms are prevalent in puppies, and heavy parasite infection causing intestinal blockage in dogs is common in young canines. The dog’s intestinal blockage timeline accelerates when dealing with heavy loads of worms. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dog Intestinal Blockage?

The signs and symptoms of dog intestinal blockage are listed below. 

  • Repetitive Vomiting: Vomiting or throwing up is one of the signs of intestinal blockage in dogs and is usually repetitive. Vomiting is uncomfortable and exhausting and, when long-lasting and frequent, results in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. 
  • Diarrhea or Difficulty Defecating: Dogs with partial intestinal blockage have diarrhea because liquid passes the blocked segment of the intestines. Dogs with complete obstruction strain to defecate. The inability to defecate is known as constipation. 
  • Appetite Loss: Appetite loss is common in dogs with intestinal obstruction. Young dogs in the early phases of intestinal blockage timeline have normal appetites and try to eat but vomit immediately after consuming food. 
  • Abdominal Pain: The intestinal blockage puts extra pressure on the intestines, which is painful. Advanced cases of bowel obstruction, in which the intestinal wall is ruptured, are excruciating because of the subsequent inflammation of the peritoneum or peritonitis.
  • Hunching: Arching or hunching (kyphosis) is a specific body posture in which the dog’s back is arched and its abdomen tucked in. A dog in a humped position is indicative of abdominal or spinal pain. 
  • Lethargy: Weakness develops as the dog’s intestinal blockage timeline progresses and results from several factors like dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance, and abdominal pain. 
  • Dehydration: Prolonged vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration, which is easily visible in the dog. Signs of dehydration include loss of skin elasticity, dry nose, sunken eyes, and dense, sticky saliva. 
  • Crying: Crying is a sign of pain in dogs and is seen in intestinal obstruction cases. Some dogs are more vocal than others, and unusual vocalization warrants veterinary attention. 

What is the Treatment for Dog Intestinal Blockage?

The treatment for dog intestinal blockage is non-surgical or surgical. The non-surgical approach is non-invasive but not always successful. 

The treatment for a dog that swallows a foreign object is receiving help immediately. Owners witnessing a dog swallow a foreign object seek help from the veterinarian, and the vet induces vomiting with medication and retrieves the object before it progresses to dog intestinal blockage. Induced vomiting in a dog that has swallowed a foreign object is effective when the vomiting occurs within 30 minutes to two hours after the ingestion. 

Two hours into the dog’s intestinal blockage timeline, vomiting is no longer an option. The veterinarian must decide on the treatment approach. The treatment approach for dog intestinal blockage includes supporting the dog while waiting for the foreign body to be eliminated naturally or surgical removal. 

The vet recommends a non-surgical treatment when the foreign body is expected to be eliminated easily. The dog is placed on intravenous fluids to manage the pain, correct the electrolyte and acid-base imbalances, and speed up the object’s passing. Objects that pass easily are smooth, soft, and small, including balls, string, small fruit stones, and tinsel. 

The American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics published results of a study of foreign objects in dogs in a 2007 paper, “Ingestion of orthodontic anchorage screws: an experimental study in dogs.” Ten mixed-breed dogs ingested ten orthodontic anchorage screws and ten reamers. Ten dogs ingested 1 screw and 1 reamer.  The ten dogs passed 100% of the orthodontic anchorage screws, and 80% of the reamers were spontaneously passed within 7 days.

Surgical removal of a foreign body in dogs is an invasive and major procedure performed under general anesthesia. The veterinarian administers intravenous fluids before the surgery to stabilize the dog and increase the chances of a positive outcome. 

The simplest surgical procedure for removing a foreign body from the intestines is called an enterotomy. Enterotomy involves a small incision or cut in the intestines, removing the object, and suturing or closing the intestines back up. 

The surgery is complicated if the foreign body in the dog has caused damage and tissue death. The veterinary surgeon must remove the damaged section of the intestines and the foreign body and connect and suture the healthy intestine parts. The procedure is called intestinal resection and anastomosis. 

Dog Intestinal blockage surgeries are complex, and complications occur during the surgery and in the recovery period. Intestinal dehiscence or wound opening and sepsis or blood poisoning are the frequent complications. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association published a study, “Comparison of patient outcomes following enterotomy versus intestinal resection and anastomosis for treatment of intestinal foreign bodies in dogs,” 2021. The research included 211 dogs undergoing 227 surgeries for intestinal foreign body removal. The study concluded that the risk of intestinal dehiscence is significantly higher in dogs undergoing intestinal resection and anastomosis than in dogs undergoing enterotomy. 

Is Dog Intestinal Blockage Curable?

Yes, dog intestinal blockage is curable. The prognosis depends on the dog’s size, the shape, size, and location of the foreign body, how long the object has been stuck in the intestines, and the dog’s health during treatment. 

The prognosis is better for dogs treated early in the dog intestinal blockage timeline. The veterinarian determines the size and location of the foreign body before deciding on the optimal treatment approach. 

Revista Cientifica published a paper, “Gastrointestinal foreign bodies in Dogs and Cats: (2018–2020) 32 Cases,” 2022. The paper explained that “early diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal foreign bodies in cats and dogs is crucial for preventing complications and ensuring a good prognosis.”

Dog intestinal blockage is curable when diagnosed early and treated aggressively. Surgical treatment increases the risk of complications before the surgery, during, and in the post-surgical recovery period. 

How Long Can Dog Live with Blockage if Not Treated?

A dog with intestinal blockage can live for 3 to 4 days if not treated. The potential complications of intestinal obstruction develop quickly and are fatal unless treated aggressively. 

Tissue death and infection are significant complications early in the dog’s intestinal blockage timeline. 

The blockage cuts off regular blood supply to the surrounding segments of the intestines, which causes the intestinal wall to die. The dead tissue is prone to tears or perforations, resulting in leakage of intestinal content into the abdomen. 

The presence of leaked intestinal content in the abdominal cavity causes infection of the peritoneum or peritonitis. Peritonitis is life-threatening and requires immediate medical help. 

Can Dog Die with Intestinal Blockage?

Yes, a dog can die because of intestinal blockage. Dogs with complete intestinal obstruction die within 3 to 4 days unless treated promptly and appropriately. 

Small and smooth foreign objects are able to travel through the dog’s digestive system and get expelled. Always consult a veterinarian quickly if a dog swallows a foreign object. Regardless of the size and shape of the foreign object, swift treatment is essential because the dog’s intestinal blockage timeline is short, and left untreated or treated too late is fatal. 

Can CBD Oil be Used for Dog Recovering from Surgery?

Yes, CBD oil can be used for dogs recovering from surgery. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound from the cannabinoid family found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp CBD for pets is health-boosting, non-addictive, and non-psychoactive. 

CBD for dogs has excellent anti-pain properties. Dogs experience pain after surgery, especially around the incision site. Dogs requiring enterotomy or intestinal resection and anastomosis to treat the foreign object experience abdominal pain, too. Cannabinoids bind with the serotonin receptors, mimicking neurotransmitters’ effects and blocking pain signaling pathways.

Dogs need rest after intestinal blockage surgery, and CBD helps dogs stay calm and relaxed in the recovery phase of the dog intestinal blockage timeline. Cannabinoids support calmness and prevent anxiety associated with pain and cage rest, especially in hyperactive breeds. 

Hemp-sourced, full-spectrum dog CBD positively impacts appetite and supports food intake. Nausea and vomiting are expected in the post-surgical stage, and cannabinoids counter the side effects, promoting a healthy appetite. 

The benefits of CBD oil for dogs in the post-surgical recovery period are multiple. CBD is a natural product and safe to combine with other mainstream medications the dog needs during the recovery period.