Intussusception in dogs is an extreme medical emergency and if it is not identified and treated very quickly could rapidly take the life of your dog.
In most cases of this very deadly condition, the original signs and symptoms that you will see may be very mild at first and then retreat.
Although these symptoms are common to several other conditions, they should never be treated lightly. If they are the beginning stages of this killer they can turn deadly very quickly.
The best way of describing the condition would be comparing it to a collapsible telescope that slides into the next piece by design.
However, in this case, it is certainly not by design.
When this does occur, the blood supply to the affected section is reduced or completely cut off.
As a result, the tissue will begin to swell and within hours start to die.
In most every case it will start out by waxing and waning and causes several symptoms.
As it moves back and forth, it may become normal again. Once it is back to normal, the symptoms will stop almost immediately.
However, once the process starts, sooner or later it will not move back into place, and now it has become acute and life threatening.
It is literally one of the most dangerous situations that your dog will face in their lifetime.
If it is not treated very quickly, there is only one prognosis for your dog; death.
Intussusception in dogs has several potential causes.
What makes this condition so very frustrating for the medical community as well as affected owners, is that the number one cause is idiopathic, meaning the exact cause will never be known.
However, there is a growing consensus that the actual cause in most cases is the result of intestinal parasites.
For this reason it is more common in puppies but it can and does affect dogs of all ages and all breeds.
Puppies or dogs that are not properly tested for worms are at a much greater risk of developing intussusception.
If a puppy or dog has a large number of intestinal parasites that include round worms, hook worms, or whip worms they carry their own dangers.
However they also have a huge negative impact on the mobility of both the small and large intestines in your dog.
If your puppy or dog has had any viral infection, especially parvovirus, they are also at risk of developing intussusception in dogs.
However, the causes do not end there as bacterial infections can also lead to this condition.
All dogs like to chew things and for this reason you should be both very selective and protective when your dog chews something.
Small pieces of plastic, bones, or even wood can splinter off and can lead to the development of intussusception in dogs.
If your dog has recently had any type of abdominal surgery, you should also be on high alert for any developing symptoms as they are also at a greater risk of contracting this condition.
Intussusception in dogs has several symptoms that you can watch for and if any of them are in conjunction with a parasite infection or after a surgery, they are real warning signs.
The first symptom that will occur will be vomiting, which is never a good sign, but is also not that abnormal. However, what is not normal is blood in the vomit.
Diarrhea almost always comes directly after the vomiting starts and it will also show signs of blood.
But the two most telling symptoms will be a sudden weight loss that is almost always accompanied by abdominal pain in your dog.
The other signs may develop and then suddenly stop, which is characteristic of intussusception, but these signs will not stop.
In fact, in most cases your dog may be on the verge of shock.
If they suddenly collapse, you only have hours before you will lose your dog as it is now life threatening as the blood supply has stopped.
The major problem with Intussusception in dogs is that it is not a well-known condition to most owners, and as a result, is very seldom recognized until it has become an emergency.
Because of this, it now has to be treated very aggressively if your dog has any chance of surviving it.
Your dog will have to be hospitalized as soon as possible and rapidly be given intravenous fluid therapy treatments.
Once this is completed, surgery will have to be done.
However, it will be extremely important for any owner to discuss everything in detail with your veterinarian as each dog must be treated individually.
In most cases, your veterinarian will know the history of your dog.
However if they do not and your dog has had a parasite infection or any of the other potential causes, they will need to know that and the quicker the better.
Surgery will usually involve relieving the telescoping that is occurring as quickly as possible and it may involve removing the affected parts of the intestines.
Antibiotics will also be given to prevent further infections for occurring.
Intussusception in dogs usually happens so fast that you will have very little to time to react as it will literally scare you to death.
However, remaining calm and discussing everything with your veterinarian is critical.
But once that does pass, the next critical step for your dog is up to you. You will need to watch your dog extremely close for any signs of re-occurrence.
The prognosis of your dog will all depend of the amount of blockage that has occurred, the amount of time it was blocked, and the actual underlying root cause if it can be determined.
Most dogs will recover fully, but unfortunately, many do not.
This is a killer and it should be treated for what it is.