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Whether Ex-Lax can be used on a constipated pet dog is a question we get asked a lot!
Yes, some owners successfully provide this laxative without incident. But Senna glycoside AKA Sennosides, the active ingredient, is rarely prescribed by vets these days.
Here’s the deal:
While regular Exlax is not exactly poisonous, the product can in fact cause your dog to have diarrhea. An electrolyte imbalance is also a concern.
Basically, better options exist for constipated canines.
Ex-Lax Is Not a Recommended Laxative For Dogs
Ask your veterinarian about this over-the-counter drug and chances are they’ll have a safer solution.
Warning: The chocolate version of Ex-Lax (pictured here) has an added danger as cocoa is downright toxic for dogs.
Numerous Side Effects
Never give your dog Ex Lax without first consulting with your vet. It can be tempting to use an existing supply, but do not risk it.
This stimulant laxative can cause a number of common side effects including:
- Skin rashes
- Abdominal pain and/or cramping
But that’s not all…
Dehydration is a very concerning scenario that can occur whenever a dog is given Ex Lax especially when they get diarrhea.
This goes for all medications with a potential to induce vomiting or the runs. It’s essential that your dog have access to plenty of water when dehydration could be a factor.
Accidental K9 Consumption
If a precious pet gets into a supply of Ex Lax, or any other pharmaceutical for that matter, they need to be closely monitored for side effects.
Has your dog accidentally consumed this laxative?
If so, contact your local veterinarian and advise them of what has happened. They may or may not tell you to bring your dog in to possibly have their system flushed.
Certainly a check-up can’t hurt.
There are proactive owners who utilize salt water or hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, but involving an expert is preferred.
A Dangerous Ex Lax Amount?
Maximum Strength Ex-Lax (25mg) is more risky than the Regular Strength (15mg) version.
In general, the larger the dog the more Senna glycoside they may be able to handle before it becomes harmful.
There is no definitive Ex Lax dose that is sure to cause complications. Each dog is a bit different.
In any case, the following signs would be extremely worrisome:
- Severe diarrhea with blood in the stool
- Recurring vomiting
These are indicative of an overdose. An urgent visit to the nearest emergency room is necessary if any of these symptoms develop.
Two Recommended Alternatives
Bulk-forming laxatives or fiber supplements such as Metamucil are much gentler compared to Ex Lax.
And pumpkin could really do the trick for your dog’s constipation!
It is a natural remedy that also happens to be highly nutritious and totally safe.
The Bottom Line
Avoid using Exlax on your constipated dog.
Instead of this laxative, try safer remedies such as certain foods or fiber supplements. The goal is to alleviate your dog’s temporary bowel problem without a risk of causing nasty side effects.
Have a box of Ex-Lax laying around?
Keep it for when the humans in your household may need it!