Baxter may be a bit backed up or he may have liver disease, but whatever the reason, a laxative may be just what the doctor ordered. Lactulose is a generic laxative not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for animal use. However, your vet may prescribe it to keep your pup on his game.
Enulose, manufactured by Actavis, is one of the branded varieties of lactulose. Whether in the branded or generic form, it provides the same benefit for your pup. Lactulose combines galactose and fructose to form a synthetic sugar. When Baxter takes a dose of lactulose, the solution won't be absorbed into his bloodstream from his intestinal tract. Instead, the lactulose moves into his large intestine where bacteria goes to work on it, breaking it down into a variety of acids. The acids attract water into your pup's colon, softening his poop and causing a laxative effect.
A Little Assistance, Please
Maybe Baxter's been a bit stressed out and hasn't been able to poo as he normally would. Or he may have eaten something that doesn't agree with him. However, if he's gone more than a couple of days without a bowel movement, you should talk to the vet. Other causes of constipation include side effects from other medication, dehydration or medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism.
Giving the Liver a Break
If Baxter's been diagnosed with hepatic encephalopathy, the vet may prescribe Enulose or lactulose to help. Hepatic encephalopathy is a liver condition causing toxins to build up in the bloodstream. The same acids that result from the break-down of bacteria in your dog's colon also convert ammonia into ammonium, which is included in his stool when he poops.
Proceed With Caution
Call the vet if Baxter suffers from any of Enulose's potential side effects, including gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration or a bloated belly. Lactulose can also react with other drugs, including antibiotics and antacids. Make sure you give Baxter his medicine as the vet directs; if you miss a dose, don't give him a double dose to make it up as it may cause diarrhea or abdominal pain. Providing plenty of fresh, clean water while your pup takes lactulose can help prevent dehydration.