Obstipated Yorkie and the Glamorous Life of a Vet

A little Yorkie ended up in the care of the San Jose Animal Care Center, a municipal animal shelter in San Jose, California. During the Yorkie’s physical examination, it was noted that the little guy had a bulge on his hind end to the right side of his tail and adjacent to his anus.

It was also noted that the little Yorkie was trying very hard to defecate, but no poop would come out! This is known as obstipation.

The obstipation was a cause for concern given that the bulge on the Yorkie’s hind end was diagnosed as a perineal hernia. A perineal hernia occurs when there is a separation in the muscles on the dog’s hind end that allows abdominal contents to herniate through the muscles and potentially get stuck on the outside. Common organs to herniate include the bladder and the intestines.

Obstipated Yorkie and the Glamorous Life of a Vet Veterinarian Defecate, Straining, Pooping, Stool, Hernia, Perineal, Herniated, Constipated Enema

Swelling at the anus on the right side where there was a perineal hernia.

With the dog struggling to defecate, the shelter’s veterinary team jumped into action. The little guy was anesthetized, and Dr. Ostermann discovered that not only had the Yorkie developed a perineal hernia, he had also developed a sort of pocket around his rectum where stool was collecting rather than being forced out of the body through the anus. She could also feel the firm compacted feces filling the large intestine throughout the dog’s abdomen. The yorkie was severely “backed up” so to speak.

Dr. Ostermann manually removed the feces that were stuck in the out-pouching before moving on to giving the dog an enema and massaging the stool that was stuck in the colon to loosen it and evacuate it from the body. Needless to say, it was a messy, smelly task.

Obstipated Yorkie and the Glamorous Life of a Vet Veterinarian Defecate, Straining, Pooping, Stool, Hernia, Perineal, Herniated, Constipated Enema

After evacuating stool from the dog’s rectum (filling far too many poo bags, not pictured)

Once complete, the Yorkie’s hind end was washed and towel dried, and he was placed on a warm bed where he woke up, likely feeling so much better!

Obstipated Yorkie and the Glamorous Life of a Vet Veterinarian Defecate, Straining, Pooping, Stool, Hernia, Perineal, Herniated, Constipated Enema

After getting cleaned up, recovering on a warm bed.

To help make sure the Yorkie was able to defecate after the procedure, he was given a stool softener to make it easier for him to defecate. The veterinary team checked on him regularly and was relieved to see that he was pooping on his own now!

Although the obstipation issue was seemingly resolved, the Yorkie still needed additional care and surgery. The perineal hernia needed to be repaired as the Yorkie’s bladder consistently herniated through that opening in the muscles, and the colon may do so again as well. To help him receive the care he needed, a rescue group came to the shelter to take over the little Yorkie’s care.