If your dog stops eating, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong inside. Many illnesses are accompanied by vomiting and loss of appetite. One of these illnesses is intestinal disorder, also known as ileus. Have you ever heard about ileus in dogs?

What is ileus in dogs?

Ileus is a severe condition in which the intestinal passage is obstructed and as a result digested food cannot be transported past the blockage. Ilneus is not a primary disease, rather a result of other diseases or conditions affecting the intestine. Ileus is a dangerous and acute condition and many dogs may lose weight when they’re suffering from this disease.


  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Discomfort due to gas accumulation due to obstruction
  • Weight loss


Ileus occurs in the small intestine and is a disruption of the normal propulsive ability of the gastrointestinal tract. Ileus is very dangerous for dogs and is, in most cases, the result of:

  • After gastrointestinal surgery
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Infections and inflammatory diseases of stomach and intestines
  • Blockages of blood supply to intestine or part of intestine
  • Body wide illness due to presence of bacteria in blood
  • Stomach injury
  • After use of certain drugs
  • Toxicity


As ileus is a result of other diseases or conditions, treating the underlying cause is of utmost importance. Additionally, fluid therapy and drugs to enhance intestinal motility are also given to stimulate intestinal movements. During treatment, the veterinarian will use a stethoscope to listen to the stomach of the dog in order to examine the development of inner sounds and motility. If the stomach is tight and hard and no movement can be heard, ultrasound will be needed. Ultrasound and x-ray examination can reveal grossly distended bowel slings and possibly even the site of the blockage. In some cases of ileus, surgery is necessary to remove the blockage.

Be aware

If your pup misses two meals in a row, keep a close eye on him and the further development. If ileus is suspected your vet or an emergency clinic should be consulted immediately.