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Bowel Incontinence in Dogs

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mia1181

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Well I think my doggy is officially losing control of his bowels
. Does anyone have experience with this? Is my little guy being naughty or is he becoming incontinent?

He has pooped on the bed in the middle of the night, 3-4 times in the past two weeks.
There have been times in the past where he would be asleep and would suddenly jump up and if we didn''t get him outside in time he would start pooping. That was usually on a night where we were too lazy to take him out before bed. But this is different. He is laying down when it happens, and then he jumps up as if he is freaked out by it. Quite honestly, I am freaked out by it! It''s so gross, but also really sad. We can''t let him sleep with us anymore and I feel like he is being punished.


But here''s the tricky part. He still can poop outside when we tell him to. Does that make sense?
 

BooBearsMom

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Maybe he is sick? Have you taken him to the vet to be examined? Or has he recently started taking any medication that could cause him to have less control of his bowels (some have this as a side effect)?

If it is incontinence, they do have doggie diapers that you can put on him so that he can still sleep in bed with you. I know that is what we will do when that time comes for us with our little boy - I couldn't sleep at night if I didn't have him cuddled up with me!



I'm sorry this is happening. I'll be thinking about you and your pup. Please keep us posted.

diapers.jpeg
 

mia1181

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Aw thanks BBMom (okay if I call you that?) I forgot to add that I know what is probably causing it. He''s partially paralyzed in the back legs from a degenerative disk disease so it''s very likely that he will lose bowel/bladder function at some point. He already has a little trouble in the bladder department, but we just need to make sure he is out often and we avoid problems. We do have diapers on hand from a bout with diarrhea a while back, but the weight of the diapers make it very difficult for him to walk. I think I might try it though and see how it goes.

BTW, Your furbaby is such a cutie!
 

BooBearsMom

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Date: 2/7/2009 2:21:47 AM
Author: mia1181
Aw thanks BBMom (okay if I call you that?) I forgot to add that I know what is probably causing it. He''s partially paralyzed in the back legs from a degenerative disk disease so it''s very likely that he will lose bowel/bladder function at some point. He already has a little trouble in the bladder department, but we just need to make sure he is out often and we avoid problems. We do have diapers on hand from a bout with diarrhea a while back, but the weight of the diapers make it very difficult for him to walk. I think I might try it though and see how it goes.
Oh, poor little guy, I''m so sorry. It still might not be a bad idea to ask the vet what his thoughts are. Or pose the question in a doggie forum - maybe someone who is going through the same thing can share some tips with you. I hope you find a solution so that he can still snuggle up with you at night.

BTW, Your furbaby is such a cutie!
Thank you, he''s our pride and joy. Yours is quite a cutie too!
 

AmberGretchen

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Awww...Mia, I''m sorry to hear about your little furbaby''s troubles. I do think it sounds health related, poor guy


Could you look around for more diaper options or something like a belly band? I feel like there should be something out there more lightweight for him to wear.

Alternatively, have you talked to the vet to see if there are additional medication options? I know I''ve heard of some for doggies with this problem, though don''t know if they''d work in his particular case.
 

mia1181

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Thanks AG, I''m going to take him to the vet eventually and see what he says. The last time I was there I think he said it''s usually managed by diet, but these are good healthy poops so I''m not sure what else can be done. Last night we crated him, and he didn''t have a BM in the crate. I think it will be interesting to see if he will even do it in his crate. He never poops in the house during the day though which is odd. But I really feel like it''s something he can''t control.

Oh well, it''s really no big surprise. I just thought it would happen later on. He still gets around pretty well.


BBMom, I am a member to a Handicapped dog forum, but they don''t seem to get a lot of traffic, but I will post there later too.
 

Libster

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I''m sorry about your little guy. You may know about this forum but just in case you don''t here is a link:
http://www.handicappedpet.net/helppets/

Our dog (my avatar pic) had some sort of spinal injury, possibly an FCE, in October and I found this forum really helpful.
 

Irishgrrrl

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Mia, refresh my memory . . . how old is Oliver? I do remember you saying that he''s partially paralyzed and uses his little doggy wheelchair to get around sometimes. I''m thinking that the paralysis is probably causing the incontinence.

Is there a specific name for the degenerative disc disease that Oliver has? Is it called "lumbosacral stenosis" by any chance? I''ve been researching lumbosacral stenosis (also called cauda equina syndrome) because I think that might be what''s wrong with Caesar (our Great Dane). Caesar just turned eight in December, which is a pretty advanced age for a Dane . . . he''s definitely a senior citizen! He has been having bowel incontinence for about a year or so. Our vet said it was just a result of the aging process, and that nothing could really be done to improve his bowel control. So, we just got used to cleaning up poop, and counted our lucky stars that it wasn''t pee! Unfortunately, he recently started having urinary incontinence problems as well. He has another appointment with the vet on Monday, and she''s going to x-ray him for bladder stones. If there are no bladder stones, she''s going to start him on incontinence meds which should help with the urinary incontinence.

I know you mentioned that Oliver has trouble walking when wearing a diaper, because the diaper is so heavy. Could you put it on right before bed and take it off ASAP when he gets up? That way, he could sleep with you, but wouldn''t have to worry about hauling that heavy diaper around while he''s walking. Good luck with this, whatever you decide . . . I know it''s not a fun problem to have!
 

Irishgrrrl

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/7/2009 2:45:31 PM
Author: Libster
I''m sorry about your little guy. You may know about this forum but just in case you don''t here is a link:
http://www.handicappedpet.net/helppets/

Our dog (my avatar pic) had some sort of spinal injury, possibly an FCE, in October and I found this forum really helpful.
Libster, THANK YOU for this link!!! I''m off to check it out right now!
 

mia1181

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Oct 25, 2006
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Date: 2/7/2009 2:45:31 PM
Author: Libster
I''m sorry about your little guy. You may know about this forum but just in case you don''t here is a link:
http://www.handicappedpet.net/helppets/

Our dog (my avatar pic) had some sort of spinal injury, possibly an FCE, in October and I found this forum really helpful.
Yep that''s the one I belong to! I am going to post later about it.

Sorry to hear about your cutie! Is he/she all recovered?
 

mia1181

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Joined
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Date: 2/7/2009 2:53:19 PM
Author: Irishgrrrl
Mia, refresh my memory . . . how old is Oliver? I do remember you saying that he''s partially paralyzed and uses his little doggy wheelchair to get around sometimes. I''m thinking that the paralysis is probably causing the incontinence.

Is there a specific name for the degenerative disc disease that Oliver has? Is it called ''lumbosacral stenosis'' by any chance? I''ve been researching lumbosacral stenosis (also called cauda equina syndrome) because I think that might be what''s wrong with Caesar (our Great Dane). Caesar just turned eight in December, which is a pretty advanced age for a Dane . . . he''s definitely a senior citizen! He has been having bowel incontinence for about a year or so. Our vet said it was just a result of the aging process, and that nothing could really be done to improve his bowel control. So, we just got used to cleaning up poop, and counted our lucky stars that it wasn''t pee! Unfortunately, he recently started having urinary incontinence problems as well. He has another appointment with the vet on Monday, and she''s going to x-ray him for bladder stones. If there are no bladder stones, she''s going to start him on incontinence meds which should help with the urinary incontinence.

I know you mentioned that Oliver has trouble walking when wearing a diaper, because the diaper is so heavy. Could you put it on right before bed and take it off ASAP when he gets up? That way, he could sleep with you, but wouldn''t have to worry about hauling that heavy diaper around while he''s walking. Good luck with this, whatever you decide . . . I know it''s not a fun problem to have!
Irishgrrrl- Yes he is 7 years old. While it''s older, I think pugs live to be 12-15 so I don''t think he is considered senior yet. But his vets have mentioned some of this is normal with age. He also has some urinary incontinence issues. He''s done the submissive urination thing since he was a puppy (pees a little when too excited or meeting someone new), but now when we take him out in the morning or after work (when his bladder is full) he starts leaking before we get out the door. I agree with you that poop is much easier to deal with than pee.


Oliver is actually diagnosed with IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease). He has a bunch of bulging disks which have his spinal cord pinched in a few places. So we are pretty certain he will get worse eventually. Is Caesar having trouble walking too? Have you posted about him before? I seem to recall someone posting before about their dog that was becoming incontinent from old age. Do they think the bladder stones could be causing the incontinence? Oliver has some bladder stones, but we have been basicly ignoring them because we didn''t think they were causing problems. They only found them when I mentioned something that made them wonder if he had a UTI. When they used an ultrasound to take a urine sample, they saw them and recommended they be removed, but agreed they were small and probably not causing problems yet.

As for the diaper, the problem is Oliver is a very pampered dog.
He sleeps under the covers for a portion of the night and then gets out when he gets too hot, but it''s only a matter of time before he wants to go back under the covers. So he is walking around on the bed a lot during the night. Unfortunately, the diaper really hinders his movement and he has a hard time getting around and gets tangled in the covers. And then I have to keep waking up to help him. Luckily he is used to his crate and doesn''t cry when we put him in. I just feel like at this point there is so little he can do, I hate to take away nightime cuddles. Plus he keeps me warm too!
 

Irishgrrrl

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/7/2009 5:13:35 PM
Author: mia1181
Irishgrrrl- Yes he is 7 years old. While it''s older, I think pugs live to be 12-15 so I don''t think he is considered senior yet. But his vets have mentioned some of this is normal with age. He also has some urinary incontinence issues. He''s done the submissive urination thing since he was a puppy (pees a little when too excited or meeting someone new), but now when we take him out in the morning or after work (when his bladder is full) he starts leaking before we get out the door. I agree with you that poop is much easier to deal with than pee.


Oliver is actually diagnosed with IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease). He has a bunch of bulging disks which have his spinal cord pinched in a few places. So we are pretty certain he will get worse eventually. Is Caesar having trouble walking too? Have you posted about him before? I seem to recall someone posting before about their dog that was becoming incontinent from old age. Do they think the bladder stones could be causing the incontinence? Oliver has some bladder stones, but we have been basicly ignoring them because we didn''t think they were causing problems. They only found them when I mentioned something that made them wonder if he had a UTI. When they used an ultrasound to take a urine sample, they saw them and recommended they be removed, but agreed they were small and probably not causing problems yet.

As for the diaper, the problem is Oliver is a very pampered dog.
He sleeps under the covers for a portion of the night and then gets out when he gets too hot, but it''s only a matter of time before he wants to go back under the covers. So he is walking around on the bed a lot during the night. Unfortunately, the diaper really hinders his movement and he has a hard time getting around and gets tangled in the covers. And then I have to keep waking up to help him. Luckily he is used to his crate and doesn''t cry when we put him in. I just feel like at this point there is so little he can do, I hate to take away nightime cuddles. Plus he keeps me warm too!
Oh, Mia, I understand completely about not wanting to make him sleep anywhere else! Caesar is a little too big to sleep in bed with us, but he has always slept on the floor in our room, either beside the bed (on DH''s side because my side is right against the wall) or at the foot of the bed. Since the peeing issues have started, we''ve had to shut him in the kitchen at night. He is very good about this, and he never whines or cries at all . . . I think he understands. But it just breaks my heart to have to do that to him . . . he belongs upstairs with us!


Caesar has never really had a problem with submissive urination. After he was fully housetrained when he was a puppy, he NEVER peed in the house. EVER! He did poop in the house from time to time, but ONLY if he had diarrhea and couldn''t get outside in time (like no one was home or something). When he started pooping in the house and the poop looked normal (not diarrhea), I think I knew then that it must be the start of bowel incontinence. That was about a year or so ago, and he has pooped in the house a few times a week ever since. The peeing didn''t start until December, just a little bit before Christmas. Evidently, urinary incontinence is hard to nail down because it can be a symptom of many different things. The first thing they usually check for is a UTI, which Caesar''s vet did. She did a urinalysis and a full blood panel when we had him in to see her the day after Christmas. The UTI showed that he''s not concentrating his urine (not sure what that means?) and the blood panel showed an elevated white cell count (which indicates some kind of infection). So, the vet figured it must be a UTI, and she started him on antibiotics. BUT, the peeing continues, so it must not be a UTI after all!


The vet said bladder stones often cause urinary incontinence. She has to rule out bladder stones before she can start him on incontinence meds, because the incontinence meds can cause more harm than good if bladder stones are present. So, I guess we''ll see on Monday when she does the x-ray. I kinda hope it''s NOT bladder stones, because I think she will probably want to do surgery to get rid of them, and I don''t think he can handle surgery at his age.


He has been having some trouble walking. His hind legs are pretty weak, and he has a lot of trouble getting up. He CAN get up if he really wants to, but he has to REALLY want to! LOL! Usually, he just gets his front end into a vertical position and then I lift his back end up until he''s standing. Once he''s standing, I just steady him for a minute, and then he can walk on his own.

I hope you can get Oliver''s pooping issues under control. It really sucks to have to clean up poop off the floor all the time, but I can imagine it would be MUCH worse if the poop was in our bed! Definitely let us know what the vet says!
 

Libster

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
998
Date: 2/7/2009 4:37:54 PM
Author: mia1181


Date: 2/7/2009 2:45:31 PM
Author: Libster
I''m sorry about your little guy. You may know about this forum but just in case you don''t here is a link:
http://www.handicappedpet.net/helppets/

Our dog (my avatar pic) had some sort of spinal injury, possibly an FCE, in October and I found this forum really helpful.
Yep that''s the one I belong to! I am going to post later about it.

Sorry to hear about your cutie! Is he/she all recovered?
He is almost 100%!


It happened back in October and we had a tough few weeks with him having complete paralysis on his left side. With physical therapy and all the helpful ideas and experence of the members of the handicapped board we got through it. He is only 4 years old and DH and I decided to do what we could for him to allow him the best chance at recovery. We dealt with the diapers and the male belly band and he tolerated everything really well. He is such a great dog! The only thing now is he has to wear a boot on his left front paw as all movement has not returned and he will drag it. He has come such a long way, and I''m just so thrilled with his recovery


I''m sorry about your little guy. Have you read the "poop on demand" on the handicapped board? We tried that a couple of times with success. I NEVER thought I''d do something like that, but I did
 

mia1181

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Joined
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Messages
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Irishgrrl- Is he in any pain? That was the thing with Oliver- no pain, so it was clearly a neurological issue. Oliver tested negative for UTI so I know that isn't causing it. But he does have bladder stones so we will need to check into that. But my vet did say the bladder stone surgery is a pretty simple and there is a relatively quick recovery. So maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

For us, we are just really trying to keep the costs down, ya know? We definitely aren't the type of people that put a set limit on what we will spend on Oliver. But we have to recognize that we have spent a lot already and as much as we try, we can't keep him alive forever. Oliver also has Addisons disease which is very manageable but cost us thousands in vet bills when he was very young and almost died from it. Then when he started dragging his feet we had to go to a lot of different specialists and finally got a very expensive MRI. When they did the MRI they also found tumors in his kidneys that we would have otherwise never known about. So of course they want to look into that, but I have to ignore it because I can't deal with surgery right now. And then there were the bladder stones. Both the kidney tumors and bladders stones are very tiny, so I guess I have decided to put them off for a while. It's hard to know that they could get worse with no warning and I may regret doing nothing. But we are really trying to do the best we can.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
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Oh Libster I am so glad he is doing well! Yes I have read the poop on demand and might look at it again give it a try.
I''ve tried to express his bladder before but no luck. I don''t know if that is because he isn''t fully incontinent though. I just thought it might make life easier to only have to carry him to the bathroom instead of outside. I couldn''t really feel his bladder so I might have the vet show me where it is.
 

Irishgrrrl

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Date: 2/7/2009 7:51:14 PM
Author: mia1181
Irishgrrl- Is he in any pain? That was the thing with Oliver- no pain, so it was clearly a neurological issue. Oliver tested negative for UTI so I know that isn''t causing it. But he does have bladder stones so we will need to check into that. But my vet did say the bladder stone surgery is a pretty simple and there is a relatively quick recovery. So maybe it wouldn''t be so bad.

For us, we are just really trying to keep the costs down, ya know? We definitely aren''t the type of people that put a set limit on what we will spend on Oliver. But we have to recognize that we have spent a lot already and as much as we try, we can''t keep him alive forever. Oliver also has Addisons disease which is very manageable but cost us thousands in vet bills when he was very young and almost died from it. Then when he started dragging his feet we had to go to a lot of different specialists and finally got a very expensive MRI. When they did the MRI they also found tumors in his kidneys that we would have otherwise never known about. So of course they want to look into that, but I have to ignore it because I can''t deal with surgery right now. And then there were the bladder stones. Both the kidney tumors and bladders stones are very tiny, so I guess I have decided to put them off for a while. It''s hard to know that they could get worse with no warning and I may regret doing nothing. But we are really trying to do the best we can.
Ya know, I really can''t tell for sure if he''s in pain. Sometimes he whimpers a little when we help him get up, so I guess he is in pain to a point. But, the peeing usually happens when he''s laying down, and totally without warning. I''m thinking maybe he just can''t feel when he needs to pee or poop?


And I know exactly how you feel about keeping the costs down. As much as we love them, we have to keep in mind the fact that a dog''s lifespan is relatively short compared to a human''s. At what point does surgery become too great a physical burden to the dog (and financial burden to the owners)? DH and I were talking earlier about Caesar and what we should do if the vet recommends surgery for his lumbosacral stenosis (if that''s what he has) and/or for his bladder stones (if he does in fact have some). We both agreed that surgery would just be too much for him to handle at his age. Honestly, I would be absolutely scared to death to let them put him under a general anesthetic . . . I know that can be hard on a dog, especially a senior citizen like Caesar.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Hmm... If it doesn't hurt when he pees then I'd guess it's probably not UTI or Bladder Stones. Oliver's vet was mosty concerned about whether Oliver had any pain when urinating or seemed to strain. Quite the opposite! If a stranger comes up and pets him it just comes out and then he looks down like "hey what is that?" It really does sound like a spinal issue though. Hopefully it can be diagnosed without an MRI, that's what we had to do and it was very epensive and Oliver had to be put under anesthesia also. I hear ya on the senior cit. thing with anesthesia, pugs are also notorius for dying while under because of their flat face and lack of oxygen. It was really sad watching him come out of it too. They put us in a room together so I could hold him as he woke up. Poor guy was so confused and kept getting up to walk but then falling. I cried even though I knew he was fine. It was just sad to watch. I attached the pic I took of him as he was waking.

I also have to say there was a HUGE part of me that was relieved when they told me that Oliver's back was too bad for surgery. It would have been a hard decision to put him through that. Not only was the damage too old already, but since it is degenerative they know it will get worse even after surgery. We also avoided a knee surgery because he can barely use his legs so they won't operated on knees that won't be used for long anyway. I feel guilty that I am relieved to not have to pay for surgeries, because I want him to walk, but it is nice to have the decision out of our hands for once. It is really hard making decisions on your dog's health when you know it will be expensive and he will have a short lifespan either way.

recoverypug.jpg
 

Irishgrrrl

Ideal_Rock
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Awwwww, Mia! Oliver is just TOOOO CUTE!!!


I know exactly how you feel about the surgery. It''s SO expensive, and it''s SO stressful when they''re recuperating! One of our other dogs (Biko, our 14-year-old pit bull/black lab mix) had to have knee surgery a while back. He tore his ACL of all things! I didn''t even know dogs could do that!


I was a total nervous wreck the whole time he was at the vet''s office. With him being an older guy, I was SO worried about him! Fortunately, we were really lucky ~ he came through the surgery just fine and his knee is MUCH better now! But I just don''t know if I could go through that again, especially since the surgery probably wouldn''t really do that much for Caesar.


Our appointment with the vet is today at 5:00 p.m., and I''ll let ya know what she says. Has Oliver pooped any more? Are you going to have the vet check him out? If so, let me know what they tell you!
 
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