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Fecal incontinence in elderly dog.. ideas?

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Lantis

I love small- dogs..
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 9:48am PST 
I think that Lantis is starting to experience some fecal incontinence and I'm not really sure what to do. He has a vet appointment scheduled (his biannual comprehensive senior check), so I'll ask then too, but I'm hoping other people have some experiences too.

Some details: (Don't read if you're about to eat)

Adding to Lantis' bathroom fiasco on his diet switch (since discontinued, looking at home-cooking now), for the past 2 days I have found stool in the house. I KNOW it's from Lantis and not the two mini ones. It'll only be a tiny little piece randomly on the floor somewhere. When I take him out he'll have a full, normal bowel movement. So I assume that what he's been doing indoors isn't on purpose..

Does anyone have any idea on fecal incontinence and if there are medications or anything to help with it? I guess I could put him in diapers but I don't know if I want to, he would hate that so much and I think it would serious damage his psyche. I'm not trying to humanize him but I just really think he would feel so ashamed.
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Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 10:44am PST 
Our friend's GSD went through this, with him it was due to degenerative spinal issues. We honestly just kinda dealt with it and just pretended nothing was new. You could tell he was embarrassed but couldn't help it. We'd let him out very frequently which helped some. Have you thought about just trying a bit of pumpkin to see if that keeps him a bit more regular? As embarrassing as it is, this happened with my very elderly uncle as well...and of course we did use diapers with him. As for diapers with Lantis, I guess it just depends on how he feels about them and what helps maintain as much "normalcy" as possible. I do not know of any prescriptions that specifically help with fecal incontinence, but if it turns out to be secondary to something else, there would be prescriptions that would help in that case.
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Zoey

Zoom Zoom Zoom
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 10:52am PST 
I have read that adding Metamucil to their diet or Psyllium Husks helps with fecal incontinence. Also some anti-diarrheal meds help 'strengthen' the sphyncter muscles.

Fecal Incontinence Article
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 11:02am PST 
Normally fecal incontinence is caused by the loss of neural function, really common in dogs as they get very old. Neural disorders are irreversible, nothing can bring back function that is lost. I haven't heard of any medication that helps either.

This is obviously not nearing the end stage of Lantis's rectal function, as he can still go outside and have a movement on his own time, so that's a good sign. If the stools are as tidy as they were on raw (I don't think homecooked is too much different), then I don't really see why you would need diapers yet. It's an inconvenience, but not nearly as bad as cleaning up a standard dog stool from the carpet.

Hope you're getting through this okay, Lantis & family hug
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Tsuki, Kit,- Kiba &- Buckley

inubakablog.com
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 11:06am PST 
Our vet told us that Rudy's issue is a degenerative muscle control type thing, and no meds were going to help as there is no cure.

Rudy has urine and fecal incontinence (at times fecal, mostly urination)

Hang in there - I hope you find some answers hug
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Minna

Little Miss
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 11:43am PST 
Our girl, Minna, is starting to do that occasionally as well. She's 13. With her, I think that it's because she has such hard round poops that she's kind of stopped up to begin with, then when she strains to get up or lay down, it just kind of squeezes out of her. I can tell she's embarassed when it happens, too. I don't say anything to her, I just clean it up like it's no big deal. Lately I've been adding canned pumpkin to her food to see if that'll help soften up the poo to make it easier for her to go (the vet also suggested I try adding yogurt with bacteria to her food). I also make her go out to potty more often, especially right after she eats. She has a hard time going through the doggie door now, so I open the back door for her to go in & out. I stay outside with her & won't let her go inside until she poops. Since I've been doing that there haven't been any "accidents" in the house (knock on wood).
Good luck with Lantis, poor baby. way to go

Edited by author Wed Nov 3, '10 11:44am PST

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Lantis

I love small- dogs..
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 4, '10 9:51am PST 
Thanks all. Zoey, I'll look at the things you suggested. But largely from what everyone else said, this is a matter of management from here on out, huh?

Yesterday it happened 5 times. It wasn't too bad - Minna, I think, like you, when Lantis tries to get up or lay down, he just kinda has a small accident. So now whenever he gets up from someplace we check to see if he left anything..

Sometimes I don't know when he's going to leave us, and I wonder if I have to make the choice for him. But then he does things like "chase" (with his old man hobble) the little ones around the house and then I just don't know, again.
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 4, '10 12:41pm PST 
Lantis - I would be worried about DM or other neuro issues. Sometimes medications that prevent diarrhea help to harden the stool therefore not allowing it slip out as easily BUT these can also make it more difficult for the dog to go IE encourage straining.

It is most likely there is no treatment just management for this and that it is the beginning of some major neuro deficits that are not reversable. It sucks when they get older especially when their fronts are still ok but their backs are failing
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Lantis

I love small- dogs..
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 4, '10 1:24pm PST 
We had a DM scare a year or so ago, but it was ruled out at the time. Not because we had the whole neurological testing, but based on symptoms. But it could still be DM. Lantis' parents were not screened for the DM marker, so frown

But even if was DM, there is nothing I could do about that. There isn't any cure or any way to reverse it..

Edited by author Thu Nov 4, '10 1:25pm PST

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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 4, '10 1:40pm PST 
Unfortunetly yes - honestly like I said it sucks BUT there most likely is nothing you can do.

Try adding metamucil or psyllum husks and ask your vet about loperamide (anti-diarrheal) which in some cases can help firm up stool or metronidozale.

Also a full neuro exam with anal sphincter test, and rear leg check would help to rule out or at least confirm neuro or muscle deficits which may make it easier for you to determine if this is actute vs chronic.
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