So Rufus drinks his own pee...

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy


The Chuck Norris- of Chihuahuas!
Barked: Fri May 13, '11 12:08pm PST 
We don't know why, but Ru has been drinking his own pee. He's going blind (cataracts) but he knows where the water bowl is, so it's not like he's drinking it to survive or anything. We had him checked out at the vet and his sodium levels are a bit low...she thinks this may be why he's doing it. So we have to add a TINY bit of salt to his food a couple of times a week and see if it stops. If it isn't that, then it's probably canine dementia and we'll have to start putting him on a pill. confused

Other than that, he's a healthy 16 year old chi!

Best dog EVER!
Barked: Fri May 13, '11 1:12pm PST 
Does he have a hard time getting around? He may just not want to get up and go outside to pee.
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Sun May 15, '11 3:57am PST 
When is the last time he had bloodwork done? This can be a sign of diabetes or renal insufficiencies. It could also just mean he needs his bowl to be closer to him during the day.

I don't usually think of drinking urine as a dementia sign - more things like barking at nothing excessively, staring at walls, getting trapped in corners, eliminating in areas of house they usually wouldn't


The Chuck Norris- of Chihuahuas!
Barked: Mon May 16, '11 9:03pm PST 
He gets around just fine, as long as he knows where everything is. Since he's losing his eyesight, he needs to be sure of everything before heads off. But if he knows he's got room to run, he'll do it...especially if the other dogs aren't around.

He doesn't want to go outside to pee, though. He gets lost on the way to the door sometimes and will often get lost in the back yard, just because he can't see where the door really is. We have him confined to a large pen in our family room and he prefers to spend most of his time there since it's a smaller environment that he's familiar with. We keep the door open as much as possible but he only comes out once in a great while. We keep a potty pad in there for him and he seems to prefer that to the grass. Even if we carry him outside, he'll often not go while he's out there and will come inside to use the potty pad.

His bowl is right next to his bed...he doesn't even have to get out of it to take a drink. And it stays in the same place all the time, so he knows right where it is. He had a full blood workup done just last week and the low sodium levels are all they could find.

He does tend to bark for no reason sometimes but not often. He barks while you're fixing his dinner and if he can't get back under his blankets or if he's pooped. He's very insistent that we clean up any poop immediately. laugh out loud But sometimes he has just eaten, poo is cleaned up and he's wrapped up just fine but he'll just bark. Nothing wrong...he just barks and after a minute or two, he'll stop.

It's just the strangest thing...poor little guy. I sometimes wonder about his quality of life but as long as he's basically healthy, I can't bring myself to let him go. He's a tough little dog and has survived so much already that it just wouldn't seem right. But we do wonder...

They say to decide, you should think about their 5 favorite things and if they can't enjoy them, then it's time. But Ru hasn't got 5 things he likes and never has, really - not since we got him. Since we didn't know him when he was younger, it's hard to tell. We'll enjoy him a little longer and keep hoping...
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Tue May 17, '11 10:13am PST 
I am including some information on Canine Cognitive Dysfunction/Syndrome (CDD/S - both names are used and referenced by vets - they are really the same thing). It may be interesting to see if Rufus fits some of the descriptions. There is a medication that has shown some benefit in returning some function but not everyone uses it/likes it. It may be something to bring up with your vet.....

CDS - Signs and Symptoms - CPVH

CDS - Interesting Graduate Article from U of Saskatchewan CAN

CDS - Interesting mix of research info and personal experience which may help you with decisions...

CDS - website run by Pfizer who makes Anipryl (CDS drug) so info may be biased but still informative
This one is from the same website as above but is linked to the checklist they provide to help determine if you dog has CDS
CDD/S Senior Checklist for Owners - Does your dog have these signs?

Blog entry about CCD with some nice links/experiences from pet owners

I like that "5 things" list but it could be difficult if he never showed an affinity for anything..... In that case I would try looking at his quality of life and assessing his state of mind...does he get excited about things? Is he alert during the day? Does he seem mopey/depressed? Tracking this may be helpful to see if it changes overtime - that may be the key!

QOL decision help at www.pet-loss.net

Pet Place - QOL issues

Have you considered a water fountain type bowl for him? The sound may help him to become more comfortable with using the bowl. With cats I know we see a decrease in initiative to drink as they age which sometimes is due to their inability to see the water level in the bowl....if the bowl opening is too small their whiskers hit the side of bowl instead of projecting forward to feel the water level before their nose smacks it! Sometimes providing water in large flat dishes/bowls helps as well as water fountains to cause a rippling effect so they can see the water level....Water Fountain Bowl example at Drs. Foster&Smith

You may also want to try fitted diaper/belly band to soak up any urine before he can drink it as well to help keep him dry and clean. Geriatric dogs can be prone to bed sores that can become infected especially when urine scald is involved. Wet urine can actually cause such severe irritation that it acts like a burn on the skin.