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Need advice in managing loss of bladder control in an older dog

Forum: Pet Owners and Animal Lovers


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January 28th, 2010, 01:10 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,120
Send a message via MSN to MomtoAnnaLise
Hi, I'm Carla and I have an almost 11-year-old rescued greyhound named Cleo. She has been with us since she was 4. For the past 6-months, she has started having lots of bathroom accidents whenever we are not home. She is still really great about letting us know when she needs to go out when we are home. They're getting more frequent to the point where I can be gone an hour or so and come home to a mess. I don't mind spot cleaning, but my carpet is starting to look like a war zone. I asked the vet during her annual exam, and she told me that she is losing nerve control of her hind legs, so it is no suprise that she is having more accidents. She likes to pee in certain spots. The worst is my bedroom, right where we walk to the master bathroom. I'm trying to get my DH and daughter to leave the door to that bedroom closed. So now she pees on the landing by that door. I can't leave her outside when we leave for long, because she has almost no body fat and bad arthritis and it is pretty cold.

Is there any way to encourage her to move to a preferred area? We have all carpet or hardwoods here. I tried putting down paper, but she just nests and tears it up. She is a great dog, and I know we will be working through lots of things now that she is pretty senior for her breed. Any ideas would be appreciated
Mom to Anna Lise- Born 7/17/07
Missing Cleo, my greyhound girl, crossed the rainbow bridge 3/4/11
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January 28th, 2010, 07:16 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 7,429
Well they do make medication for dogs with incontinence you may want to consider possibly putting her on one of those. Proin is typically the most common. They also make doggie diapers, which generally are used for b!tches in heat, but it could probably work for this too, you would just need to change them obviously frequently. If she won't go on paper, you could try "puppy pads" they supposedly have a "scent" in them that draws the dog to them, but every dog is different in their respect to using them. Does she typically have to go that often when you are home? I'm just wondering if it isn't more of a separation anxiety issue given she's getting older, etc where crating her may help when you are gone. You could also get a large exercise pen and put that up so that she only has access to whatever part of the house you'd like her to have access to or baby gates and gate off certain areas (came concept). Or a combination of some of these.

Also dogs will continue to urinate where they smell where they've gone previously so it would behoove you to get your carpet professionally cleaned with their pet solution and also to start using a enzyme cleaner made specifically to take out pet urine odor in all areas. She won't continue to go to your room if she isn't smelling it, so that would be the first order of business...get the smell out (even if you can't smell it, she obviously can) same goes with the floors they will soak up the smell as well.

I would also talk to your vet about possible medications to try, such as Proin, and help control the issue and see what he/she says, depending on the cause, it may or may not work.

Also, and where it may not be something you want to hear, it may be coming to a time to start weighing her quality of life given that you've already stated she's very thin and has bad arthritis and now is loosing contol of her bladder and having nerve damage, is it possibly time to start considering letting her go to the Rainbow Bridge while she has some dignity left (and I do not mean that crudly, I've lost 2 pets myself, both at pretty young ages, so this is not said hastily)?

I would start with seriously cleaning your carpets to get the smell out, speaking with your vet on options, and then go from there.

Good luck to you. I had a dog with a brain tumor and we got to the pottying in the house point also and it was very hard so I completely understand.
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February 1st, 2010, 05:23 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,120
Send a message via MSN to MomtoAnnaLise
Thank you! I think I'm going to try crating her again. We had to do this when she first came to us. I hate thinking about the Rainbow Bridge, but I know it's coming. She still eats well (she has no fat because of her breed, they just can't be left outside), and really enjoys snuggling with us. It's going to be hard to balance out when her aging problems like bladder control and arthritis become so bad that it would be better to let her go.
Mom to Anna Lise- Born 7/17/07
Missing Cleo, my greyhound girl, crossed the rainbow bridge 3/4/11
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February 2nd, 2010, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 4
I would think doggy diapers...
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