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Pooping In House; Age Related


Guest Gemma
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Peyton has been having accidents in the apartment on and off for a little while. We took him to the vet and had fecals done (they were clear), his yearly blood work came back perfect, and he is not on any new meds or food. He just turned 10 and this started when he was 9. At first, he'd sometimes poop in his sleep; we'd find the evidence in the morning, and it was always on the sofa or his bed. They were always small, hard and dry (not upset or a sign of him being poorly).

 

This week, he has gone twice in the house without giving us any warning, which he is usually very good at. Once in the morning and just now right in front of me.

 

I think he just doesn't get as much warning anymore so it sometimes happens all at once and he has no time to let me know. Obviously, making sure he is empty should help. We usually take him for a long walk in the evening but had to shorten it last night as we'd been out hiking and were all exhausted. I could start taking him out for a 10-15 minute walk in the morning to make sure he is 100% empty then as well.

 

I'm just wondering if anyone else has been through this and if there is anything else I can do? If it gets worse, is this something you can medicate for? Just wondering if I am missing something.

 

Honestly, if this is the worst of it as he ages, I will count myself lucky! Cleaning up messes is a small price to pay. :)

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Guest undergreysspell

Hi, I had the same problem with my shep mix when she turned 13. It would just come out in her sleep every now and then. She also had very bad arthritis in her rear hips, so I figured it had something to do with that. She never got worse, it only happened when she slept. She went to the bridge just before she turned 14, really miss her. My other mix is 13 1/2 and he just recently started dropping them during our walk in the morning. Doesn't even know it happened, just keeps on walking. So far that's his only problem, must just be the old dogs can't tell it's happening. My grey can tell though, she walks behind him and smells his butt right before it happens! Good luck with Peyton, he looks just like my Gracie, beautiful brindle.

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Chiropractic will help. Maybe acupuncture. I think that's why my guys don't have too many issues in late ages. Not that they don't have any, but it's less than others I've heard of.

 

I call them "oops" turds, and sometimes they leave "sleep" turds. I never say anything, just clean it up.

Diane & The Senior Gang

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Never had this problem with a dog, but one of my cats started doing it when he was about 14, I think. Didn't happen in his sleep, but he would be walking along and they just fell out. Sometimes he would turn around and look, like "where did that come from?", sometimes he never noticed. Vet couldn't find anything wrong, other than a little kitty Alzheimer's (he also used the litter box, so it wasn't an issue with that). They weren't hard to clean up, so I just did and was glad it was nothing worse. (and if he did it outside the cat room, the dogs would clean it up for me if I didn't get there first :puke ) He lived to 17 1/2. I just saw it as one of the things you do if you have seniors.

 

:bighug Peyton

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Gemma, We've been dealing with that for a while here. Some things you might want to talk to your vet about. A fibre response dog food. It will firm up the poop, keep motility at an even keel and keep the bowels regular. We use it for Marco because with the paraplegia, his intestines' motility is far too fast. Over that past year, we've started it with Yardman to help alleviate the sudden onset of poo. It's helped quite a bit, not completely 100% accident free, but pretty close. We've also expressed his bowels when we know it's time for him to go, yet he's not getting any sensation to go. If you can, have a vet tech show you how, but discuss it with your vet first. We've found that if Yardman doesn't empty out at bedtime, we know he has to go, due to the timing of his last meal. We'll do what we need to. It saves him the embarrasment of sleep pooping and lets him sleep comfortably.

If you can, follow the timing of his meals to when he has to poo. Try to make sure you get him out and ready at those times. It might help. We do it with Yardman, but every now and again, he'll come in and then you'll see his tail come up. I now walk around with poo bags in my pocket and at the ready, just in case.

Give some gentle scritches to Payton. We're thinking of you.

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Hi, I had the same problem with my shep mix when she turned 13. It would just come out in her sleep every now and then. She also had very bad arthritis in her rear hips, so I figured it had something to do with that. She never got worse, it only happened when she slept. She went to the bridge just before she turned 14, really miss her. My other mix is 13 1/2 and he just recently started dropping them during our walk in the morning. Doesn't even know it happened, just keeps on walking. So far that's his only problem, must just be the old dogs can't tell it's happening. My grey can tell though, she walks behind him and smells his butt right before it happens! Good luck with Peyton, he looks just like my Gracie, beautiful brindle.

 

Thanks! I've received some good suggestions so hopefully we can help him with it. :)

 

Chiropractic will help. Maybe acupuncture. I think that's why my guys don't have too many issues in late ages. Not that they don't have any, but it's less than others I've heard of.

 

I call them "oops" turds, and sometimes they leave "sleep" turds. I never say anything, just clean it up.

 

I'll look into a chiropractor, thanks! I've been meaning to get him started at PT for a while so I'll look into that as well. :)

 

Never had this problem with a dog, but one of my cats started doing it when he was about 14, I think. Didn't happen in his sleep, but he would be walking along and they just fell out. Sometimes he would turn around and look, like "where did that come from?", sometimes he never noticed. Vet couldn't find anything wrong, other than a little kitty Alzheimer's (he also used the litter box, so it wasn't an issue with that). They weren't hard to clean up, so I just did and was glad it was nothing worse. (and if he did it outside the cat room, the dogs would clean it up for me if I didn't get there first :puke ) He lived to 17 1/2. I just saw it as one of the things you do if you have seniors.

 

:bighug Peyton

 

Yeah, DH and I see it as a senior thing too. That's okay. As long as we get many more years with our boy, we are happy. :)

 

Gemma, We've been dealing with that for a while here. Some things you might want to talk to your vet about. A fibre response dog food. It will firm up the poop, keep motility at an even keel and keep the bowels regular. We use it for Marco because with the paraplegia, his intestines' motility is far too fast. Over that past year, we've started it with Yardman to help alleviate the sudden onset of poo. It's helped quite a bit, not completely 100% accident free, but pretty close. We've also expressed his bowels when we know it's time for him to go, yet he's not getting any sensation to go. If you can, have a vet tech show you how, but discuss it with your vet first. We've found that if Yardman doesn't empty out at bedtime, we know he has to go, due to the timing of his last meal. We'll do what we need to. It saves him the embarrasment of sleep pooping and lets him sleep comfortably.

If you can, follow the timing of his meals to when he has to poo. Try to make sure you get him out and ready at those times. It might help. We do it with Yardman, but every now and again, he'll come in and then you'll see his tail come up. I now walk around with poo bags in my pocket and at the ready, just in case.

Give some gentle scritches to Payton. We're thinking of you.

 

Thank you! Super helpful. :) I will speak to my vet! I am hopeful that this is not a regular thing since both accidents this week happened because we cut his normal walk short. I think the walking helps everything move along and he can sleep on empty. After his accident this morning, he went again on his second potty break so he must have been really full! That can't have helped things any. We humans need to try a little harder to accommodate him, I think.

 

I miss seeing Yardman's sweet little face! I hope we can get together sometime soon. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Just updating to say that we have had success making sure Peyton is empty at night and first thing in the morning, which has prevented accidents. My DH has really been a trooper with this and takes Peyton on a short walk every night right before bed. If we're out for a long time, we put towels down but things have been good lately.

 

However, this was definitely a sign of more things to come since the cooler weather has resulted in a noticeably stiff and sore puppy. He seems to be feeling it in the thigh and hip of his bad leg, and we can see a little muscle wastage too. Putting off PT is definitely no longer an option so we're going to budget for it and try to get him evaluated very soon. If we can do a lot of the work at home that would help.

 

It sucks that he's getting old but hopefully we can keep him active and comfortable for years to come. :)

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Do you have him on Fresh Factors or Joint Health? Either one will help tremendously.

 

http://www.springtimeinc.com

 

Thanks for the link! I have him on a different joint supplement called Actiflex, which seems to be very similar. :) He's always had the lowest dose but I am going to increase it a little. He's also on 50mg of Tremadol twice a day, and I might take him to my vet and discuss whether it's okay to increase this a little if we see no improvement.

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We have Sam on Cosequin DS for his arthritis and it has done nothing short of a miracle for him. He still moans and groans a bit, but he is so much more light footed and spry (well, in spurts, between naps). Poor old guy--I did not realize how achy he must have been. He, too, was doing the poop-as-soon-as-he-got-out-the-door (no accidents inside), which hasn't happened in the past month. I hadn't thought about it being related to pain, arthritis or age, but perhaps its waned because of the cosequin.

 

Hard to watch them age. Good luck :)

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Fecal incontinence is often something that happens to dogs with LS. The nerve damage makes it difficult for them to feel when they need to poop and SURPRISE there it is!

 

And no, there is nothing you can do about it, if that's the case.

 

Did your vet happen to mention LS? Take an x-ray of the lower spine?


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We have Sam on Cosequin DS for his arthritis and it has done nothing short of a miracle for him. He still moans and groans a bit, but he is so much more light footed and spry (well, in spurts, between naps). Poor old guy--I did not realize how achy he must have been. He, too, was doing the poop-as-soon-as-he-got-out-the-door (no accidents inside), which hasn't happened in the past month. I hadn't thought about it being related to pain, arthritis or age, but perhaps its waned because of the cosequin.

 

Hard to watch them age. Good luck :)

 

I'm glad your boy has improved on the supplement. :) And, yes, it's really hard to watch him get a little creaky. 10 is still young to me so I am hoping we can keep him with us for many more years. I might look into trying an alternative supplement when his current one runs out.

 

Fecal incontinence is often something that happens to dogs with LS. The nerve damage makes it difficult for them to feel when they need to poop and SURPRISE there it is!

 

And no, there is nothing you can do about it, if that's the case.

 

Did your vet happen to mention LS? Take an x-ray of the lower spine?

 

We haven't had x-rays taken yet and, honestly, I am not sure how much my regular vet knows about LS. We just had a 12 year old foster with all the symptoms and my vet never called it LS nor did she offer us any treatment options for her. I have an ortho vet we have used occasionally and for Peyton's original x-rays about 4 years ago. I have been considering taking him in for a new set but, honestly, money is tight right now and I don't want to pay for x-rays unless they're absolutely essential to his treatment moving forward. An evaluation is definitely in the cards, at the very least, and we will go from there.

 

Peyton does not seem to have any hind end weakness nor does he knuckle under or show signs of sensitivity in his lower back, which is why I was not thinking of LS in his case. It's definitely worth a discussion with the ortho vet, though. :)

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Guest FreddyGirl

X-rays not necessarily needed to diagnose LS. My Tommy had LS, went for acupuncture weekly, helped some. Unfortunately, osteo took him way sooner than the progressive LS would have.

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As a person with an LS hound, I don't think x-rays can diagnose LS. The only imaging technique that is used is MRI, AFAIK, and people who aren't contemplating surgery as a response don't tend to have it done. (Apparently some use some kind of CT scan or discography also.) The Dr. Stack test is a simple and pretty reliable test; I'll try to find the link and come back and post it. Caution must be used, however, that the vet does not push on the dog's back in more than once or twice! (Mine was injured further by excessive pushing by a vet not really trained in this area.)

 

ETA: Dr. Stack's web site is www.greythealth.com, and you can find a lot of good info by clicking on the tabs in the left column. The specific LS page is http://www.greythealth.com/lumbosacral.html.

Edited by greyhead
Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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My three senior dogs (two who have passed) have all experienced this. We call them stealth turds. It just seems that as they get older it's harder for them to recognize that they have to go or perhaps they forget to, and they drop a poo in their sleep. Orion, at age 13, has always had a weakened back end due to a dropped muscle in his rear which caused him to do the splits many times. I think he developed some nerve damage from his falls. So he started doing this last year and like you, have found its easier to ensure that he goes before bed to prevent any accidents at night. Sometimes they happen anyway, but as far as I (and my vets) are concerned, it's just an aging thing. He gets joint support supplements daily plus acupuncture. It's joined my list of "normal things that happen to a senior greyhound". :lol

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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X-rays not necessarily needed to diagnose LS. My Tommy had LS, went for acupuncture weekly, helped some. Unfortunately, osteo took him way sooner than the progressive LS would have.

 

I'm sorry osteo took your Tommy away. :(

 

As a person with an LS hound, I don't think x-rays can diagnose LS. The only imaging technique that is used is MRI, AFAIK, and people who aren't contemplating surgery as a response don't tend to have it done. (Apparently some use some kind of CT scan or discography also.) The Dr. Stack test is a simple and pretty reliable test; I'll try to find the link and come back and post it. Caution must be used, however, that the vet does not push on the dog's back in more than once or twice! (Mine was injured further by excessive pushing by a vet not really trained in this area.)

 

ETA: Dr. Stack's web site is www.greythealth.com, and you can find a lot of good info by clicking on the tabs in the left column. The specific LS page is http://www.greytheal...umbosacral.html.

 

Thank you for the information! This is very helpful. :) I am still not sure we are looking at LS yet but it's good to be prepared.

 

My three senior dogs (two who have passed) have all experienced this. We call them stealth turds. It just seems that as they get older it's harder for them to recognize that they have to go or perhaps they forget to, and they drop a poo in their sleep. Orion, at age 13, has always had a weakened back end due to a dropped muscle in his rear which caused him to do the splits many times. I think he developed some nerve damage from his falls. So he started doing this last year and like you, have found its easier to ensure that he goes before bed to prevent any accidents at night. Sometimes they happen anyway, but as far as I (and my vets) are concerned, it's just an aging thing. He gets joint support supplements daily plus acupuncture. It's joined my list of "normal things that happen to a senior greyhound". :lol

 

It's not the worst thing to put up with, is it? Having a sweet senior in the house makes it worth it. :)

 

So, after talking it through with my DH, we have decided to take Peyton to the osteo vet and get his thoughts before proceeding. We've used him before and he was actually recommended to me by my adoption group so I trust his opinion. From there, we'll probably do PT. I'm feeling optimistic, right now. He'll probably always have some fecal incontinence but his comfort is my number 1 priority, and I think we should be able to help with that.

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