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Old 01-16-2010, 05:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default losing control of his bowels...

Hi, all. I know a lot of you have dogs with Spondylosis too, or other problems that are causing the same issue. While my boy Argo is still able to walk and get around amazingly well ( his xray from 2 years ago showed his spine was already about half-fused), he seems to be losing control of his bowels---it's like he just has no idea that he needs to go, and just poops wherever he is, in the house, etc. I think it's because of the spondylosis causing him to lose feeling back there. It's not that he's having diarrhoea (though a couple of weeks ago, he did, and it was NOT PRETTY! never seen anything like it!), just his normal (for him!) routine, but he doesn't seem to know when it's coming until it's already happening.

Anyway, so far my solution has been to walk him and take him out many times a day, but of course, there are days when I can't do this and he does poop in his crate, poor guy. The problem is not so much cleaning it up as that, if I'm not standing right there, he will gobble it up---he is a veteran poop-eater! He also eats paper, plastic, etc (hence the crate), so I am afraid that if I try some kind of diaper that he will simply eat that too.

Anyway, I thought I'd just ask to see what kinds of solutions those of you with similar problems have come up with! Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

KathyW had a lot of problems with this too, turned out her boy had Cushings. I don't know if the incontinence got better when they started treating for the cushing's, or whether they did something else? Hopefully she will post later.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

My nonGSD has this problem. He doesn't even crouch to poop, he will just be walking along and it drops out. Sometimes he is walking to his doggie door and as he walks it falls out and leaves a trail. He seems to not even know he is pooping, just keeps walking like nothing is happening. He is 11 and just started this within the past year.

I find he is more likely to poop when he is walking so I try and walk him a lot but then I have to clean up a 15 foot trail of poop. I have no answers for you but am curious to see if anyone does.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

Wooly Bear had the same problem. Within a couple weeks of being on Dasuquin, he was able to control his poop and do it outside. We used to call him Pooping Bear.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

A few of the elderly Hooligans have had this problem, some worse than others. I tried to carry a papertowel in my pocket all the time and when it happened I'd pick it up without saying a word, they can't control themselves.

I remember one afternoon Too was napping in the living room, I was watching her (I love watching the Hooligans sleep), and all of a sudden a big turd started coming out of her poop shoot - I picked it up and she slept thru the whole thing and when she woke up she never realized what happened.

I'm not sure what to say about eating it when you're not there. They make stuff like FORBID that you can put in food that's supposed to stop poop eating, maybe you can try that if there's nothing in it that may disagree with him.

Does he have to be crated when you're gone? If not, it might be easier on you not having to worry about him laying in a crate with poop in it.

GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

Cassadee, that is so funny about the 15-foot trail of poop! Argo has actually always been a walking pooper, but it is definitely worse now that he doesn't seem to realize he's doing it!


Pooping Bear...that may have to be Argo's new nickname! I call him a bear too...there is something so bear-like about these GSDs. They seem more like bears than wolves to me. I haven't looked into medication because my sense is this is a symptom of the spondylosis rather than a malfunction of the bowels.


And Gayle, thanks too, I also have noticed Argo just pooping in his sleep once or twice. He does need to be crated as he has never gotten over his obsessive need to eat paper, upholstery, rugs, etc. I have tried some natural remedies to discourage him from eating his own poop but so far, nothing discourages this guy!
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

its true that they don't even know they have to poop, it just comes out, either while they are sleeping or moving.....

my Toby 14 was doing this......he was never a poop eater..but if it happened at night while we were sleeping he would eat it.....and i know its because he was eating the evidence and didn't want us to know he did it in the house........poor guy..

if it is advanced spondylosis i don't think there is much you can do.........a diaper just makes more of a mess with the fur in that area...........
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

Thankfully my Ruby is not at the stage of losing her bowels inside or while sleeping yet but I know with the spondylosis that it will happen soon. She does not crouch to poop either because the flexibility is just not there in her spine and I do have to wipe her butt from stuff getting caught in her fur and I really wouldn't suggest diapers for poop issues only for urine. Ruby also is a life long member of the poop eaters club and I tried everything under the sun to discourage her. I heard that Fignuttens....however you spell it.....the fruity cookie....makes poop taste bad so I gave her one at every meal and it didn't help. You may try that as some people swear it helped their poop eaters. I am sorry that you are going through this but know that many of us here can offer at least support because we are either going through it now or have in the past. Spondylosis is a horrible thing. Ruby is currently on Dasaquin and Deramaxx and they both seemed to help her for the first year or year and a half. You didn't say how old Argo is but they do have water therapy and chiropractors if he is on the younger side. Ruby is 12 yrs old and her spine is fused almost to the shoulders at this point so we have not tried either on her. I am afraid that a wrong move in either one could fracture the fused vertebra and instantly paralyze her. Surgery is also an option on younger dogs but I do not suggest putting an older dog under sedation of that magnitude and risking it.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

Argo is about 10 or 11---I adopted him as an adult so am not positive. I did hear about a place nearby that does water therapy and it's pretty affordable so I might try it just to see if it helps him, even though he's an old man! Even though he is stiff and a bit unsteady, he still just trundles along and gallops (albeit slowly) after squirrels too! I can't believe how well he gets around. I try to limit his use of the stairs, though he is always determined to follow me everywhere in the house. I do have a script for Deramaxx but have been holding off because he's doing so well on his herbal supplements, I want to hold the meds in reserve until he really needs them.

Is dasuquin a joint med? But Joanne, you found that it helped with the pooping issue too?

So far I'm finding that as long as I can walk him 3x/day, he doesn't seem to have to go any more than that, so at least it's not a daily occurrence!

thanks for all the support and for sharing your stories, everyone! It really does help to know that we are not alone, doesn't it?
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: losing control of his bowels...

Quote:
Originally Posted By: ArgonautIs dasuquin a joint med? But Joanne, you found that it helped with the pooping issue too?
Dasuquin is for joint health, but it cured Wooly's pooping issue. We thought he had doggie dementia and tried Anipryl. No help. Then we tried Dasuquin. It was amazing. He slipped his collar and hauled his very old, arthritic body down the street - nearly giving me a stroke.

However, Dasuquin did nothing for LJ.
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Niko (Siberian Husky - age 14)
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