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I don't know how much more we can take - older dog pooing

(21 Posts)
oldandcrabby Wed 29-May-13 11:09:20

Poor you, it is so tough when you are worried about your dog. I do think you know when it is time to let them go but it could be temporary.
I agree get the vet to check him out. I swear by Pro-kolin for tummy upsets. My 6 year old terrier/whippet had a period of pooing at night. I now feed her largest meal for breakfast and a small one early afternoon at the vet's suggestion. Gave her a teaspoon of Bionic Biotics daily, and added 1/4 Royal Canin Sensitive to the kibble mix. She only has a slip up if I feed her late and it is raining so hard that a wee is all she does when she goes out last thing!

Booboostoo Tue 28-May-13 23:07:22

This is a very difficult and sad situation to be in. I can only tell you my personal experience but at the end of the day only you can decide your dog's quality of life.

I had a 9 year old GSD with fecal incontinence and toe drag, initially diagnosed via MRI with two herniated discs (really good diagnosis as it responds well to an operation). After the first op and recovery period he was still bad, so second MRI found another herniated disc (a common complication of the operation) so he had another operation but after the recovery he was worse than ever. Third MRI was all clear and genertic test showed the gene for degenerative myelopathy.

He coped for another year, towards the end with a wheelchair, but in the end his front legs were beginning to be affected so he was PTS.

If I were you I would try to get a firm diagnosis so that you know whether anything can be done or not. If you decide to continue you can help him with the fecal incontinence, more information here:

lougle Tue 28-May-13 16:11:20

Could you try making his evening meal earlier, say 3 or 4 pm, so that he can poo in the evening and has an emptyish bowel at night?

Soupa Mon 27-May-13 20:59:24

This happened to mine, would shit randomly, whilst lying down, walking etc. Couldn't put him down though thought about it. Everytime I decided too he would have a really perky day. I left it too long, it went wrong suddenly. I really wish I had done it sooner. Horrid though.

Awks Mon 27-May-13 20:51:52

I think seeker is right, dogs hate being dirty and if the vet says there's no treatment that will help then I would be thinking of having him PTS too. Poor you x

cathpip Mon 27-May-13 12:00:02

My old lab was pts at 13 years old, the base of his spine was fusing so found it difficult to get up and he could not sit, he also had lost control of his bowel movements, I used to find him regularly lying in his own poo. After much discussion with our vet we decided to give him the summer and then let him go, he was by no means a doddering wreck ( like some old dogs) but his quality of life was suffering, and he rarely got out of his bed. I still miss him lots but am pleased I made the decision when I did. (Also had two children under 3 at the time)

seeker Mon 27-May-13 10:26:49

Being able to keep itself clean is a basic essential for quality of life for an animal- I think it's cruel to keep an animal that can't do that alive.

ggirl Mon 27-May-13 09:56:01

My dog was incontinent for a few yrs before we had her PTS.
I must say it wasn't the reason she was PTS ,she couldn't get up in the last few days and was obviously suffering and in pain.
It is such a heartbreaking thing to contemplate..still get upset thinking about it 3 yrs later.

sorry you're going through this

Scuttlebutter Mon 27-May-13 09:48:21

I think you need to be having another discussion with your vet about possible causes and treatments, not something any of us can really speculate on. 11 isnt' that old for a lurcher and in many other ways it sounds as though his QOL is otherwise good. If he's got muscle wastage, have you thought of hydrotherapy? One of my friends has a grey with similar issues - he's 12 and sometimes has accidents with his poo - but she would never dream of having him PTS for that reason alone.

With regard to your holiday - you may be surprised by what your kennel says - most are familiar with continence problems and will be able to cope. Have a chat with them. Alternatively you could look at someone coming in to look after the dog in your own home. If he's from a rescue talk to the rescue - there may very well be one of the rescue's foster carers who is used to dealing with older/sick dogs who might be willing to help.

I'd endorse previous posters who've commented on his diet - have you considered changing his feeding times for instance so he's more likely to poo in the day when you are around, and making sure his poo is as firm/non sloppy as possible?

I'd also look at the various continence products that are available for dogs to help make cleaning easier - and on the sofa, it's easy to just pop a washable throw over it before bed time.

seeker Mon 27-May-13 08:39:11

If there's nothing the vet can suggest that might make this better, then it's obviously time. He has a life which is making you unhappy and can't be good for him- make the decision now before it gets worse. Poor old dog, and poor you too- it's awful to have to do this, but it's the kindest thing to do.

Tortoise Mon 27-May-13 08:33:43

Could it be this.

My greyhound has recently had back leg problems and this is one thing that came up when I googled it. My grey seems ok at the moment, no more collapsing legs so I don't think he has it.

MelanieCheeks Mon 27-May-13 08:14:25

Oh you poor thing, and poor old doggie too. That's a toughie. His quality of life is obviously going down - what does the vet say? I think that's quite an age for a lurcher, yes?

sandiy Mon 27-May-13 08:11:20

Ohh you poor thing I feel for you what a dilemma.I don t think it's unreasonable to have an animal destroyed if you think that there quality of life is suffering.Ialso believe that cleaning up dog poop affects your quality of life take him to the vets and see what they say if you have a sensible vet they will support you in the right decision for you and your pet.x

twojues Mon 27-May-13 08:02:41

He also used to bark for me to come and help him to get up. I could see he wasn't enjoying life. He never had an accident in the house from when he was a puppy and I could tell he hated it.

He was on medication for arthritis, but in the end it wasn't enough for him.

twojues Mon 27-May-13 07:59:51

We had this with our 14 year old golden retriever. There was no degeneration of his spine or loss of bowel function, he just couldn't get up quickly enough to go outside due to his back legs. I had to help him up off the wooden floors car put scraps of carpet down where possible but he still struggled.

He enjoyed a little walk up and down the road.

We decided the time had come when he no longer tried to get up whenever anybody came to visit and didn't even wag his tail when we walked in. It was such a hard decision to make.

TataClaire Mon 27-May-13 01:15:31

Our 13.5 yr old lab does this most days, the vet can find no obvious reason so must just be his age, he is also wibbly on the back legs, but has accupunture and a small amount of arthritis pain meds and pills that take more oxygen to the brain and now a raw food diet called natural instinct we buy online which makes his poo like bullets that don't leave a mess and stopped his whole bladder emptying without warning. This combined with square absorbant pads under sofa blanket and a waterproof wipeable bed and being sectioned off in the hall overnight all make it more bearable grin

LEMisdisappointed Sun 26-May-13 22:15:52

oh, poor old boy sad It sounds like he is unaware that he needs to go until the very last minute or even completely unaware. If this were my dog i would get him examined by the vet to see if there were any obvious problems. So am thinking along the lines of partial paralysis or nerve damage etc as you have said he has difficulty getting up. I think once i had ruled anything out that could be treated i would be facing a difficult decision also.

The dogs quality of life is paramount and its not nice for him to have to lay in his own poo, they don't like it, especially as they are trained not to go in the house and wouldnt naturally poo in their bed area in the wild.

I certainly wouldn't think badly of you if you decided enough was enough.

hellymelly Sun 26-May-13 22:14:42

Sorry ,some text disappeared from my first post, but hopefully the gist is there!

hellymelly Sun 26-May-13 22:13:46

oh and accupuncture was helpful too.

hellymelly Sun 26-May-13 22:13:24

Sounds like he has degeneration in his spine, which is affecting nerves to the bowel. My last dog had this but just his bladder was affected, my friend's lurcher had the poo issue fir the last 6m or so of her life. I would get a full vet check, he could have a tumour on the spine, there could be other things going on that either could be helped. I would not have a dog put down for this but I do appreciate it is hard to live with. My old dog leaked wee constantly for his last 12m, and it was hard going but we managed. Can you shut him in the kitchen and put newspaper on the floor at night? I would make sure he has had a poo before you bring him in from a walk too. If he has nerve damage then he can't feel what is happening so its all damage limitation .But the vet should be the first call, my dog had meds that made a big difference for a year, and then a year after when they weren't working any more.

lecce Sun 26-May-13 22:05:22

I feel awful writing this but we are considering having our dog put down because he appears to be losing control of his bowels.

He is an 11 yr old lurcher (will be 12 in October). His back legs are becoming increasingly weak and he needs help to get up from a lying position on the floor - though he can usually get on and off the sofa ok still! He has had drugs for this but they have been of no benefit. He wobbles along and can now only manage short walks.

Worse than this is the poo. He is walked in the evening but it is becoming increasingly common for us to come down at about 7am and find he has pooed. Sometimes it is on the sofa and he seems totally unaware (washable cover, fortunately) but other times he has fallen in it and is lying in it unable to get up sad.

He still has a good appetite and is as laidback as ever. He also still gets up with a pleased, alert-looking face when a walk is mentioned, and gets up to lie in wait under ds2's chair for pickings while we eat. He is still himself in many ways, but it is awful having all this poo to deal with - especially with two young children in the house. Sometimes he has even gone out then come in and messed.

Brutal as it seems, I am thinking ahead to our summer holiday and wondering whether we should take action before then. I could not put him in kennels as I would worry he would be lying in poo for periods of time, but I feel this is too much for family and friends who have had him before to deal with.

Are we awful to even be thinking this? How do you know when enough is enough? Only other dog we have had, the decision was made for us by the vet when he went for his annual boosters and, tbh, he was in a simialr state with the wobbly legs. He was, however, almost totally incontinent, whereas this dog still does not wee indoors (has always had a tardis-like bladder though!)

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