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Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:19 am
by LMayhew
Hello, I haven't posted on this board in a while. But everyone is always so helpful, I am hoping for some magical insights.
Darby is 14 - almost 15! He's the only dog I've ever owned and I admit that I am a bit clueless about the aging process. He has recently begun having accidents at night. He's pooped 3 times inside in the past two weeks. Last night, he had an accident about 5 minutes just after I'd let him outside. It seems like he does better when I give him home cooked chicken/oatmeal/pumpkin/green beans. We do have a doggie door, but we're reluctant to leave it open at night because we don't want any critters making their way into the house ( a neighbor once woke to a possum on her nightstand, which got into the house through the doggie door).

Other than this, he is doing pretty good. We take him to the vet for laser treatments for his arthritis, give him Denamarin for his icky liver, and walk him about 1 1/2 miles a day. He loves his walks and on weekends, we go to the park so he can hang out with other doggy friends.

Any thoughts on changes we might make to prevent accidents? Right now, he gets senior food for breakfast and the home cooked food for dinner, so I am wondering if switching over altogether to home cooked might help. Also, the home cooked diet is a high fiber mix recommended in a Natural Dog Health book, which is supposed to help his liver. But maybe I need to try something else?

Thank you!

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:15 pm
by Cindy
If he was peeing in the house I'd have a solution but I've never had the pooping problem. It might just be an old age symptoms/possible cognitive dysfunction setting in. I'm assuming you googled it? I usually find great advice on www.whole-dog-journal.com/topics/ but maybe someone else here has thoughts. I can't believe Darby is almost 15!!

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:17 pm
by StFrost
We had a 17 year old with the canine dementia (cognitive disorder). She got lost in the corners, forgot to go outside, etc.
What I did was make her stay outside until she did what she was supposed to, either #1 or #2 and while she still had accidents, it was not #2.

As it got worse, she began to run laps in the backyard, and would do this until I physically had to stop her.

Dietary ideas--fish oil and Sam-e were recommended. Neither worked for Sammie.

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:58 pm
by kat
I've had many seniors - my own and fosters, I have to say I think you need to visit your vet. There may be a physical reason for the accidents, maybe they can help. Sometimes it's as simple as a course of Metronidazole, definitely worth seeing what the doc says. Let us know!

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:40 am
by Cindy
As I'm thinking about this some more, I agree about a vet visit. If it is canine dementia (that's what Kayla had) then I did have some success with the use of fish oil, Neutricks, and Same E and am happy to share that information.

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:05 am
by LMayhew
Thanks everyone. I will talk to my vet about this - we're going Monday next week.

The accidents only happen at night, when Darby is locked inside. During the day, when the doggie door is open, he hasn't had any trouble. So in general, I don't think he's forgotten to go outside or grown uncomfortable with the doggie door. But, at night he is a little confused.

I do sometimes see him standing in corners or staring at things. So I'm trying to keep his brain active by changing up our walking route a bit and taking him to the park more often. We also got him a treat toy - when he rolls it around on the ground, treats come out. He doesn't like stuffed toys anymore, but this has been a big hit.

I'll let you all know what the vet says.

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:54 am
by Lisa
When I had a very senior Britt, she did start having accidents inside in her last year or so. I think she wasn't sure when she had to go and then when she did need to go, she couldn't hold it long enough to get out the door. I kept her on a fairly high fiber diet, so her stools were very firm and solid and it wasn't a big deal to clean up. I crated her in a large crate at night, so if she needed to poop, she could go in one end of the crate and then sleep in the other. In the morning, I'd just clean up her crate.

There wasn't much I could do for her medically, and it just became a matter of managing it the best that I could.

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:06 pm
by LMayhew
Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I did consult with my vet and we're giving Darby some probiotics to help him be more regular. So far, they seem to be helping. He still needs to go about 4 am each night, but no accidents and getting up just once is manageable. I've started leaving his collar on, so I hear him jingling if he gets up and walks over towards his door.

Re: Older Dog/Accidents

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:05 pm
by kat
Sounds like good news then (and we do the same with the collar). Our Copper recently had surgery and had to go urgently every few hours. We ended up putting a "pee pad" on the floor in our bathroom so he could go there. Saved me from being up all night, something maybe to keep in mind if he regresses again. Darby is a lucky fella to have you taking such good care of him!