Well, this is an unpleasant surprise! Your house-trained pooch wakes up in a puddle of his own mess, looking sheepish and confused. While incontinence is a common problem for older dogs, younger dogs could also develop a lack of bowel control. In younger dogs, this could be a severe issue, and you should take poor Fido to the vet ASAP once you’re sure that it’s not just plain old diarrhea.
In this article, we unpack some common causes of canine incontinence, along with remedies that are likely to solve the issue.
Incontinence in younger dogs has a wide variety of possible causes, the most common one being diarrhea. Some other common causes include bladder stones, spinal injuries, muscle atrophy (wasting), bowel disease, anal sac infection, Parvo, lesions around the anus, parasites, and neuromuscular disease.
Most of these are treatable, but some of them are rather serious and requires medical intervention. If home treatment is unsuccessful, or if your pup is in a dire state, take them to the vet for a check-up. If it’s a simple case of diarrhea, home remedies would usually do the trick. The other potential causes generally involve a more targeted approach, administered by a vet.
If your house trained pup suddenly poops in their sleep, you can rest assured that he probably didn’t do it on purpose. Like us, dogs don’t really like pooping where they sleep or sleeping in their own mess. When you spot this, look out for other common symptoms, including lack of anal tone, and pooping while walking. In other words, your pup doesn’t squat or lift a leg before relieving themselves. You might also notice flatulence, vomiting, bloating, scooting on the floor with their bums, or diarrhea.
When you notice any of these symptoms, and if the symptoms don’t clear up quickly with home treatment, it’s best to take your pup to the vet for a check-up. Since some of these symptoms could point to serious issues, it’s wise to sort it out as soon as possible.
In this section, we’ll focus mainly on diarrhea, since this is something you can usually treat at home. Other, more severe conditions generally require medication or other medical interventions, which you typically can’t administer at home.
In severe cases, like Parvo, spinal injuries, and parasites, your pup will need medication, and possibly surgical intervention. This would depend on the seriousness of his condition, along with his general health. Your vet will know what to do.
If your Sheila has diarrhea, it’s often easy to treat by just switching up her food. The experts recommend opting for bland foods since this usually doesn’t contain anything likely to aggravate the situation. What works for your pup might not work for the next one, so have a go at some of these possible solutions:
· Chicken and white rise
· Sweet potato
· Cottage cheese
· Skinless chicken
The aim of all these cures is to bind the contents of the stomach, firming up your pup’s stools. Even though it’s tempting to try these possible cures one after the other in short successions, it’s best to stick to one option until things improve. Introducing too many new things to your pup’s already upset digestive system is not a good idea.
Another potential cure is exercise (if your pup is healthy enough). Exercise helps move the muscles in your pup’s body, including the bowels. After a brisk walk, your pooch would probably be able to go potty, which would prevent an accident later on, since his bowels are now empty.
How Long Before I Visit the Vet?
When your pup has acute diarrhea (we’re talking about the consistency of water here), it can be quite alarming, and the condition could be severe. Diarrhea tends to dehydrate animals and people, so keeping your pup hydrated is crucial.
Some people would rush their pups to the vet immediately if they spot acute diarrhea like that. Others might opt for home remedies first. The time you have before you should seriously consider visiting the vet differs according to your pup’s age, size, and general health.
If you notice severe dehydration, visit the vet immediately. You can spot dehydration by pressing on your dog’s gums (if he lets you). When you press on a healthy dog’s gums until they appear white, the blood should rush back quickly when you remove your finger, making them all plump and pink again. In the case of a dehydrated dog, the gums will remain white.
Another way to test this is to pinch a bit of skin on the top of your pup’s head. In a healthy pup, this skin will spring right back into place. When your pup is dehydrated, the lack of moisture in his body will cause this bit of skin to fall back in place slowly.
Your dehydrated pooch will probably be unsteady on his feet too. They have so much in common with their human parents! If your doggo suffers from dehydration, add some doggy-friendly electrolyte solution to his water. Replacing the electrolytes lost through his illness will help with a speedy recovery.
A general rule of thumb says that if your dog suffers from diarrhea for two days, you should visit the vet. That is, unless your dog is still a puppy, or has other conditions exacerbating the situation. In this case, you should visit the vet immediately. Puppies and pooches who already suffer from other illnesses might get seriously ill or even die from even light diarrhea cases.
While the lack of bowel control is unpleasant, it’s usually easily treatable and doesn’t last long. If your pup’s condition doesn’t seem severe, switch his food, and keep him hydrated until he’s well again. If the situation doesn’t improve quickly, or if your pup seems to be in pain, take them to the vet for a check-up. While lack of bowel control is usually a sign of diarrhea, it could also point to some more severe conditions, necessitating medical intervention.