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Bladder and Bowel Control

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.

Bladder and Bowel Control

Postby nfolkmann » Mon May 14, 2018 5:12 am

Hello everyone,

My first dog about has me at wits end. Last Christmas she blew a disc in her back. I decided to go with the expensive surgery. She is walking again, and I am grateful for that. I cannot get her bowels and bladder under control. I have to use a sling for her to urinate outside, and maually help her deficate. I understand that is it could be she needs to build muscle to squat again. The biggest issue is she keeps having accidents in my house. I have tried getting her out more, and it still happens. My two dogs are kenneled during the day while I am gone, so I let they stay with me in bed at night. Usually for this dog she has her own bed and a pad in case she has accidents. The problem is she gets up in the middle of the night and gets off the pad, and has an accident. If anyone has something I can do at home to help get her back to normal, I would greatly appreciate it. it is getting close to 6 months since her accident.
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Re: Bladder and Bowel Control

Postby CarolC » Tue May 15, 2018 5:55 pm

I'm curious what size of dog she is. It sounds like maybe she's somewhat large? When you sling walk her, is that mainly to steady her so she can squat? Or are you actually applying pressure to her bladder by lifting on the sling? Have you tried actually expressing her bladder at bedtime, in case she is not fully emptying during her bedtime trip outside?

If you are already doing that, have you tried letting her wear a diaper at night? You could just put it on her at bedtime so you are not starting your busy morning with a time consuming extra chore of cleaning up. Instead, in the morning, you could put the sling on her and as soon as you get her out the door remove the diaper and proceed as usual. I used to do that with my male dog when he could still walk, just zip off the velcro diaper as he went out the back door.

I don't really know of a way to hurry recovery of bowel and bladder control, but I would not be too worried that it is almost 6 months. There have been dogs here who recovered bladder control much later than 6 months.

Important question, where on her back was the disk problem? Was it lumbar, or mid back or upper back or...? There was one dog here who was mostly recovered but still lacked bladder control, and medication allowed him to urinate independently. I'd have to find the post, but I think I could if you are interested.

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Re: Bladder and Bowel Control

Postby nfolkmann » Tue May 15, 2018 7:41 pm

She is a toy fox terrier. She is only about 12 lbs. She is not overweight at all. When she urinates she needs to be in a sling because she will just spread her legs. If I let her try and go on her own she tries but just hops and does not really fully express herself. I do try an lift up on the sling to entice her to go. Sometimes she wants to be difficult. I have not tried diapers. Diapers do not protect from her going number 2. I usually just put a pad under her, if she will stay there. If I remember correctly the injury was about the middle of her back. My goal is to get her to go potty on her own in both manners and stop the accidents in the house. I would love to let her go back under the blankets at night again, as she loves doing that. I just cannot trust her. I have already had a few messy incidents in the bed. The hospital where she got the surgery stated they think that she just needs to regain strength in her legs to get better. Does that sound correct? That is what they told me at the 8 weeks revisit. She was walking at that visit. Do I try and cut her off of food and water a certain time before bed, and take her to the bathroom right before bed? One thing since the injury is she really guzzles down water. Is that normal? Maybe I just think it is more because she is not able to jump down and get it on her own all the time. Is there any exercises I can do to speed up the process?
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Re: Bladder and Bowel Control

Postby CarolC » Thu May 17, 2018 11:20 pm

OK, wow, if she was walking at 8 weeks, that is extremely good. You guys are really fortunate. I have always thought it is true that gaining strength and balance has something to do with the ability to toilet. If she is tensing up trying to stand or hold a position squatting, it must make it harder for her to relax and do her business. The other thing is, if her surgery was mid back, that tends to create tight sphincters, as opposed to a lower back injury which tends to cause more relaxed sphincters.

I don't know the answer on the water. It may be exactly as you say, it's just more obvious now. If she is or was on steroids, that can make the dog thirsty, but if she is off the medication, she should go back to her normal drinking habits.

It's true about the diaper, it won't hold in #2. Or rather, it shouldn't because she is a female dog and you do not want solid waste collecting inside a diaper where it could cause a urinary infection. Stool quality is important with a paralyzed or recovering dog. If she has soft stools, that could be a mess. I've had really good luck feeding Science Diet w/d dry kibble, as far as producing good stools for an incontinent dog, whether paralyzed or just senior. The stools are low odor and firm and not sticky. If my dog doodles in bed, I can pick it up with a kleenex, and she also stays clean.

There is one option for diapers, but it may be more fuss than you want to do. You could put a disposable diaper on her to collect urine, but cut a tail hole in it so the stools fall out. Over that you could put a diaper cover with a locking tail hole. That way if she doodles, the waste does stay inside the diaper cover and your bed is clean, but it is not contacting the urogenital area where she could get an infection. In the morning it will be easy enough to remove the diaper cover and throw away the disposable. This is another time when stool quality matters. If she has firm stools and drops one inside the diaper cover, it won't be a big mess. Here is an example of a diaper with a locking tail hole.

https://www.samsdoghut.com/ecommerce/ul ... wraps.html

I don't really know of any exercises, but time is on your side. Recovery from paralysis continues not for months but for years, and more than one person here has noticed that sometimes just the tiniest improvement can be all it takes for the dog to be able to do something he could not do before. All of her daily exercise and all of the general improvement in her state of health from good nutrition, etc., will help. If you live in a climate where the weather is getting warm, you might try taking her swimming when you have time. That helps with overall conditioning.
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My 18 year old dog has had a major stroke and is partically

Postby MaryPoppins66 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:03 pm

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Two years ago in the fall(October 2016) my German Sheppard/Lab/Dachound mixed had several small strokes then a major stroke which has left him partically paralyzed, the vet told us to go a specialist which we did the specialist said what the vet you can do the expensive surgery or put your dog to sleep. We could not afford the $12,000.00 surgery and physical therapy and did not want our fur baby to be to sleep(yeah we know he is an older dog, but he is part of our family), so we took him home made as comfy as possible without pain meds and therapy we watch him start to walk again all on his own we just give a massage twice a week and love on him constantly. Now he has the paralization coming back and starting to have problems peeing and pooping, but he is our little trooper. Is there anything else we could do?
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Re: Bladder and Bowel Control

Postby CarolC » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:09 pm

:group:

Wow! It sounds like he recovered from his strokes very well and you took such good care of him. Some older dogs will develop incontinence even if they were never paralyzed. You are lucky he is a boy. You can get him male doggie diapers called malewraps. They are a wide belt that goes around his waist and fastens with velcro. Inside you put something absorbent, like a Poise pad or whatever will catch the urine. Change him as needed. :D

You will probably need some ointment to protect his skin if he is wearing his diaper all the time. My dog wore a malewrap 24/7 for 2 years. We used diaper cream to prevent him getting redness. White diaper cream like Desitin contains zinc oxide, so you can only use it if he does not lick it, because zinc can be toxic for dogs if they lick enough of it. My dog did not lick it, so it worked really well for him. I like it because you do not have to put it on every time. It usually lasts all day or longer.
:malewrap:

You will want to keep an eye on his urine to be sure he does not develop a bladder infection. There is no problem as long as he is emptying completely when he pees. However if he is not emptying completely, the urine that remains in the bladder too long can create an environment where germs can grow, and that causes an infection. If you think he is not emptying completely, you can help him by squeezing his tummy to get him to urinate. We have a lot of information on that here, just ask if you need it.

The issue of bowel incontinence is something you kind of just deal with the best you can. The key to managing it is to feed him a diet that produces good stools. You do not want soft smelly stools that stain the carpet and smell up the house. I've had really good luck with Science Diet w/d dry kibble. It creates dry, well formed stools with very little odor, and they do not stain the carpet. I found that even if my dog doodled in bed and a stool rolled under his hip, it did not get gummed up in his fur. Other people have found other good quality foods that create good stools for their dog. If your dog has soft stools, you may want to experiment with his diet to firm them up a little. You don't want him constipated, but you can't spend your life scrubbing spots on the carpet, and it's better for him, too, if there is less smell and mess.

Some people stimulate their dog to empty the bowel. This is called expressing the bowel. It allows you to get him to empty at a time and place of your choosing, so you find less surprises. In my experience is it not 100%, he may go more later, but it does help. Anything you can get him to empty now, will not come out later. Here is an article that describes some good ways to stimulate him to empty. The ice cube method is good. I like the pinch method best. At the end is a list of videos showing demonstrations. The only thing I would say is, this works great with a paralyzed dog. If he still has some feeling and doesn't want you messing with his bottom, you probably just have to respect his wishes and buy lots of Kleenex to pick up after him. :wink:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18586

You said the paralysis is starting to come back. I assume he is also having some trouble walking? This is so common with older dogs. You may see a progression where he needs more and more help. For example, some dogs can still walk but they need help getting up, then they are fine for a few minutes at least. Later they need assistance with a sling or harness to help them walk. I can't quite tell his size, is he about 25-30 lbs? If he is heavy, you might want to buy or make him a wheelchair to take the burden off of you. If he is not too heavy, then it might be enough to just help him with a sling as needed.

Since he will be lying down more, you'll probably need to help him up and get him moving several times a day, because it's good for his skin and joints, and he'll love it! It is SO important to be sure he does not wet his bed and lie in a wet spot, that can cause a bad skin problem very quickly. This is another reason malewraps are your friend.
:angel:
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Re: Bladder and Bowel Control

Postby MaryPoppins66 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:34 pm

Thank you for all the great information I and my family will check out the the videos and come up with a game plan for both of our dogs which they are now 17.5 years of age.
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Re: Bladder and Bowel Control

Postby critters » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:53 am

:slant: I, too, wonder if your baby is a leaker, which isn't uncommon with spinal cord injury. Whether they leak or not depends on the level of the injury.
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