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I have a question for some of you who have more experience with this (my dog was injured on May 29th and had surgery on May 31st for a ruptured disk). She is now on crate rest for 6 weeks for her back to fully heal. Have any of you found it harder to express your dog's bladder as the dog gains more feeling and movement of their legs??? Our dog (a Shih Tzu/Bichon mix female, 2 years old, and 15 lbs) was easy to express the first 2-3 days we got her home after surgery. Now she seems to feel it more when we are expressing and automatically tenses up. We can feel her tense and it is also sometimes visible. This makes it hard to get anything out. I have to go back to the vet Mon 6/18. I'm going to ask them about this as I've read that some pets are harder to express and vets can give them medicine to help relax their bladders. Does anyone have a similar experience to mine?????
Linda the day after she came home--5 days after surgery
(strange name for a dog, I know, but my nephew picked it because it means "pretty" in Spanish)
It should get harder if control is coming back, but getting harder does not necessarily mean she will regain control. It may mean the bladder sphincter muscle is just being stuck on closed. There are meds to relax it and it would be a good idea to try them as UTIs can develop if all the urine isn't expressed.
It can also be harder to express if she is trying to do something else. With Oliver, if he is barking or trying to run or eating grass or something else he tenses up and I can't express him. If he stops it is easy.
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I agree with Bobbie.
Another possible thing to consider is whether she is now having some pain that is making her tense up more. For example, if she was on a strong pain med the first few days you brought her home, but you used that up and now she is on a weaker med or none at all, perhaps she needs more pain medication. (Although I suspect you would have noticed if this started right after a change of meds). Also, when the dog is constipated it is harder to express. If the dog needs to go both number one and number two, it works better for me to always express number two first.
Thanks for your replies. She is still on her pain meds and seems to be feeling better and better each day. She tries to roll around, jump, play, etc. although we obviously don't let her. I called the vet yesterday out of sheer exasperation, not only about expressing the bladder, but also not being able to keep her still now that she's feeling better. They prescribed her sedatives to be used on an as needed basis because they said this is common for puppies to not stay still for 6 weeks of crate rest. The vet said that it is very good news that she is tensing like that because it means she is feeling more back there and will possibly have some ability to pee on her own soon. They'll check her for an infection on Mon. when we go in to get her stitches out. This is my main concern--that she'll get an infection from not emptying her bladder regularly.
Meanwhile, we were not able to express her at all yesterday--we tried all day. She had two 'accidents' of peeing on her own (probably her bladder was full and emptied because of that), but surprisingly her bladder empties completely on its own because you can feel that the bladder is empty afterwards. I'm not sure if she is regaining some control. I suspect she might be because she only pees when I leave her alone in her crate (even if it's only for 15 minutes to shower), like she's mad (she hates the crate because she's not used to it). She is also able to pee in her crate without getting herself very wet. When peeing in her crate a week ago, she would get her legs, tail, and bottom VERY wet. Now she only gets one leg a little wet. I think she must feel when she has to go and situate herself in a way she doesn't wet herself. On a positive note, my husband was able to express her this morning, but she has not let me all afternoon. She usually poops in the late afternoon every day so I don't think that she is constipated since she is going on a regular basis with the pureed pumpkin I give her with her food.
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