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He can't walk because one of his back legs doesn't really work yet. Although he can move it a little bit. We are training with him a couple of times a day.
The accident caused 3 problems:
- A ruptured blather, this was fixed with his first surgery and seems to be corrected
- A broken hip in 2 places, this has been fixed with the second surgery he has some pins in it now and it seems to hold well.
- A broken tailbone / last part of his spine, they attached it with a triangle
So the last one is the worst because according to the hospital some of his nerves where damaged but some where broken. They didn't know if he is ever to recover from this and he might never be able to hold his pee/poop again.
Now the problem at the moment is there is poop coming out of his anus almost all day. We clean it up all the time (with baby wipes) we change his puppy pads and we sometimes give him a diaper. We are really trying to do the best we can. But (even with his cone on) he keeps licking it and all this wiping seems to make it more irritated.
So I just wanted to know:
1. What can we do right now, should we keep wiping and cleaning him all the time or should we only do it a couple of times per day (say 3 or 4)?
2. Is this maybe also because of the stress etc, will this get any better?
3. Can we somehow improve his situation? Like use different products or do exercises or something else?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
ps. just to let you know, we talked a lot with the hospital about putting him down or not and they told us he could still have a great life. So we are not trying to keep him around just to keep us happy, we really care about him having a good life!
edit: one thing I also should add. All this happened during our holiday. We are dutch and currently in Spain. We have to go back tomorrow, because we already stayed about 2 weeks longer than we planned. The accident happened on one of the last days of our holiday. We are driving, so we planned on driving just a few hours per day
Yes, he can have a great life. I'm so glad the vets told you that. It sounds like you were able to get really good medical care even while on vacation.
The story reminds me of Dolcezza, a dog owned by a member here whose username is 'theservs'. She also was on vacation, her dog also suffered a ruptured bladder (could not be surgically repaired) and a broken tailbone area. Her dog did eventually regain continence.
When a dog has bowel incontinence, it is really only a problem if the stools are not of good quality. With an incontinent dog, you need a diet that will produce good stools that are firm, well-formed, low odor, and not sticky. That way if they drop on the carpet or fall in his bed, they do not make a mess. And you do not have to wipe him all day.
There is no reason why his stools should be any different than they used to be, unless he is taking medication or has had a change of diet perhaps? You mention stress as another possibility. I suppose even the water in a foreign country could affect his digestive system. But if he had good stools when you were living at home, then they should be the same once you get back home and his body readjusts to his familiar water and diet. What I am trying to say is, bowel incontinence does not cause soft messy stools. Normally the dog may drop "chocolate eggs" but that is not really messy.
Here is a video of my dog. She has bowel incontinence. You can see that her stools are firm and dry and they do not make a mess on the clean white puppy pad. This is the kind of stools you can live with. I do not wipe her during the day as it is not needed. I do express her bowel twice a day (shown in the video) but I am guessing that is not something they would want you to do right now. Expressing the bowel means stimulating the dog's bottom so he will eliminate, or just manually mobilizing what is in the rectum as shown in the video. For the most part a dog's GI tract keeps moving even in complete paralysis, so it is not really necessary to do anything. I express my dog's bowel first thing in the morning and again at bedtime because it simply keeps the house and her bed cleaner. But she would still be healthy if I did not do it.
I am not sure why he is licking so much. It is easy to assume he is simply keeping himself clean. It is also possible it hurts so he is licking it. Did they give him any pain medication? Possibly he does not like the smell of the baby wipes if they are scented, and is trying to clean that off. It is also possible he is feeling a 'pins and needles' sensation that sometimes occurs with nerve damage (or during recovery from nerve damage), and the dog will lick or even chew and bite the area in an attempt to soothe it. If that is a case, it is a problem that requires attention before it becomes a bigger problem. Dogs that chew an area in that way will sometimes injure themselves, they do not seem to know when to stop. There have been some dogs that have caused themselves to bleed or even chewed off part of the body, for example toes. (Sorry) There is a medication that treats this problem, it is called gabapentin or brand name Neurontin. If you think this is what he is doing, I would talk to the veterinarian right away, especially since the cone collar is not helping.
Did they give you a male doggy diaper for him? Not a regular diaper but the kind that goes around the waist with velcro, and holds an absorbent pad? That will help keep him dry so he does not wet his puppy pad and get it on his fur. In cases like this, it is lucky you have a boy dog, since malewraps are so easy to use, easier than regular diapers.
We have some really great news, this morning our dog really wanted to go outside. He walked (scooted?) to the door a few times. Anyway we drove to a new hotel today and after checking in and washing our dog, he seemed to want to walk again. All of a sudden he sat in his pooping position (for as much as this is possible right now) and he did 3 ginormous poops.
We are so happy!!
Maybe he has a little bit more bowl control that we thought.
We will update when we know more!!