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I have found vets to be pretty useless showing a new owner of a handicapped dog how to express. Usually the techs in the clinic can show you better, and have more time and patience. I finally made the head tech spend some time with me with our first and showing you on your own dog is invaluable. they are all a bit different. The good news is, you WILL get it soon. I think if we all look back to those first few days, we will remember the frustration and a certain amount of fear involved. The calmer you are with it all, the calmer your dog will be, but it does take some time. More good news is that she is able to relieve the pressure when the bladder is overfull, some can't.
thinking of you, pug hugs Joan
will try again today...doing easy PT with her...thanks for the support.....
well I think were making baby steps ... doing easy rom pt with her...when I touch between her pads she is slightly pulling away...yeah....still can't express...but she is going on her own in large amts...will see if I can get vet to help me monday...also she hasn't pooped since wed...i tried stimulating her and nothing...i checked last night just inside rectum small amt. soft...should I worry?
Thanks again for all your support....
I am not sure that going (a lot) once a day means your dog is going voluntarily with control. I think what Joan says is probably more likely, her bladder is filling to the point of overflow and releasing.
1) Letting the bladder get that full means it is stretching and she will develop a flaccid (large, floppy) bladder with no tone, that does not contract properly even when the neurological status improves and control returns. It is really important to empty the bladder several times a day now to prevent stretching, so you won't have problems later.
2) A bladder that just overfills and releases will probably not empty completely and you will have too much residual volume of stale urine remaining in the bladder, a breeding ground for infection. I am glad she is on antibiotics, she has some antibiotic cover, but I still think she needs to be emptied properly.
3) If she is just releasing her bladder when it finally overflows, she is most likely soaking her bedding. You only need a few hours lying on wet bedding to develop a sore on the hip due to urine burn, and a urine scald on a down dog is a major challenge to treat because they continue to lie on it. If you express her, you can ensure the urine goes somewhere other than into her bedding.
4) Just because a paralyzed dog does not have ability to empty the bladder voluntarily, that does not mean she cannot feel that she needs to go. She may be feeling the need to go but frustration that she cannot do anything about it, and she will welcome the good feeling of being empty. My dog cannot urinate voluntarily but she has feeling in her bladder.
It is not uncommon to have difficulty learning to express the first week your dog is down, but you will get it. It is fine to take her back to the vet every day or twice a day for lessons and assistance. It took me a week to halfway figure out how to express my dog, and two weeks to get halfway decent at it. It's not just you, I had the same problem, but it's really important to keep trying until you get it, and you WILL get it.