6 month old Pit Bull has fecal incontinence

For those seeking advice on caring for incontinent pets and animals with kidney-related problems.
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wcb7962
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6 month old Pit Bull has fecal incontinence

Post by wcb7962 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:42 pm

My daughter rescued a stray, starved Pit Bull. We've only had her for about a week and a half.

She was hanging out near a local fast food place, the people that work there said she'd been hanging around for about 2 weeks. We tried to catch her but she never let us get near enough, then she went in an abandoned garage. We brought some food and water and decided we'd keep an eye on her. She had a collar, so I told my daughter to go online and look at local lost pet sites and to go to sites where she could post that she'd found this dog. She did, and a woman contacted my daughter inquiring as to the dog's whereabouts. Later she texted my daughter and said she had caught the dog and where did she want to meet to give us the dog. We thought this lady was going to take the dog! I already have 2 dogs and 2 cats, I just didn't want another pet, but now I have her.

This lady took her to a Vet and he gave her some medications for her skin, some antibiotics and some anti itch pills. I have been to this Vet before. He may be a good Vet, but it seemed to me that he was just intent on selling me high priced Veterinarian products, but that's another story. I would have taken the Pit Bull to my regular Vet. Nonetheless, he said she was about 6 months old.

We brought her home and immediately noticed that she was incontinent. She defecates and doesn't seem to be aware of it. It's never solid, more like pudding consistency or thinner sometimes. She had very bad gas, also. She would also urinate on the floor, but on about day 3 or 4 she started going outside when she had to urinate. She will squat to urinate but it seems like very little comes out and she'll do this very often. In 5 minutes she may squat 6 or more times, but she will always go outside to do this. She will go for hours without feeling the need though. I bought some dog diapers, and I noticed small amounts of blood in her urine.

We figured that, being emaciated and eating god knows what for who knows how long, she would do better after eating regularly and fattening up a little.

She took her back to the Vet to ask about the incontinence. He did x-rays and said she had probably been hit by a car and had broken her pelvis and was never treated by a Vet for her injuries, at least one break never completely healed. Her tail is also out of place or dislocated or something. She never raises her tail. He also said that she had intestinal parasites and that her bladder is larger than normal. He gave us some de-wormer and some pain medicine for arthritis, but she doesn't seem to be in any pain. She runs, jumps and plays with my other dogs just like a normal dog. She looks perfectly normal, I would have never guessed that her pelvis had been broken. He said that dogs with this condition don't live long and that she will have to be put to sleep eventually.

I bought some grain free dog food and some canned pumpkin yesterday. We'll see if that helps. Also, as I mentioned, the dog diapers.

If she is only 6 months old, how long ago could her injuries have occurred since she's active, running and playing now? And has it been long enough to know for sure if she will regain continence? Also, shouldn't she have been given something for the bladder issue?

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CarolC
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Re: 6 month old Pit Bull has fecal incontinence

Post by CarolC » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:37 pm

wcb7962 wrote:
We brought her home and immediately noticed that she was incontinent. She defecates and doesn't seem to be aware of it. It's never solid, more like pudding consistency or thinner sometimes. She had very bad gas, also. She would also urinate on the floor, but on about day 3 or 4 she started going outside when she had to urinate. She will squat to urinate but it seems like very little comes out and she'll do this very often. In 5 minutes she may squat 6 or more times, but she will always go outside to do this. She will go for hours without feeling the need though. I bought some dog diapers, and I noticed small amounts of blood in her urine.

* * * * *

She took her back to the Vet to ask about the incontinence. He did x-rays and said she had probably been hit by a car and had broken her pelvis and was never treated by a Vet for her injuries, at least one break never completely healed. Her tail is also out of place or dislocated or something. She never raises her tail. He also said that she had intestinal parasites and that her bladder is larger than normal. He gave us some de-wormer and some pain medicine for arthritis, but she doesn't seem to be in any pain. She runs, jumps and plays with my other dogs just like a normal dog. She looks perfectly normal, I would have never guessed that her pelvis had been broken. He said that dogs with this condition don't live long and that she will have to be put to sleep eventually.

* * * * *

If she is only 6 months old, how long ago could her injuries have occurred since she's active, running and playing now? And has it been long enough to know for sure if she will regain continence? Also, shouldn't she have been given something for the bladder issue?
This is hard to know for sure, and I am not a vet. If the pelvis was broken, that could heal in about 6 weeks. If she is moving well, I would not worry about the pelvis. It seems somewhat likely that the tail injury happened at the same time, but you really don't know for certain. So just guessing, you might guess it all happened at least 6 weeks ago, but no way to be sure of that.

If a dog is incontinent from, for example, a disk injury in the back, my dog's physical therapist says you need to give it at least 3 months to see if bladder control will return, and 6 months to be sure. That being said, there have been cases here of bladder control returning after 6 months, so that is just in general.

But yes, in the meantime, you should have been given more information on dealing with the current situation. Did the vet know she was squatting and trying repeatedly? It sounds like she has partial bladder control, which is super super SUPER encouraging(!) She can feel that she needs to go, and she has some ability to void urine, she just can't get herself empty. She HAS some ability, that is great.

In a case like this, you would normally help the dog urinate by expressing her bladder. That means you squeeze her tummy in a certain way to make her pee. The vet should have shown you how to do it. Did the vet think she would be uncooperative? Below is a link to an article describing how to express the bladder, with many videos at the end of the article.

:arrow: :arrow: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16027

Since this is a rescue dog and she does not know you, and you do not know her, and it is possible she may have some residual soreness in her pelvis (or she may not), you will need to think how she may react to being squeezed. I am guessing that expressing her bladder is her best chance, because if some stale urine remains in her bladder all the time (as is happening now with the bladder being too full and she is unsuccessful in attempts to fully empty) this creates an environment for germs to grow. Then you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). It sounds like she may already have one, since you noticed blood in her urine. The usual treatment for this would be to start her on antibiotics for the infection, and begin expressing her bladder.

There are ways to manage the bowel incontinence. In addition to treating her parasites, you can also express the bowel, if she will let you. Expressing the bowel is helpful but not really necessary to keep her healthy, as the bowel will take care of itself. Waste will continue to be eliminated whether she has feeling or not, but expressing the bladder is necessary if she can't empty. The vet's prediction could be referring to the fact that without care/expressing, a dog who is not urinating fully is at risk for a bad UTI that will eventually affect the kidneys, which is probably what he was talking about when he said she would not live long and need to be put down.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18586

The only thing I am questioning is, I might expect her to begin to get a UTI by the end of about 10 days or 2 weeks of being incontinent, which does not really fit with the 6-week timeframe. I don't know, and in a way the timing doesn't matter.

:banner:

P.S. I wonder if she got out during fireworks on the Fourth of July. The vet said one of the fractures in the pelvis was not fully healed yet. Did your daughter check Craigslist to see if there are any reports in early July? That would be about right if you've had her for a week and a half and she was hanging around the fast food place for 2 weeks. If someone loved her enough to report her missing, then you could get her back to her family and she could be expressed by people she already knows, or they could make any decisions that need to be made. I assume the vet scanned her for a microchip?

P.P.S. Just realized, if she is 6 months old, she could potentially be in heat. In female dogs the reproductive tract and urinary tract both exit through the same girl part, and if you are noticing blood and she is not spayed, it could be from vaginal discharge rather than a UTI. Heat can last 18-24 days and includes discharge, and heat is another reason dogs escape their yard and run the streets. Did the vet mention whether she has been spayed? The vet could check her urine if you suspect UTI. This would help rule out other causes of inability to urinate, such as stones or crystals, too.

One more P.S. Sorry, keep thinking of more things. When the bladder is large, that implies it is overly full. Normally, a tail injury would result in a dog who dribbles and has trouble containing urine, not a dog who has difficulty emptying, leading to a large bladder, so that is a bit confusing. When a bladder is allowed to remain too full for too long (not knowing how long this has been going on) it can become stretched (flaccid) and that can make it hard for normal continence to be restored even when the damage from the accident begins to heal. There is medication that can help the bladder regain tone. There is a chance, and again I am going out on a limb here and am as unsure of this as anything else above, but there is a chance that her nerves are improving and she is having trouble emptying due to lack of tone from her bladder being too full for days or weeks, and if that was the case and she was put on medication....possibly she could be more successful in her own attempts to empty, without being expressed. They often use a drug combination, one drug to relax the internal sphincter and another to increase tone in the bladder, to make things easier for the dog while she continues to heal. You might discuss it with the vet.

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critters
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Re: 6 month old Pit Bull has fecal incontinence

Post by critters » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:00 am

:whale: And if she's not been spayed she could also have pyometra (uterine infection), especially if she's been in heat. Has she been seen by your regular vet, or only the other one?

wcb7962
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Re: 6 month old Pit Bull has fecal incontinence

Post by wcb7962 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:44 pm

Thank you for the replies. I'm so glad I found this forum.

I wish I had gone to the vet with my daughter, but I had to work. She can't remember everything the vet said exactly, she was upset and crying. Basically the vet has written the dog off. As a matter of fact, on the first visit he said soon we needed to start heart worm preventative. I guess he wanted to wait until she was finished with the antibiotics, which was Cephalexin 2 times a day for 7 days, and the anti-itch Temaril 2 times a day for 5 days. At that time, we didn't know about the incontinence.

On the second visit, he did the x-ray and said her pelvis was broken in several places and I guess he assumed the tail damage was done at the same time. He asked if she ever raised her tail, which she doesn't. Her pelvis is out of whack somehow, misaligned or crooked or something. As for the fracture that wasn't healed all the way, I don't know if he meant it isn't completely healed YET or if it will never heal. When he told my daughter that the dog probably wouldn't live long, she asked if we should still do the heart worm preventative and he told her we should hold off on that. He gave her some Rimadyl for arthritis. This dog does not appear to be in any pain whatsoever. She plays with my much bigger dog, rolls around in the grass, jumps up and down off of my bed and somehow climbs over the 3 foot gate I installed. I don't know what made him think she had arthritis. Yet, he gave her nothing for her bladder. Never mentioned whether she was spayed or not, nor did he mention any microchip.

Ever since that day, I have been researching. I was so happy when she started going outside to urinate. I have watched her and I notice muscles back there contracting, so she must have some control. I tried expressing her bladder, but maybe I wasn't doing it right. I couldn't get any urine to come out and I noticed a drop or two of blood, so I stopped. I also noticed a few drops on the floor this morning. Maybe she is in heat. All three dogs were outside playing yesterday and the little dog (which is the only male) started haunching on my big female dog. They have both been fixed, and he's never done that before. Maybe he's catching a scent and is a bit confused?

As far as the urinary problem, I know it needs to be addressed, whether it's an infection or whatever. And she is urinating, but it seems like it's a little at a time. The fecal incontinence is what bothers me most. We have cleaned up a LOT of diarrhea this past 10 days or so. She is just now starting to have more solid stools. She doesn't realize she's doing it. At least she knows when she has to urinate and goes outside. We put diapers on her, which helps a lot, but we're gone most of the day. I'm gone 12 hours a day and my daughter works and goes to college. A lot of the time the diaper is off when I get home, probably comes off when the dogs are wrestling around in the yard, but the firmer stools aren't nearly as bad to clean up. What are the chances she will regain control of her bowel movements? Are her chances better since she's so young? Isn't there anything the vet can do about this?

Aside from the incontinence, this dog acts like any other normal dog. She is so sweet and loving and well behaved. It's like she is so grateful to us for saving her and giving her a home.

I will be taking her to my regular vet as soon as I can, this week sometime.

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Re: 6 month old Pit Bull has fecal incontinence

Post by CarolC » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:08 pm

Hopefully your own vet will be more informative. I am starting to wonder if the fractured pelvis simply affected the nerves, or if the way the pelvis healed is actually constricting something. I've been assuming it's nerve damage from the accident, but I don't know. Hopefully your vet will clarify what is going on. If it is neurological, you are kind of in "wait and see" mode for about 3 to 6 months. If bowel incontinence is her only problem, like you say, it is pretty tolerable when the stools are firm and dry. You have that same problem with a lot of older dogs that were never injured. They doodle in the house or in their bed without really having much control over it. Glad her stools are starting to firm up.

I have a dog who wears diapers (partially paralyzed due to a condition like spina bifida), and she is a female. I learned it is important with female dogs that there is a good sized tail hole to let solid waste fall out. The urinary and female area are close to the anus, and you don't want to risk causing an infection by fecal germs contacting her private area if waste collects inside the diaper. My dog wears denim diapers with an absorbent pad and the tail holes are pretty big. If your dog is wearing disposables, then you can cut the tail hole whatever size she needs.

That's interesting about your little male dog's behavior. :)

:diaper:

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critters
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Re: 6 month old Pit Bull has fecal incontinence

Post by critters » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:54 am

My Beauty, a cat, was crushed by a car and her pelvis broken. When she was spayed they checked to see that her colon had enough room. After she healed she was crooked, but she was fine for a long time. She was mobile and continent.

I wonder about your baby being in heat, too.

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