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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9
    1. #1
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      2sillylabs's Avatar
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      Older chocolate losing bowel control~seeking advice

      Hello, I have a 12 1/2 year old chocolate lab who for the last few weeks has been pooping in the house almost daily. A brief history - for the last year we had noticed him loosing weight, which turned out to be liver issues. He took meds for that with success. Also during the last several months, we noticed his back legs getting weaker and shaky when walking and pooping. The vet is doing blood tests almost monthly $$. He now takes meds that are calming (anti seizure) which help with his restlessness. I'm seeking advice for a couple of reasons . . . I honestly don't know what quality of life he still has . . it's becoming somewhat frustrating with the expenses piling due to the vet wanting to do more and more tests. This is my first older dog experience. When/how do you know when it's time to make that final decision? He can't tell me he's suffering . . .

    2. #2
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      So sorry your sweet senior is going through this. I home senior labs and have come across these problems.

      Good to hear that the liver issues are resolved. Is he now gaining weight back? Is his weight appropriate for his size? Keeping weight down on an older dog is so important for joints.

      The pooping in the house is not his fault. With probable arthritis not only in the legs but in the spine, he does not realize when he has to go and the poop just falls out. Our Melody had this. I just picked it up and made no fuss about it or even let her know. She had lower spine arthritis. We found that Tramadol helped with the discomfort and also solved the losing poop problem.

      Restlessness may be due to doggy dementia. Melody also had this. Also, pain may be causing restlessness. We found that the easing of pain with Tramadol the restlessness decreased. She still would stand or sit and stare off at nothing for short periods of time.

      At this time quality of life is most important. If he is still eating, interacting with the family, has a sparkle in his eyes, he still has quality of life. Yes, it is expensive but an expense I gladly took on to give quality of life. It's hard to realize, but they do tell you when life is too difficult. Melody did very well for months after we started medication and was one happy girl. You know your dog best and you will see when there is a change, life has no quality. He can tell you when he is suffering and not happy. Have a good heart to heart discussion with you vet to help guide you during this time.

      During this time, spend as much time as you can with him, spoil him, and soak up the love he is so freely giving you.

      Gentle hugs and prayers being sent for many more days, weeks and months of having you sweet baby with you.

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    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by POPTOP View Post
      So sorry your sweet senior is going through this. I home senior labs and have come across these problems.

      Good to hear that the liver issues are resolved. Is he now gaining weight back? Is his weight appropriate for his size? Keeping weight down on an older dog is so important for joints.

      The pooping in the house is not his fault. With probable arthritis not only in the legs but in the spine, he does not realize when he has to go and the poop just falls out. Our Melody had this. I just picked it up and made no fuss about it or even let her know. She had lower spine arthritis. We found that Tramadol helped with the discomfort and also solved the losing poop problem.

      Restlessness may be due to doggy dementia. Melody also had this. Also, pain may be causing restlessness. We found that the easing of pain with Tramadol the restlessness decreased. She still would stand or sit and stare off at nothing for short periods of time.

      At this time quality of life is most important. If he is still eating, interacting with the family, has a sparkle in his eyes, he still has quality of life. Yes, it is expensive but an expense I gladly took on to give quality of life. It's hard to realize, but they do tell you when life is too difficult. Melody did very well for months after we started medication and was one happy girl. You know your dog best and you will see when there is a change, life has no quality. He can tell you when he is suffering and not happy. Have a good heart to heart discussion with you vet to help guide you during this time.

      During this time, spend as much time as you can with him, spoil him, and soak up the love he is so freely giving you.

      Gentle hugs and prayers being sent for many more days, weeks and months of having you sweet baby with you.
      I agree with this entirely. Mulder has been pooping in the house (mostly in his sleep) for months now ... it doesn’t bother him as he seems completely unaware of it. Like Poptop, we just clean it up and don’t make a fuss. We are careful to make sure that his diet stays stable enough that he almost always has firm poops which are easy to clean up. I don’t have experience with the liver issues, but rear-end weakness is pretty common in elderly dogs this size. Try to keep his weight under control and regular gentle exercise (short, slow walks) can help maintain function. Quality of life is important at this time, more so than having exact diagnoses. Rather than engage in lots of tests, I would just try to treat whatever symptoms arise and enjoy the time you have with him.
      Annette

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    6. #4
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      My Hershey had spinal stenosis...we'd noticed weak hind legs for a while before diagnosis. We also had the wrong diagnosis at first...his legs slid out from under him (to the sides) on our kitchen tile floor and the vet said his groin muscles were tight; we got physical therapy to loosen the muscles. Once the muscles were loosened, it was obvious that that was what was keeping his legs from being even more weak. His legs continued to weaken and his pain medications included Tramadol, steroids, and anti-inflammatories (not all at once). He either still had break-through pain or else was just afraid because his legs didn't work right...my always underfoot and friendly dog was hiding in his bed all day.


      The morning he lost all recognition of his bladder was when I made the decision to let him go. PetSmart carried diapers in his size and I could have used some vitamin E cream to keep his skin from burning, but I decided to spare him further possible pain and fear and let him go while he still had some dignity. Our vet stuck around after the end of his day (the moment I called) in order for Hersh to have someone he already knew take care of him.


      Loss of bladder and bowel control sometimes (usually?) accompany spinal issues.

      Fran gave you good advice relative to what time you have left...only you can make that call. Hershey's hiding was my clue.

      It's never easy.
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    8. #5
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      Mine did it too. Can you get him on a schedule? I would take mine out and walk him just a tiny bit to try to get him to potty before I left for work. The feces just fall out. Some people call them poop balls.

      You have to decide at what point his quality of life has deteriorated so much that he might need help crossing over. Mine could not do steps anymore. We tried leaving him on the lower level of the house which is carpeted but he wanted to be around us. He barked nonsto when we tried leaving him down there. We had a bi level so it wasn't like we were putting him in the basement.


      The Dynamic Gang

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    10. #6
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      We had 3 , 13,14 and almost 15 who left us last year. We only had the poop issue with Amy and it was literally at the end when she was clearly in distress. With Zoe, we had a feeling that there was a brain tumor but we stopped any testing, treated symptoms and let her enjoy life until seizures made it clear it was time.

      I wouldnt do a lot more testing unless it relates to something like an infection that would resolve with antibiotics or the addition of some pain meds which could help with quality of life.

      There are are a lot of folks on the board who deal with this so ask questions when you have them.

    11. #7
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      Wow, thank you all so much for the advice. To answer some questions, he weighs about 75 pounds and hasn't done steps for about the last year. He goes to the vet next saturday for blood work, poop test and an exam of his rear end. Our vet seems to want to test for everything under the sun. I agree with all of you about giving him as much love as I can at this time . . .

    12. #8
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      Went through this twice last year. Write down a list of the top 3 things your dog loved to do in its prime. If he can still do them, then you are OK. If he can't do any of them, it might be time.

      The last straw with Hudler was he was incontinent and peeing on his bed daily. He was pooping while he was lying down too. As a young dog, he hated anything to do with pee/poop. And to have to lie in it while we were at work was the worst thing we could think of for him.

      For as much as we all hate having to make the decision, we have to stop thinking of ourselves and think of what's best for the dog. Not walking, not eating well, incontinence....all not fair for our best friends.
      Jen & Tickle!
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    13. #9
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      Agree as well but I do wonder if Xrays of his spine might help. Our 12.5 year old had an acute episode of pain which led to Xrays showing invertebral disk disease and significant spinal spondylosis. To be as bad as it was it must have been brewing for some time. After strong meds got her over the acute phase reduced meds maintained her for another two years. We were told it was very important to keep up as much exercise as possible to maintain muscle support in the back. For our girl we can't be sure if the degeneration in her spine and the acute episode was responsible for faecal incontinence or if it was the pain meds that dulled her sensation. No matter, we kept up the pain meds, cleaned up the poopers and continued on. Imodium and a high fibre food did help her feel a pooper coming on and sometimes ask to go out in time, sometimes. Urinary incontinence would have been much harder to deal with. Her exercise reduced, reduced but we went new places for short walks and those really perked her up. It's a hard time, good thoughts to both of you.

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