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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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I have a 15 year old female Shih tzu that is peeing and pooping

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I have a 15 year old female Shih tzu that is peeing and pooping in the house whenever she feels like it. This is a recent problem and in the past she could hold it for acceptable periods of time and let me know when to go outside. This happens even if I had her out within a hour. Is there anything I can do? She is reasonably healthy, has lost her hearing and walks with a limp. thanks MIKE
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Scarlett :

Hi,

Dr. Scarlett :

Sorry to hear about your dog. Can I get a little more information? Does your dog have any difficulties jumping up on furniture or does she seem stiff at all? Is she on any medications for the limp? Any change in her appetite or drinking? Is the stool normal, hard, or soft? Any blood or mucus in the stool? Any blood in the urine? Do you notice any other behavior changes? Does she ask to go outside?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi- My dog is not on any medications, no blood in urine, can jump a 5" curb, stool is normal, walks with a limp, She does not let me know when she has to go outside-I have to make it a habit to take her outside but that doen not always work. She eats and drinks ok. She is old
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 4 years ago.
There are a couple things that could be going on with your old girl. One is certainly senility, especially if she no longer lets you know she needs to go out (I assume she used to?). There are some medications, supplements, and diets that can help with senility. One medication is Anipryl (L-deprenyl) and I have had patients improve when taking it. It is somewhat expensive, but can make a big improvement in quality of life. Your vet should be able to prescribe this.

There is also Prescription Diet B/D (for "brain" diet). This food is very high in antioxidants and can help with signs of senility as well. The food is 100% guaranteed, so if your dog doesn't like it you can always return it.

There are other antioxidants out on the market that are worth trying--they shouldn't hurt her anyway. One is Neutriks. I have a few patients on it, but haven't really heard if it is helping yet. The chiropractic vet I refer patients to seems to like it.

Besides senility, your dog may also be having arthritis pain (indicated by the limp) and may be having some difficulty squatting or maintaining a squat long enough to full empty her bowel and/or bladder. It would be worth trying her on an anti-inflammatory medication, like Rimadyl, and see if that helps. At least with this medication, a response should be seen within a week (the senility ones will all take several weeks before any improvement is seen).

Finally, there may be something else going on. A urinary tract infection is a possibility, even with no other symptoms. If she is straining frequently because of an infection, she may be pushing out stool, too. So a thorough physical with bloodwork and urinalysis is the very best place to start.
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