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Dr. John
Dr. John, Small animal veterinarian, ER vet
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  significant surgical and medicine background, currently working as emergency clinic veterinarian
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I have three "inside" dogs. A 2-year old very mini doxie and

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I have three "inside" dogs. A 2-year old very mini doxie and two pugs...one black and one fawn. The two pugs are litter mates and will be 2 in October. My doxie and my black pug have done really well with house training...occasionally they will have an accident, but if we can't get them outside when they "need to go" they go to their piddle pads, which we still keep down all the time. As for my fawn pug, he was the "runt" of the litter and was much smaller than his black brother when we got them at 8 weeks. My fawn pug is still a tiny bit smaller, but he has done well at catching up to his brother. All three of them have been "fixed"...my doxie is a female, so we had her spayed and the boys were neutered. When we had the pugs neutered, my black one had no problems, but the fawn one had one testicle which had not dropped. So, our vet had to "go after" the other testicle. Now, we are having an awful time with our fawn boy. We can take him outside and he may potty, but just as soon as he returns to the inside, he will find something...even if he has to jump up and pull a towel or a piece of clothing off on the floor...to pee on. He also averages peeing on my bed at least once per week. He absolutely refuses to use a piddle pad! I don't want to physically reprimand him or scold him too severely because he is very sensitive. Is it possible that his problem is coming from the testicle issue? We absolutely adore our babies and would never consider getting rid of one of them, but I am just about ready to choke the life out of him! (Not really...I could never hurt one of my babies!) Any suggestions? We cannot put him outside because we live in North Carolina and he could not stand the heat.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.

Dr. John :

Thank you for your question concerning Roscoe. So this became a major problem after the neuter procedure?

Customer:

It did escalate. He has always, even as a puppy, tried to "mark his territory"...I guess he was trying to establish that he is the alpha male, but my black pug, Oscar, could care less. We equally divide our attention among the three of them, so it is not like he is ignored. I have always had female dogs prior to these two boys and I must say females appear to be easier to train. I had a peke, who died on December 3, 2010, who was 18 years old and she was the easiest dog I have ever housebroken.

Dr. John :

Thank you for the additional information. When he is outside, will he go out there then go again when he comes back inside? Or does he not go out there and only when he returns inside?

Customer:

He will potty outside and is excited to go outside, but he will come back inside and at least "dribble" again.

Dr. John :

Does he actively squat or lift his leg when he does this, or will it just drip out and maybe appear unaware to him?

Customer:

Oh, he is aware he is doing it! He mostly lifts his leg, but his brother mostly squats. When we take him out, I have checked to make sure he is peeing rather than just marking his territory, but he is, in fact, peeing.

Dr. John :

Okay, so this does sound behavioral then, however some medical underlying cause is always possible. Has he had a urinary work up yet to make sure?

Customer:

No. It is time for their shots, so I will be visitng my vet in the next few weeks. Just didn't know if someone might be able to shed some light on this issue before I take them to the vet. I love my dogs, but I cannot afford to send one of them to a doggie psychiatrist!

Dr. John :

Understood! Well perhaps an ultrasound of the urinary tract system would be an option, just to make sure it is truly behavioral and then from there you can try behavior modification techniques, knowing good and well you are using the right approach

Customer:

Okay sounds like a good starting point; however, we live in a small town and I may have to take him to the NC State Vet School . Or is ultrasound something that most vets have these days?

Dr. John :

As far as training, the most important thing to do is to be consistent and praise like crazy when the appropriate behavior is displayed

Dr. John :

Well it is something most vets have but a proper ultrasound of the urinary system is fairly technical and should be done by an internist

Dr. John :

If he pees inside take him outside immediately and leave him out there for a little while before bringing him back in

Dr. John :

When he is outside and pees, make a big deal about it, reward with praise and treats.

Dr. John :

Obvious things I know, but consistency is key

Dr. John :

He needs to be taken outside immediately every time he pees inside, and left out there for a short period of time

Customer:

We do praise him when he does good, which is not often. We also try to be as consistent as possible, but he will slip off and pee on my bed. We will work on the consistency.

Dr. John :

Okay good, yes consistency is key for some of these slower learners

Dr. John :

1 time not doing the same thing will result in confusion and set back

Dr. John :

If of course this is behaviorally related

Dr. John :

Does the length of time he is outside have any impact?

Dr. John :

Meaning if you leave him outside for a while to pee, and perhaps he goes a few times outside, is he less likely than to go inside?

Dr. John :

Or is there no difference?

Customer:

There is no difference.

Dr. John :

Okay, even if you don't perceive a difference, I would still try keeping him outside longer when possible

Dr. John :

How much do your other pets use the pee pads inside? Is it essential that you have these?

Dr. John :

These also may make it pretty confusing for Roscoe if he is indeed a slow learner

Dr. John :

If possible, I would consider eliminating the encouragement of going to the bathroom inside altogether, which may also help. If this is not possible, then you will just have to keep working on the other training techniques

Customer:

My husband and I both work and my 88 year old mother is at home with them all day. For convenience, we keep a piddle pad in my bathroom, which is primarily used by Oscar, and we have one in the den where Buffy likes to "go".

Dr. John :

Okay, just a thought, but something else you can consider. I still do recommend considering a consultation with an animal behaviorist as well, if you rule out any medical reasons for this and up the consistency with training and still have no progress.

Dr. John :

I know it sounds expensive, but a consultation or two won't be too bad.

Dr. John :

The benefit to a behaviorist is they will come to your home, monitor what your pet is doing and watch your training techniques. From there, he/she can suggest specific changes to what you are doing and help you get to your goal faster. It becomes more of an expense when multiple visits are needed (usually for severe anxieties and aggression) but an inappropriate elimination case shouldn't require a lot of follow up.

Dr. John :

Just something else to consider if you exhaust all other options...

Dr. John :

NC State probably has a behaviorist, and sometimes they will be in private practice as well

Dr. John :

You would just want to make sure that it is a veterinary behaviorist so that if medications are indicated for anything, he/she can prescribe them

Customer:

Okay. Thank you so much for your expert opinions. We will definitely work on the consistency thing and have the urinary problem ruled out. Then, we will move on to the behaviorist if the problem continues.

Dr. John, Small animal veterinarian, ER vet
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1205
Experience: significant surgical and medicine background, currently working as emergency clinic veterinarian
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