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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I have a 12 year old lab. Never had issues with incontinence,

Customer Question

I have a 12 year old lab. Never had issues with incontinence, urinary or fecal. For the past few weeks, she has been pooping in the house, normally in a faraway room. I can tell she's ashamed. She is also leaking during naps, but I'm pretty sure that's normal for an older dog. Additionally, she has been vomiting, usually at night, the slimy yellow bile-y stuff.
We just had all new floors put in throughout the main level of our house, at the tune of almost $15,000. We can't afford to have them ruined.
When she squats in the back yard, I can see that she struggles to get all the poop out. She more or less squats / walks and it kind of falls out as she moves forward. Also, the fecal matter seems to be thinner than normal / maybe even kind of slimy.
Can you recommend anything, other than "go see the vet?" Would it be cruel to crate a 12 year old dog when we aren't at home?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 6 months ago.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that you and Sydney are having difficulties - I will do my best to help. Based on your description of "accidents" in the house, thin/slimy stools and the lengthy squatting with minimal pooping, it sounds like Sydney is having a bout of colitis. Colitis is inflammation of the colon that can be caused by a wide array of diseases. Many are quite benign and will even pass on their own with time and TLC - viruses and dietary indiscretions (I ate something that didn't agree with me) are two that we commonly blame for milder colitis or colitis that gets better with symptomatic care. Intestinal parasites can also cause colitis - these would require veterinary treatment to clear up. Much less commonly colitis can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. Some dogs also develop colitis in reaction to their diet and will improve if we find the right diet. Colitis causes an increased frequency of defecation as well as an increase in the urgency, which is what leads to the defecations in the house. Colitis is a very common symptom that we see in veterinary medicine. Typically if the pet looks healthy and is doing fine otherwise, most vets treat a first time colitis with basic anti-diarrhea medication (usually a medicine called metronidazole) and possibly probiotics, a deworming, and a temporary diet change. You can do some of this at home - a bland diet consisting of one part boiled white chicken breast mixed with three parts boiled white rice is an easily digestible home treatment for diarrhea of any sort. It's not something you'd want to use long term but it can definitely help with the milder cases of colitis. You can also purchase a good quality probiotic like Purina's Forti Flora at your vet or online. Having said all that, though, I would suggest that you have her in for a physical exam and also bring a stool sample for your vet to check for intestinal parasites if she's not improving or if she becomes ill in any other way. This is a problem that may be remedied quite easily with simple medications. As for your question about the crate - if Sydney is accustomed to the crate and not anxious about being inside it, then it's not necessarily cruel to crate her until you get her bowels sorted out. Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)