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petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7146
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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I have a Yorkshire Terrier that will be 7 years old on November

Customer Question

I have a Yorkshire Terrier that will be 7 years old on November 28th. She is currently being treated for colitis with predinisone and is currently being weaned off of. She is also on a special diet given to me by my vet. She has had a fecal done and the results are normal. The issue that I am having is that she is dropping balls of feces around the house and even when she is resting feces just come out of her. My vet stated that she has fectal incontinence and no other advice was given. I then went to another vet who stated that there was nothing he could do and would mean that would have to have an MRI and that would cost over $2,000 to have done. She would need to be seen by a specialist. I had just moved to a new residents (another state) almost a year ago and she began having bowel issues right after I had to put my 18 year old dog to sleep in February. I do have another dog who is almost 4 years old. Can it be a psychological ? Even when she has bowel movements that are not all at once. She goes several times a day and her last feeding is at 5pm and even though I take her out before I go to bed I still wake up to feces in her cage. What else can I do to help make her have a bowel movement all at once? Today, she is not eating which is unusual but she is drinking..she also is shaking at times. Could this be the affects of weaning her off the predisone?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Gina today. I'm a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy to work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

Can you help me to clarify the time line here?
Before last year, her stools were normal and no incontinence?
After Feb, stool issues started? What symptoms? soft stools? normal but incontinent?
When did the colitis start?
What food was she put on?
Are the stools completely normal in form now?
Please tell me what number her stools most resemble on the score chart - LINK HERE
Is she aware she is dropping stools?

Any problems with urine dribbling?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

last year her stools were normal and no incontinence. She started mid february with severe loose bowels movements. I had to take her to an emergency vet where they checked her for giardia which came back negative, gave her fluids and gave her flagyl . I also put her on a bland diet of chicken and rice. I then slowly returned her to her food (Iams) and then noticed that she was constipated and had liquid feces coming out of her behind. I took her to the vet and they checked her anal glands and secreted them and said that her relfexes were good. I then switched her food to a grain free diet which seem to help her at first then she started dropping loose feces out of her bowels and all around my house. Fecal sample came back negative. The vet diagnosed her with colitis and now she is on predisone (being weaned off) and put her on a prescription diet w/d which she is currently on. I then noticed that she was dropping feces which resemble Stool #1 in your link..which are sometimes dry and sometimes moist. There are times I think she knows she is dropping stools because she looks at her behind and their are times I think she doesn't know and she will dribble urine but not all the time.

Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
So it sounds as if the incontinence (occurring while stools were normal) started after she was put on the w/d. We can't count the drooping stool when it was loose as many dogs with colitis will have a urgency and they just can't hold it. W/d is a higher fiber food and if her stools are really a #1 on the score chart, it may be that they are too bulky and harder for her to hold in. While it is true that some forms of colitis are fiber-responsive, she may not need all of that fiber or she may be managed better with a lower fiber diet. I wouldn't want to make too many changes at one time, but once the prednisone is finished I would consider weaning her onto a different diet. If you find that she does need some fiber, you could supplement with metamucil in small amounts. She may not even need the increased fiber if her colitis has resolved. I don't think you will be able to control how many times a day she goes, and may dogs will pass stool multiple times per day (especially if on a higher fiber food). If there is nothing physically wrong with her and you give her ample opportunity to stay active and empty her bowels through the day, she should not be dropping pieces inappropriately or during the night.

If it turns out that even when her stools are more normal, she still is dropping pieces, it would be worthwhile to have her at least examined and evaluated by a veterinary neurologist. Even if you did not proceed with an MRI, having all of her nerve reflexes evaluated would be helpful in identifying a possible lesions of the spinal nerves that may be involved. I am not sure what to make of the shaking. If you are weaning slowly off of the steroid it shouldn't be due to that. Perhaps she is having some back pain like from a bulging disc (which the steroid was helping) and that is contributing to the stool (and urine)problem, but a neurologist may be able to better pinpoint that.

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please Reply so I can clarify for you.

Dr Z

petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7146
Experience: Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
petdrz. and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Could you recommend a brand of less fiber diet? Also, if I need to give her the metamucil in the near future how much is recommended for a 12lb dog?

Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
If you wanted to stick with a low fat food like w/d is but provide less fiber, Hills i/d low fat or Royal Canin GI low fat are good options. Science Diet also makes a sensitive stomach variety that may be ok. Unless his colitis has a food allergy component, the brand is not so important.

As far as amount of metamucil, I usually start between 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per meal for that size dog and give to effect based on stool consistency.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you kindly for the positive rating. It is truly appreciated.
Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Gina. How is everything going?

Dr. Z.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr. Z.


Gina is now off the prenisone and her bowels vary from being loose one time and then another time being more firm. Everyday I wake up to feces in her cage even though I take her out many times day/night.. She takes so long to go to the bathroom always looking like she is contispated. She did somewhat good today by not dropping feces until tonight she was laying on her bed and feces (not loose) just came out of her. Sometimes I think she is incontinent and there are times I think its laziness. Maybe it hurts her when she does go to the bathroom making it an unpleasant experience. I'm going to go and buy her one of the food that you suggested and see how that goes. Do you think its a good idea to give her a probiotic too? Any further advice you have I'm willing to try. Thanks!


Expert:  petdrz. replied 2 years ago.

I think that as long as she continues to have loose stools, even intermittently, you will have a very difficult time controlling the incontinence. Even if some of the ones that it seems she has not control over are formed, even it is then followed later in the day (or even a few days later) with loose stool and straining to pass a bowel movement she still has colitis or inflammation of the colon. The taking a long to pass stool and looking constipated is not uncommon and is a symptom of colitis.

I do think that probiotics and changing the diet will not hurt, but I would not be too hopeful that either of those alone will be enough to decrease the inflammation in the gut. It is worrisome that these symptoms occurred while she was on prednisone, but it may be that she needs an increased dose or a combination of agents to better control the inflammation. At this point, instead of continuing with medical therapy, I would focus my efforts and finances on more accurately defining the diagnosis. This would be best done by having a colonoscopy with biopsies of the lining of the colon. By evaluating the cells of the colon lining, the degree of inflammation can be evaluated and other cells that may be involved, like cancer cells can be ruled out. You had asked about her problem being psychological, and even though it is not common, there are cases of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)that occur in dogs. In these cases, there is nothing physically wrong with the colon and the problem has to do more the chemicals in the body in response to stress and anxiety and their affect on the colon innervation. These dogs would have no response to medications to control inflammation and respond better to meds to control anxiety. The only way to differentiate IBD from IBS is with a biopsy of the colon.

Here are links to two great descriptions of both:

I hope this is helpful.

Please reply back if further questions.

Dr Z

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