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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17644
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog had surgery to repair a broken leg last week and

Customer Question

My dog had surgery to repair a broken leg last week and since she has come home she won't pee or poo outside. She seems to be holding it in and then loses control through the night in her bed. She has always been a really clean dog and this is really distressing her. Could it be related to the surgery or might there be another issue? She is eating and drinking well.
Thank you,
Frances
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

First, I would note that the surgery itself won't be triggering Lily's signs. Furthermore, while we can see urinary retention and constipation with some pain relief drugs (Tramadol being the main one, so if she is on this we may need to ring her vet about an alternative pain option just in case), these type of accidents usually are related to the dog struggling to posture when they need to go or feeling vulnerable when they are outside. For the former, they tend to hold because of mechanical difficulties. For the latter, as I am sure you can imagine passing urine/feces is a vulnerable time for animals and instinct tells them if they are already "compromised" they shouldn't risk putting themselves in that position. Therefore this can lead to some dogs holding both until they just cannot.

In regards ***** ***** to approach this, we would either need to carefully take her out more often (sometimes we need to do this hourly until they can overcome their stubbornness), take her to a more secluded area (or known favorite spots) then where you have been, or trying her with a puppy pad in a non-carpeted room (and this may be ideal to avoid a lot of movement getting her out). That way we are giving her as many opportunities as possible. Or if you suspect she is struggling with mobility and posturing when out, I'd note that you can also make a sling for her (How To --HERE) to help hold her weight as she postures to pass urine or stool.

Overall, the good news is that this won't be related to the surgery itself or a complication per say. Instead, the above would be our main concerns and what we need to focus on for her during her recovery.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you,
I have tried all of the above. She seems to be fairly mobile- even trying to run (I obviously stopped her).
She is only on metacam once a day according to her weight and doesn't appear to be in too much pain. She is panting and distressed when she needs to go and when I take her out she won't go. Finally she can't hold in any more and then makes a real mess. I kind of think it's because she doesn't want to go in the garden as she doesn't usually but there is no option as she is meant to be on crate rest for 8 weeks.
Any other advice?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hi again,

If she is resistant to the garden, then again you will need to try to train her with puppy pads in a non-carpeted room in the house. Since we cannot explain to her why we are needing to rest her, it is a case of persevering and being consistent with her. Otherwise, while we could use fiber (ie canned pumpkin) and OTC cat hairball treatment to try to make her more regular and need to go when she is out; this is a psychological issue and only time, patience, and her finally understanding what we are doing will stop this situation.

Take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We still have puppy pads out for her to use but she doesn't use them. I can't keep taking her out more often than I am as she isn't meant to be walking on her leg much. Are you suggesting I just have to put up with the mess until I can take her for walks in 6 weeks time?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hi again,

I am not saying you do. Only that you need to take her to the pads or outside more often. And if you use a sling as I noted before will help you keep her from putting weight on the leg. That way we aren't damaging her surgical site but trying to get you around this. Otherwise, you could see if her vet wants to increase her pain relief on the off chance she is still sore or you could have them hospitalize her so she is somewhere where she can be moved safely and kept clean,

Take care,

Dr B.