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Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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My neutered cocker spaniel 3 1/2 years old has taken to scratching

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My neutered cocker spaniel 3 1/2 years old is scratching the floors, urinating and bowel movements in the house, he vomits frequently.


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Hi there,
I'm so sorry to hear that Snickers is having what sound like some behavioral problems. I have some questions and suggestions I'd like to discuss with you.

Were you ever able to fully house train Snickers, to where he was reliably not having accidents of any kind in the house? If he was once house trained and is now not, I'd encourage you to have him examined by a veterinarian to make sure there is no medical problem contributing to his behavior.

If he never really understood house training, I'd recommend starting over from the beginning. Do you have a crate? I recommend crate training because I find that it is the fastest and most reliable way to teach dogs where it is appropriate to go. If you can supervise him closely while you are at home and get him outside whenever he starts acting like he has to go, and keep him in a crate small enough that he doesn't want to go in his bed when he can't be supervised, he will learn faster. The crate should be his safe, comfortable den, so don't ever punish him by putting him in his crate. It's great that you are rewarding him when he goes outside, that's really important too.

Is the floor scratching in one specific place, or all over the house? Sometimes, repetitively scratching is an anxiety-driven or compulsive behavior. While redirecting him is the first step (good job!) adding anti-anxiety medication is often very helpful. Your vet may be able to suggest something that could help alleviate both the inappropriate urination/defecation and the floor scratching.

How often do you feed Snickers? I find that some dogs get a bit of an upset stomach if they are fed once a day, and vomit less if they are fed small amounts more frequently. You can also try giving him half a Pepcid tablet with his food, and see if that helps with the vomiting.

Over all, I'm at a loss to tie the vomiting, scratching, and accidents into one medical problem, but if you've been training and training and it's just not working, a general medical workup might reveal an underlying cause that is working against you.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience: Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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