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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16468
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 9 yr Old male boxer is constipated and urinated in s

Customer Question

My 9 yr
Old male boxer is constipated and urinated in his sleep last nite also not normal appitite
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your fellow is not himself, with a decrease in appetite, urinating in his sleep last night and possible constipation.

Are you sure that he is constipated? is he straining to pass hard, dry, small pebbled or large, hard to pass stools? Or is he not passing much stool?

Did his appetite wane first or did his decrease in stool production happen first?

Is he an intact male or has he been neutered?

How is his urination when he consciously goes? Does he have a good stream or does he strain and seem to dribble a bit?

Does he have any trouble getting around? Does he seem weak or painful in the rear?

If he isn't eating well he won't have much stool to pass, so that would make sense if his appetite fell off first.

But if he is straining and isn't able to pass much stool, and what he is passing is very small and/or hard then the difficulty passing stool may be causing his loss of appetite, because his ingesta is backed up.

If he isn't neutered then a large prostate may be making it difficult for stool to get out of the large intestine. We see lots of older dogs have trouble with benign prostatic hyperplasia due to the lifelong effects of testosterone. While this isn't a tumor it does mechanically inhibit normal stool passage. And if he has a prostatic abscess or infection that too will cause difficulty passing stool. Prostatic trouble would also explain his urinary accident last night as well.

Older dogs with spinal arthritis may have poor nerve function to the large intestine and urethra, so they may have slow passage of stool, and that can lead to constipation, and weakness in the urethral muscle that controls urinary continence. These pups may have accidents, especially at night when they are very relaxed and sleeping, may have difficulty maintaining a normal stream when consciously urinating and emptying their bladder which can predispose to secondary urinary tract infections.

At this point your fellow should see his veterinarian for an examination, making sure to perform a rectal and check his prostate. Even neutered male dogs can get prostatic tumors unfortunately. I would also want to check a urinalysis and a complete blood count and biochemistry panel to make sure organ function is normal. Dogs with organ failure can have dry stools, eat poorly, and will drink more water which can lead to overflow incontinence accidents as night. If his prostate feels large, or if I cannot palpate a prostate rectally (which can indicate it is so large it fallen out of position and is down in the abdomen) then radiographs of his abdomen or an ultrasound would be a great idea.

In the meantime push fluids. They will flush out his urinary tract, and help keep his stools soft. Add warm water or low salt beef or chicken broth to every meal. To stimulate his appetite feed a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken), all fats drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Took Ozzy to the vet about 2hours ago, I really did not want to do that,,,BUT I felt the need for him and me, I too need to know if or what to do,,, I will NOT get test results till tomorrow evening, Myself,,,,DO NOT like to go to DR. All they want to treat u with is some kind of drug(I truly know this, because my SON works in that field) I am sure vet clinics are the same, but I did and still know nothing, she was more concerned of a knot( cost) on his foot that I had already told her 2 times what it was,,, had been checked ,,,,,,,,,,,,, I NEVER even mentioned his foot or a knot on the phone???????? So Ozzy is 9 ish and a total BIG BOY BOXER!!!! I love this BIG BOY and he loves me, I can read him through his eyes and his actions, I know he is not Ozzy, he is weak, tired, and just does not act like my big boy I have been with?? He does listen to me and I look him in the eyes and I can see his pain and the worry about himself and his MOMMA, so the only thing I got from today's visit was $$$$$$$ cost YOU! And the word colitis, which I have been educationing myself on since day 1 and this is day 3, if you can please tell me anything AT ALL I am so worried about my Ozzy, I DO NOT want him in any pain ,but DO NOT want him on any pain melds. Thank You
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to hear that things didn't go as planned at his veterinary visit. When we do an examination of a pet we focus on the whole animal. Even though you weren't concerned with his lump because Boxers have a reputation for cancer it was important to get a history on the lump and check it too. You would be amazed at the things a thorough examination can find, and we can sometimes prevent serious health issues from fully developing. I know in human medicine there tends to be more of a focus on treating the immediate issue, but I find by being thorough and looking at the whole being we do a better job of keeping our patients healthy.

I am glad that you had some testing done and will receive results tomorrow. I know it is hard to wait, but at his age blood tests can tell us a lot and are important.

Did they check a urine sample as well?

Colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine, there are lots of different causes including viruses, bacteria, a quick change in diet or eating too many treats or table food, stress and in some cases cancer. With colitis we see loose stools with blood or mucous, and they often strain to pass small, frequent stools because of the inflammation. They can have some painful cramps with colitis so they may not eat well, and may be less active than usual.

We don't use pain medications per se to treat colitis, but we do use a gentle diet, and fiber, and medication to reduce inflammation and rebalance the gut bacteria. Metronidazole is an antibiotic that also has anti-inflammatory properties that is often used to treat colitis. Sulfasalazine is another antibiotic/anti-inflammatory that can be prescribed.

I agree we don't want to overmedicate, especially an older fellow, but we do want him feeling better.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not and you found my information helpful please remember to rate my response positively so I may receive credit for my work thank you, ***** *****