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My brother's German shepherd has been pooping inside, right…

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Hi, My brother's...

Hi, My brother's German shepherd has been pooping inside, right in front of me and him now too. Even after walking him and trying to get him to go outside in the backyard. He is on antibiotics now for his skin but this has been going on for months now.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

No wound on his foot but his hips are starting to get bad.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name and age?

Rylie he will be 11 in March.

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is Rylie?

Purebred German shepherd

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Rylie?

He is sad his dad (my brother) is gone often.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 34 minutes by:
1/5/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,717
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

I am sorry to hear about Rylie defecating inside the house, and I understand it is frustrating because he is passing stools in the home even after being let outside to eliminate.

Is he aware he is passing stool (getting into position and actively straining to pass stools)?

Or are the stools falling out as he rises from lying down or when he is walking around?

At his age with bad hips and his breed he may have neurologic issues that are causing this, or he may be in pain, and he may not be able to help himself.

There are a few things that may be causing what you are seeing.

The first would be spinal arthritis which can cause inflammation of the spinal nerves that control urine and stool continence. These dogs have obvious spinal arthritis on radiographs and are painful upon examination. They may respond to anti-inflammatories (steroids or nonsteroidals like Deramaxx or Rimadyl), pain medications like Tramadol as well as omega 3's and glucosamine/chondroitin supplements like Dasuquin or Cosequin DS. Your brother might discuss trying an anti-inflammatory with his veterinarian to see if it is helpful.

The second condition that could cause incontinence would be a degenerative myelopathy. This is a degenerative condition affecting the nerves of the spinal cord, it starts in the back legs and ascends eventually affecting nerves to the bladder and rectum which leads to loss of continence. These dogs aren't painful. They are uncoordinated in the rear because they have lost the ability to feel where their rear legs are and place them properly. They become incontinent because they can not feel the stool building up and because their anal sphincter becomes loose. Unfortunately we do not have any good therapies for this condition. Radiographs look normal and diagnosis is by a blood test to look for genetic markers of the disease.

The other disease process would be lumbosacral stenosis and instability. This is an instability between the sacrum (pelvis) and the lumbar spine. It leads to inflammation and scar tissue and places pressure on the spinal cord leading to loss of function in his rear legs and stool and urine incontinence. These dogs are painful and should respond at least somewhat to steroids or anti-inflammatories. Diagnosis is by an MRI of the area. Treatment is surgery but once fecal and urine incontinence occur we cannot always reverse the damage done to nerves. Definitely worth trying though.

Unusual causes can also be a spinal cord tumor or a mass of the vertebrae or supporting tissues.

If he is an intact male, was ever used for breeding and is now running a fever Brucellosis is a possible cause as well.

A bacterial infection of the bones of the spine that spreads from a urinary tract infection or a puncture wound is another possibility, but those dogs are running a fever and are extremely painful and feel horrible.

In order to help Rylie we really need to know why he is the way he is.

An examination and radiographs of his spine are a great place to start.

At that point his veterinarian can prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication and pain medication if needed.

In the meantime it may help to increase the amount of fiber in his food to help him feel and be more aware of his stools. You can add 2 to 3 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not pie filling, just pumpkin) or Metamucil to his meals to increase fiber. Make sure to get him outdoors frequently to pass stools as well so his colon is less likely to overfill causing stools to just drop out.

It may also help to add a glucosamine/chondroitin product (examples are Dasuquin or Cosequin) and an omega 3 fatty acid (like 3V Caps or Derm Caps). These work synergistically and improve cartilage health and joint fluid quality and quantity as well as reducing inflammation. They can take several weeks to see full improvement but some dogs do very well with them added. They are available over the counter.

Another option is a product called Duralactin. This is an anti-inflammatory product derived from milk proteins and it also has omega 3 fatty acids incorporated into it which can be very helpful. See this link for further information: http://www.duralactin.com/products_canine.htm

Other alternative therapies such as cold laser, acupuncture or chiropractic may be of help as well is his problem is arthritis related.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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