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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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Why would my female senior mini schnauzer drink her own urine.

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Why would my female senior mini schnauzer drink her own urine. She never used to do this but has started lately, and her breath and the fur around her face always smells of urine!! I'm desperate, thanks. She's been checked out by my vet and doesn't have any health problems that we know of and I have her on premium dog food (Brand is "Blue"). Thanks!!!
Did your vet send out any blood tests?

Are there any other changes in her daily behaviors?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No, my vet did not do blood work on her. Not really any other changes in her behavior. My daughter's two dogs have been staying with us for about 8 weeks now. Could this be psychological having to do with that??
Hello and thanks for researching this very important question!

There are a few things you'll want to investigate with your veterinarian before deciding that this is a stress reaction to the new pets (most dogs become competitive over Stool when their pack size increases!).

Urine can smell and taste "good" to a dog if there is either excess protein or excess sugar in it. Older dogs can develop both kidney disease, diabetes, and other health conditions that cause the composition of the urine to change.

Your vet can test a sample of your Dear Pet's urine and quickly let you know if blood tests are needed to more clearly diagnose a health problem that should be treated right away.

Older dogs do develop what we now have come to know as a kind of dog senility called "Canine Cognitive Dysfunction". Symptoms include loss of attention to familiar people, failure to concentrate, difficulty with holding urine or stool (including voiding in the wrong places and/or not alerting you to their need to go outside), and other strange behaviors such as standing in a corner all day, going to the food dish and not eating, inappropriate aggression, or getting "lost" in familiar surroundings.

This condition seems to be caused by a decrease in a brain hormone and can be treated by giving a medication called L-deprenyl (the brand name Anipryl is quite expensive, but the human generic "selegiline" is very affordable).


Most cases of CDS result in multiple behavioral symptoms, since the entire brain is susceptible to the low hormone level.


Here is some additional information that you can use in a talk with your veterinarian:


***I do recommend that you go forward with at least a urine screen just to make sure we're not missing anything.***


In the meantime, do supervise her carefully outdoors and practice a distracting technique to draw her away from her urine after she "goes". Squeaky toy, whistle, food treat, etc..

If you need additional support at this time, please click "Reply", otherwise I thank you in advance for your "Accept", and will hold a Good Thought for you both.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am definitely going to "accept" but have a couple of more questions for you. Based on your description of the CDS, I don't think that is it as she is not showing any of those symptons, but I am more concerned about possible excess protein or sugar. Just to clarify, would a urine test from my vet be able to tell if there is too much protein or sugar and are these tests expensive? Have you heard of the dogfood "Blue"? Should I try switching her food back to Science Diet to see if her urine changes? Thanks so much!! She was on Science Diet for years, then I switched her to Blue about a year ago.
The Blue Buffalo company makes a really good quality food product line for dogs and cats...I'd actually prefer it to Science Diet for most pets. You could try a switch-back just to see if she's detecting the better-quality protein ingredients in the Blue formulation. Again, I would expect her to be more interested in her stool if an increased food-quality issue were in play.

The urine test is very quick and usually done in-office, so is generally affordable. The test would detect a general level of protein and sugar (and other compounds) in her urine. The degree of dilution of the urine is also evaluated...further giving an indication of how well the kidneys are functioning.

In-office urine testing lets us know basically immediately if there is cause for further concern, or if we need to focus on the behavior situation only.

This kind of analysis is followed up with blood tests that give more specific answers about all her body systems if there is an indication that something is out of balance.

Let me know if you have other concerns on your "Reply".
Let's make sure you get all your questions answered before you "Accept"! (Sorry the system has defaulted to this "loud" type!)
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