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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16504
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My dog is about 12 years old. s stool is normal. Even though

Customer Question

My dog is about 12 years old. His stool is normal. Even though we take him out frequently it seems he can no determine when a bowel movement is going to occur. He maybe on the deck or side walk and tries to make it to where he used to go so we end up with stool droppings all across our yard. Occasionally he makes a mistake in the house. He is also having trouble with his hips when he climbs stairs. When the cold Canadian winter comes I know it will be a bigger problem. His kidneys work perfectly. My wife thinks we should euthanize him immediately before it gets worse.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible...

Other than the fecal dropping, how is his health?

Is he on any medications?

Has the vet taken a peek at him yet?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Lisa
As I briefly mentioned his hind quarters are giving him some problems on our outside stairs and when he tries to get up on our ceramic and hardwood floors. He doesn't seem to have difficulty when he's getting up from his dog bed (which is located at floor level). If startled he jumps up very quickly. He doesn't grown or yelp with pain.
We live in Manitoba which is extremely cold and last winter we began noticing his reluctance to go out even though we go with him and bring him back inside immediately after he has finished. We realize this winter it will probably be more difficult to get him to relieve himself when we take him out which will lead to more indoor accidents. Prior to this we could always time his bowel movements. Take him out three or four times a day in the winter and everything was okay. He can hold his pee for 12-14 hours. No indoor or outdoor accidents.
We have made plans to go south this winter for a month and he will be in a kennel. It's a good kennel (he has stayed their for periods of two weeks and seems healthy) but now because his bowel movements have changed we're really concerned about leaving him.
He is a bit hard of hearing but nothing serious and he sleeps more than when he was younger probably because he doesn't move around the yard as much as he used to.
He is not on any medications.
We have to use a muzzle which makes him very stressed when we take him to the vet. We only take him for his annual check up and needles and that's not due for another few months. That is why I contacted you hoping there is a medication or whatever that may help.
Currently since the weather is nice we leave him outdoors more (he has a bed in the garage which is cool and one outside) during the daytime and the majority of his accidents are on the walkways and lawn. This weather will change quicker than we would like it to. We have had to euthanize pets in the past but it was always for an incurable disease or injury. This situation seems different to me as he wags his tail and loves to be petted. This is stressful, especially since my wife and I are meticulous housekeepers and we do get quietly upset when he makes a mess. I sometimes don't tell her when he does. I hope you can help us. Please feel free to ask more questions.Thank you
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information Lloyd. I really appreciate it.

I live in northern MN, so I completely understand about how he seems to get a little worse once it gets really cold.

It's honestly hard to say if there's something serious going on, or if he's just got a general nerve deterioration that can sometimes happen in certain breeds of my experience, GSDs tend to really have a problem with fecal incontinence as they age.

There's a really good page that goes over this kind of issue here: .

If this were my dog, I'd have the vet take a peek and see if they think there's anything we could do to help him control his feces for a while longer. Although there's no real treatment for this...if it turns out that there's a disc issue that is causing nerve impingement, making it hard for him to hold his feces, they may be able to get some treatment for that and help.

I hope this helps.

Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?