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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19587
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Fecal. Incontence, Why does my boston terrier have fecal

Customer Question

Fecal. Incontence
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the dog?
Customer: Why does my boston terrier have fecal incontinence
JA: Where does your boston terrier seem to hurt?
Customer: Nowhere
JA: Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?
Customer: Left leg is a little longer and has urinary incontinence also
JA: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Yes
JA: The veterinarian will know what to do. What is the boston terrier's name and age?
Customer: Winston and i adopted him 6 weeks ago said about 5 to 6
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about Winston?
Customer: N No
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Sometimes if a dog has had trauma to the rectal area such as continued anal gland issues, fecal incontinence will develop as a result of a loss of muscle tone in the sphincter. This can also be caused by an injury to the back or a problem with an invertebral disc. An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralyses of the rear legs. You can read about this here:

It might also be a perineal hernia which you can read about here.

Boston Terriers are known to have hemivertebrae which is a disc issue that can cause fecal and urinary incontinence. Read more on this here:

You may want to have your dog checked over by your vet as back issues are best treated early for the highest chance of successful treatment.

A few things that can help with this are adding fiber to the diet to firm up the feces. A few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) added to the food works well for this purpose. Also there is one drug that can be prescribed which is phenylpropanolamine which can help tighten the sphincter muscle. It works better on smooth muscles but still may help the rectal tissue. Many experts believe it provides no relief for fecal incontinence.

You can read about this here:

Unfortunately without treating the underlying cause there isn't much that can be done for fecal incontinence. Many owners start teaching their dogs to wear diapers to protect their home. I am so sorry that this dog you recently adopted might have a disc issue.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am so glad to have this info. Thank you.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome.

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