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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19676
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Does it cost to speak with you,? I have a 14yr old Shitzu

Customer Question

Does it cost to speak with you,?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?
Customer: I have a 14yr old Shitzu (male). I've started staying at my new boyfriends house a few times aweek and of course my dog goes with me. Well my dog has desided to pee in the house even though he has just been taken out. He also will take it apoun himself to pee at my home when my boyfriend shows up. Now my dog gets along great with my boyfriend so I don't get what's going on with him. He is getting pretty old. Any suggestions would be great!
JA: Where does your dog seem to hurt?
Customer: Thank you
JA: Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?
Customer: No, he does have congestive heart failure
JA: OK. Nothing visually obvious. Is your dog eating normally?
Customer: Eating normal, no visual signs of anything out of sort
JA: OK, abnormal eating. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Rascal and he is 14
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Rascal?
Customer: No
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 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.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Does he lift his leg to urinate when he does it inside?

Is he on any medications for the chf?

Is he jumping up relatively normal?

Is he using stairs?

Did your boyfriends home have dog's in it at anytime that he knows of?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No, Rascal very seldom lifts his leg . Yes, he taked Furosemide 12.5mgs. He does not jump anymore but he act what I would say normal. He uses stairs. Yes, my boyfriend has 2 dogs, 1Irish wolfhound,and a Newfoundland.(not sure on spelling).They all get along very well
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

Since there are other dogs in the house, your dog may be urinating as a result of showing his submission to the much larger likely dominant dogs that already live there. It is not unusual for a dog to show submission urination to men either or their owners. In fact many dogs will even roll over and urinate a little to show they acknowledge a person or another dog as the boss. There are medications which have been found to be effective for this problem and you should ask your Vet about Proin for dogs over 6 months. This should help especially in those situations where your dog is urinating when your boyfriend domes to your home.

Another possible cause is that he might be having some problems with his disc. They can lead to problems holding their bladder and even their bowels. They often will stop jumping up and avoid stairs if they can with a disc issue. proin can often help a little with this as well but anti-inflammatory medications help regain the loss of sensation a dog might have experienced.

You dog might also smell old odors of urine at your boyfriends house that are drawing him to those areas to eliminate. Often owners clean with human cleaners that fool our noses but dogs can still smell the urine that has gone down into the padding and spread out. A good enzymatic cleanser has to be used and let soak down into the padding to the subflooring to remove all traces of the urine odor to help stop it from drawing the dog back to that place to urinate again.

The other possibility is that your boy has a urinary tract infection. It sounds like your dog has a urinary tract infection. Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are frequent urination, dribbling urine, blood in the urine, squatting frequently to urinate, strong odor to the urine, inappropriate urination and straining to urinate as well as an increase in fluid intake. A dog with a UTI does not always show all the symptoms and typically displays 2 or 3. I believe you need to have your Vet check your dog out so it can get medication for the problem if your dog is displaying 2 or more of the above symptoms..

Other causes for increased thirst and frequent urination include kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, cushing, a uterine infection (called pyometra), and liver disease to name a few. You can read about this here:

You don't mention any other symptoms so I am leaning toward it being related to submission especially knowing he has two very large dogs in the home so he would be inclined to show submission to them like he does their master. As they become more integrated as a group and spend lots of time together that should be reduced. In addition, he may have a good way of telling you he need to eliminate at home, but at your boyfriends home you are likely distracted so he may not have come up with a fool proof way of getting your attention.

Put a bell or other noise maker on the door low enough for the dog to reach. Each time you take the dog out, ring the bell. The dog will associate ringing the bell with going out and one day ring the bell to signal to you that he needs to go out. This is a good fool proof way for him to let you know he needs to eliminate. I'd start this regardless of whether you feel another reason is more likely. You do need to immediately take the dog out when they ring the bell or it loses its effectivelyness. The dog needs to associate the bell ringing with you taking them outside to eliminate.

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 7 months ago.
Rascal can not hear. Would you have any other suggestions besides a bell?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 months ago.

In that case you might rig a method of Rascal stepping on a board or trigger that would ring the bell. That way you could step on it and he could see it go down. He would associate it going down with going out while you could still hear the bell. Perhaps a set up much like a drum pedal uses or a large button that your dog could step on or nudge to trigger a ring like a door bell. See one here:

He doesn't have to actually hear the bell itself, just know that when he presses it with his nose, you let him out.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 months ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. Let me know if my answer was helpful.

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