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Dr. Hinson
Dr. Hinson, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1855
Experience:  11 years working in the veterinary field. I have experience with small, large and exotic species.
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mix..fecal incontinence while she sleeps or takes long naps..Acting

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I have a 3 1/2 yr old chiwawwa mix that over last 2 wks has developed fecal incontinence while she sleeps or takes long naps. No history or spinal trauma or infection. Acting and eating normally otherwise. My vet says he has never seen it before however I am a physician and am concerned about occult sacral or caudal nerve damage. I am also wondering about an anal gland infection possibly being the cause.
Welcome to Just Answer! I'm Dr. Hinson and I'd like to help you with your question.

How often does this happen? Every day?

Any urinary incontinence?

Is she on any medications or supplements (including herbal)?

There is nothing in the chihuahua breed that makes me think it is congenital.

I have never heard of an anal gland infection causing this problem. If she had an anal gland problem you would see it just by looking at her rectum. Do you see any swellings in the rectal area?

Does she have normal anal tone?

Any CP deficits in the hind limbs?

Any ataxia?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This started just before Christmas I believe. She had a few bms in her bedding where she sleeps when I am on call and didnt find them until after Christmas. I thought she did it intentionally so I put a diaper on her when she slept with me and found 2 mornings out of 5 she had a small bm in her diaper in the morning so I figured it was an accident then on New Years Eve she took a 2 hr nap on my lap and I notice she had a small bm when she was sound a sleep. The vet didnt really check her rectal tone, only took her temp so I checked it and if she were a 12 lb baby person i would say it seems normal..(not sure about dogs anal tone).

She has no swelling back there. No neurological deficits at all. She runs and plays as normal. She flips her feet upright if I try to flip her paws. She even has normal bms daily.

Absolutely no ataxia. Normal appetite.

I wouldn't believe it if she had not had a bm when she sleeping on my lap if I hadnt have seen it.

No urinary incontinence either.

The vet started her on steroids today. She seems to young to have problems already.
OK. Thanks for the reply.

Parasitic infection is another aspect that can contribute to fecal incontinence. When intestinal parasites cause an excessive amount of diarrhea over a prolonged period of time, it can cause significant destruction to the muscles in the rectum, which eventually leads to fecal incontinence. Likewise, worms and parasites also have the ability to eat away at the sphincter muscle, making it inefficient at letting a dog know when he needs to defecate. Has she been regularly dewormed and/or had regular fecal checks since you have had her?

If the parasitic infection has been identified and treated and fecal incontinence continues, a colonoscopy should be performed.

The only other thing I can think of is trying to change her diet to make the feces harder so they are more difficult to pass. What are you feeding her now?

The trouble with fecal incontinence is that only the cause is treatable - not the condition itself. Effective treatment of the reason for fecal incontinence can sometimes help to alleviate the symptoms. Even after treatment, fecal incontinence can still be an irreversible condition.

If you haven't taken her to an internal medicine specialist, I would recommend doing that if the fecal doesn't show anything.

I would make sure that your vet sends the fecal out to the lab for analysis. Don't let them run it in-house because many vets have untrained (or on the job trained) technicians looking at the fecals. Be sure they request that the fecal sample also be checked for giardia and coccidia it may not be a bad idea to have a culture of the feces done. I would also do a cobalamin and B-12.

Read more: Fecal Incontinence in Dogs - VetInfo
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will have him check her feces for parasites, unfortunately she has never had a bout of runny stools since I have had her at 8 weeks old. she is a regular pooper and eater. She also receives Heart Guard monthly since 8 weeks old also.
My biggest concern was a progressive neurological deficit but it doesn't sound like that is probable.
I will see if we can go to the vet school at K-state as I am in a semi-rural area and Kansas and just lucky to have a vet in the area. thank you for your time.
Jill Doerfler-Iniguez M.D.
You're welcome! Just so you know, she doesn't have to have diarrhea to have parasites. It is great she has been on Heartguard but that only "deworms" for hookworms and roundworms. It does nothing for whipworms, giardia, coccidia or many other parasites.

I think going to K-state would be a great idea!

Please keep me updated! I wish you all the best!
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