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15 y/o Tibetan Terrier using the house as a bathroom

January 20th, 2011, 01:26 PM
I have a 15 year old Tibetan Terrier. He has been in the family since he was a puppy. Lately, we have been having issues with him going to the washroom inside the house. :yuck:

Growing up, Morten (the dog), had free range of the house when we were gone. When he became about 6 or 7 we started putting him in the laundry room when we were gone so he wouldn't get in trouble elsewhere. He has always been fine with that. Now though he seems to be going to the washroom every time we go out ... whether its 1 hour or 4 hours.

Before leaving, we always make sure he goes outside, and he is usually out there for at least 20 minutes. But the accidents inside continue to happen. :confused:

I know that he can hold it, as he sleeps through the night with no issues, going 8 or 9 hours without having to go outside. When we are home, he goes to the door when he has to use the washroom, so I know that he still recognizes that he has to go, and that he is supposed to go outside.

We are starting to get frustrated, as everyday we are cleaning up a mess.

Morten is healthy otherwise. He is still able to go for walks, eats a healthy diet, able to jump up on the bed or the couch and gets excited when we come home. He is a little bit deaf and a little bit blind, but he still hears when we call him and can see his way around the house.

Any help would be great. :dog:

January 20th, 2011, 01:33 PM
Does Morten suffer for Separation Anxiety? It can get worse over the years. If he is holding it all night that is the first thing I would suspect.

If he does not then - has he had a complete checkup lately? One of my older dogs is on estrogen for controlling her bladder. That may help if the separation anxiety is not the cause.

January 20th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Thanks 14+kitties. I took a look at the websites you provided, and some of them were of use.

It is likely seperation issues, however, if thats the case, I dont know what to do. Unfortunately, during the day no one can be home cause we all work. I try and come home at lunch if I can, but thats not possible every day.

I am going to try and leave a radio on, at least have some noise in the house, maybe that will make him feel better.

At his last check up with the vet, the vet didnt mention anything, just that there is signs of aging in his eyes and joints. Perhaps I should bring him in again and explain to the vet what is going on.

Thanks again. And if anyone else has dealt with an issue like this, it would be great to know what you did in the situation.

January 20th, 2011, 03:31 PM
things can start hurting and not working right when you get old, sometimes onset of pain can cause separation issues even if they didn't exist before. I heard of one woman who had a dog that would bark horribly when she left but stopped after having a rotten tooth remove. A overall good bill of health and maybe a blood panel screening could give you some insight as to if anything is going on that isn't obvious. In the mean time your probably best to leave him in a easy to clean space.

January 20th, 2011, 03:55 PM
Hi KRISTINA, welcome to pets.

I have a 13+ wheaten terrier/shih tzu mix who has started have "anxiety" when we leave too :( He has cataracts and is going deaf and I think he just gets nervous. It is not every time but it has happened. For now it is not an issue and we have a mini carpet steamer so we can stay on top of it.

Perhaps if he is in laundry room you could put down some pee pads. Or maybe buy some pull ups and cut a whole for the tail for him to wear when you have to be out :shrug:

Definitely, a vet visit and a blood panel are in order too. Hobo we suspect has Cushings Disease which could be contributing also. It certainly is heartbreaking to see them get old but there are ways to manage it.

Good luck :goodvibes:

January 20th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the wlecome diandpat!

Hobo seems to have similar issues that Mort has .... including the cataract and going deaf :(, i guess that comes with old age though.

I have bought some puppy training pads. I will try and lay them out tomorrow. See if that helps. Maybe if Mort does have to go he will go on there ... it would be nice to come home and not have to clean up.

If that doesn't work I will have to try a diaper or something.

As others have suggested as well, I will make an appointment for him to see the vet. Get a blood panel screening, see if that shows anything. Maybe it will help answer some of my questions.

January 20th, 2011, 04:59 PM

I agree with having a blood panel run. Given his age, one every six months isn't unreasonable.

I lost my old guy at 14 1/2, but he started having a few accidents as well in his older years. Adding an extra walk a day really helped him. Older animals don't have the bladder control they once had. You can also get a belly band or male dog wrap to use when you are gone. This is a piece of fabric that velcros across the lower belly. You can use appropriate-sized sanitary pads to absorb his urine. You don't want to leave these on for extended periods, since you can have skin breakdown and an odor issue. For short trips out, this may help if the pee-pee pads don't.

If this is a new problem, he could have an underlying health problem. UTIs are more common in older dogs, Cushings Disease, diabetes, etc. Blood work and a urinalysis can help rule these out. Is he drinking more? The kidneys don't function as well as the body ages. One other thing is canine cognitive dysfunction, which is a type of doggie dementia. Here is a link that explains more:

I suspect that my old dog had a little bit of CCD. He would wander into a corner and start crying like he didn't know where he was. He had issues in darkened rooms. Like your dog, mine had hearing loss as well. It didn't get severe for my dog, but it is an age-related concern you may wish to check on as well. Good luck and smooches to Mort!

February 26th, 2011, 07:44 PM
Does Morten suffer for Separation Anxiety? It can get worse over the years. If he is holding it all night that is the first thing I would suspect.

If he does not then - has he had a complete checkup lately? One of my older dogs is on estrogen for controlling her bladder. That may help if the separation anxiety is not the cause.

That is interesting, I've not ever heard of the estrogen thing.

Mine has similar problems to the OP. I too have had to start confining my dog to a smaller area as she got older, especially during a period of time when i had to commute for work. At least that way I could control where I had to clean, instead of it being on carpets or leaking into the laminate. Due to the fact that at one point I was leaving her for close to ten hours a day to commute, and being realistic about her bladder capacity at that age, I started with pee pads, but then designated a couple of big towels to use, because I was tired of throwing out all that stuff or having it hanging around in the garbage stinking the place up.

Thing is now when I leave her, even to pop to the store for about 15 mins
many times she'll squeeze a little something out.

I don't have many suggestions, but I can empathize.