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Old August 13th, 2013, 08:23 PM
zigggy zigggy is offline
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Caught between a poop and a wet place. (New Member)

I apologise for the length of the post but I didn't want to leave out any info that may be the one clue needed to resolve this issue. Also, this was laboriously written in my cell phone, so please excuse any words that don't fit or make any sense, it is the result of my phones word auto compete prog called swype.

Although the title is an obvious attempt at humor there is a very serious side to this.

-Background-

Female mix breed dog, estimate 13-14 years old. Rescued animal, was about 6 y/o and abandoned at vets by owner who didn't want to pay a vet bill. She'd been hit by a car, both back legs broken one amputated the other required its knee surgically repaired. There was also some spinal damage as she seemed to have difficulty making her remaining leg do what she wanted it to. Ie-walking with the top of the foot to the ground rather than the pad, and also not being able to use it to scratch her ear very well as it just sort of flops around rather than the rapid movement dogs do when they scratch their ear with a hind leg. This did improve somewhat though and she eventually started to walk on her pad again 6-8 months after the accident.

Current issue

- About 6-8 months ago she developed diarhea. Extremely liquidy diarhea. It was wet season and giardia was suspected and she was put on metronidozole. cleared the diarhea right up. 4 or 5 days later the runs were back. Into the vets for testing, giardia still suspected but not found positive for. More metro diarhea gone. This started a cycle of her being on metro more often than not since then as the metro cleared up the poops, and medical wise the next steps were to be colonoscopy and ultrasound and the money was running thin since as my partner (my mother) in the house we purchased passed away about a year ago, I'm paying the full mortgage and until it is finished in 2 more years money is and will be until that time, very tight. But I digress....So I kept her on the lowest dosage of metro that worked which is 1/2 of a 250mg tab morning and night. All was well until 2 weeks ago at which time she started to have the odd accident in the house (peeing). It was very hot a Vancouver lower mainland summer 30-35 celcius/95-100 farenheit, and I chalked it up to her drinking extra water due to the unusual heat. Unfortunately this doesn't appear to be the case as the temperatures are now much more moderate and the accidents have become much more frequent. At least one a day. Today though I saw something that really put me on the alert. I had just woken up, and was out of bed about 10 minutes. Just gathering my bearings so to speak and getting ready to bring her to the back yard to do her business as I have to help her, at least with the steps. She was laying there, awake, in front of me on her side and urine began gouting out of her full stream. No whining to "hurry up dad, I gotta pee." As she normally would, not really acknowleging she was peeing at all. When I said in a disapointed voice "ohhh Farah!!." she even wagged her tail at me a bit. So she may not even know it's happening. The accidents are not close together in time. Usually when I'm sleeping, or during the 9 hours my job and travel to and from require me to be away from home. An amount of time she had no trouble holding her urine for. Actually, on occasion I've had to work overtime, a 12 hour shift and an hour total driving time, at least twice a month and she has never messed the floor.

I'm worried that it may be the metro but I fear the return of the diarhea more than the pee. I need to have as much info as possible before I go to the vets as I won't be able to afford a bunch of trips to them. I hope you all have some suggestions, of what might be going on here and what should be done about it.

In closing I should say that although this dog is a rather old gal she remains very happy, alert, enjoys her food immensly, and loves the company of myself and even the 3 cats I inherited from my dear old mum. I love her alot and rue the thought of having to put her down. On the other side of the fence, the cold Canadian winter is coming and the days of open doors and windows are quickly coming to a close. I intend to do a good carpet cleaning but if this isn't resolved it won't be long before the place smells like hell again and I'll be locked in a smallish 1100 sqft rancher behind closed doors and windows with a noxious odor and 3 litter boxes to boot.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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  #2  
Old August 13th, 2013, 10:58 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Wow, first I just want to say how amazing you are for taking care of this sweet girl.

Regarding the diarrhea, I wonder if she perhaps has some sort of food intolerance or inflammatory bowel disease, and that's why you see improvement while on the metronidazole. Unfortunately it sounds like it's only suppressing the symptoms and not actually resolving the source of the problem. As well, long term use of metronidazole has its own set of side effects, some of them neurological. I have no idea if that would result in the random acts of peeing that you're starting to see, or if it's a completely unrelated issue.

Some questions: what does your girl eat, and how long has she been eating it? Has an "elimination diet" ever been tried? (that's where you exclusively feed a single novel protein source like venison or rabbit for a period of time, usually a few months, and eliminate all hyper-allergenic grains like corn, wheat, soy etc.). If not, that might be something to consider.

Other more holistic things to think about are slippery elm bark powder to help firm up her stool, and also the use of a high potency, multi-strain probiotic (something from a human health food store, not the vet).

Speaking of holistic, it would certainly be ideal if you could take her to a holistic vet for a consult. I realize that cost is an issue, and holistic vets are often initially more expensive than conventional vets, but over the long term a good one can actually be quite a bit cheaper.

Either way, I think a urinalysis would be a good starting point and it shouldn't be terribly expensive. A senior blood panel could also provide some clues.

I really hope you can figure out what's going on with your doggie. In the meantime, would putting puppy pads down in various places around the house help?
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Old August 14th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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marko marko is offline
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I too would be curious to know the answers to SCM's questions.

and wow what a great pet mom you are

At 13-14 years it's possible that there's some urinary control issues. A practical solution (if this is difficult to solve medically) might be doggie diapers.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 11:28 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Flagyl can have very serious side effects and best used sparingly for short amounts of time. I did a quick google and an adverse effect of flagyl is frequent or painful urination, so that definitely could be it. Flagyl temporarily paralyzed my girl long ago, and it made my boy stumbly after 3 days on it. My girl now is currently on it, once a day, every other day, but the internal medicine vet is concerned about its use.

Something else like amoxicillin might help, or try a bland homecooked diet (say beef and overcooked rice, etc.) There are other things that might cause the diarrhea other than giardia.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 03:58 PM
zigggy zigggy is offline
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Sorry it took so long to reply to the replies but I've been very miserable over the situation. I ended up having to put my baby down. Probably the hardest thing I've ever had to make myself do. I woke up the morning following my original post and my girl couldn't stand and the look in her eyes tore my heart up. The next day was worse with her pretty much refusing food and water. So being that she was 15 years old and had been crippled up and 3 legged from being hit by a car when she was about 5 and with her original owner I knew the time was right to let her go with a bit of dignity. She's out running in grassy spring fields now waiting for me to come along in my own time to throw the ball for her. I haven't felt anything so strongly since my mom passed away. The cats really miss her too. My one cat, dickens(fem), so named by my mom from whom I inherited her, because she's a real lil dickens. Always into some kind of mischief. Anyways, lil Dickens used to be great friends with, and curl up with the dog, Farrah, and sleep most of the night there. This was a godsend since Dickens is very social and the other two cats are very much loners. Also, as Farrahs' vision had got worse in her old age and her immobility didn't give her many options to entertain herself when I was away from the house for 9-10 hours at work and at night she wouldn't have to be alone. Now that Farrah is gone little dickens wants to move into my bed with me and Caesar. She pesters Caesar because she wants to curl up with him and he doesn't like that and hisses, spits and swats at her, then she wants under the covers with me but wants to point the wrong way with her bum pushed up in my face. She struggles when I try to turn her around and point her backside towards my feet but eventually she settles for sitting on my chest or bladder which isn't much better but at least she leaves Caesars corner alone. Basically my bed isn't such a restful place right now. Lol.......I hadn't thought about how much this would affect Dickens, but for now she won't leave my side and follows me all around the house and even, very rare for a cat, comes running straight way when I call.
So, we're all sad here I guess and missing my baby girl.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 06:19 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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I am so sorry to hear this. I had to put my dog down not long after I lost my mom and it was also the difficult thing I had to do. in sweet girl
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Old September 17th, 2013, 08:37 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I am very sorry
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