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Stool Incontinence in Older Dogs
Caring for an Older Dog with Stool Incontinence
Since Titan’s bilateral proprioceptive stall worsens, we are faced with new challenges regarding his stool incontinence. Many times we struggle to keep the house clean. We have wall-to-wall carpeting and as if that wasn’t messy enough; he often stools in his bed, panics and spreads the stool all over his beddings as he struggles to find his footing and lift his body from his bed in a hurry despite his weakness.
So how do you manage all this? These are our secrets! Keep in mind that proprioceptive stall is progressive. So you might only need some intervention at the beginning and need more interventions to maintain your dog’s dignity as the condition progresses.
• Feed you dog just the right amount of food. Over feeding a dog with this condition, even one meal, can cause an increase in stooling because the intestines contain stool constantly and with this condition the dog experiences a loss of involuntary muscle control, including spincters, so the stool will keep coming at unpredictable intervals. Titan can have between 5-8 stools/day, even stooling overnight
My Best Tips For Dealing with Dog Stool Incontinence
- Use pureed pumpkin to the dog’s kibble meals. You can pick it up at the local grocery store, but make sure you get plain pureed pumpkin. No spices in the puree. Mix in about 1 table spoon per feed. It helps ease the digestive tract, but more importantly bulks up the stool, so that it is not loose. The stool will be more firm every time, and easier to clean
- Make sure the dog’s bedding is comfortable and supportive – but easy to clean. We do dog wash all day long. Make sure you always have an alternate change if bedding on hand. So while you wash one, the dog still has a fresh bedding
Clean & Disinfect
- Find a good detergent that you like, that cleans well and disinfects. Through in the dog’s dirty bed linen, add one pod and let it do all the work against the stool which stains temporarily, smells and carries tones of viruses, like E. Coli which can make us sick. After a wash with Tide Pods, the dog’s bedding is clean and fresh
- Invest in a steam cleaner such as a Hoover Max Extract if you have carpet. It’s expensive up front, but if your dog still has quality of life and you love the dog enough, you might be looking at putting up with stool incontinence for a while. It has been about 3 years for us, and progressively worsening as expected. At first it’s was one stool a day in the house, now it’s almost every stool on a daily basis in the house
- Use a vacuum recommended for pets to properly clean the dirt and dander on a regular basis. You can be surprised that even hypoallergenic dog's shed. I'm always surprised by how much dog fur our Dirt Devil sucks up, even when I vacuum everyday! I could make another Titan with all the fur that the Vacuum picks up!
Dealing with stool incontinence as your dog ages can keep you busy. I recommend keeping a good relationship with your veterinarian. You will have many discussions and you can rely on the vet to give you true advice about your dog`s quality of life if you ask or request to come in for an assessment.