Older Dog and Bathroom Issues
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Thread: Older Dog and Bathroom Issues

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Older Dog and Bathroom Issues

    Hi everyone,

    My boyfriend's dog is having some bathroom issues. He is some sort of mixed breed, and he is just over 20 lbs. He is actually 17 years old, so I would be surprised if he didn't have any issues.

    He has always been house trained, with an occasional accident. Lately, however, he has been eliminating inside the house - both #1 and #2, but most often #1. I know that he probably can't hold it or maybe has cognitive issues, but we don't know how to handle this. It seems like it happens MORE when we are home, and it also happens every 45 minutes or less. It is always on carpet, but not really in the same particular area - just pretty random. My boyfriend hopes to not have to confine him to hard floor, because he has arthritis and has trouble getting around - it seems like non-carpeted areas would be very uncomfortable for him.

    Taking him out a lot obviously isn't helping, so we considered getting him some sort of playpen and then maybe putting it on the carpet, with some sort of plastic over it. The problem is that since it happens constantly, I don't know how we will be able to let him out without having the problem again, because we don't want him to be confined all the time. It's over very quickly, so catching the behavior won't help. By the time we walk across the room, it would be over. He cannot see well and his hearing is almost completely gone, so saying something wouldn't help, either.

    This all started within the past six months, but yesterday was the absolute worst (he urinated in the house three times in under four hours, not counting the time that he went outside). My boyfriend is convinced it's because I am moving in with him, and that the older dog is excited and confused. Also, since I am moving in, we are changing the furniture around, so the environment is a bit different. I'm not sure - the dog doesn't seem to really care about me being there, but he wanders around the house aimlessly all the time. The problem was also definitely still there before I moved in, although it seemed to be less frequent.

    My boyfriend has two younger, much larger dogs - and they are now going to the bathroom on the carpet, too - maybe because they smell it. It has gotten so bad that we already tore half of it up, but I honestly think that it's in the tile at this point.

    My dog will be moving in, too. He is not here right now, because I am still moving boxes in and he is staying with my parents until I'm ready to stay here full-time (I lived with them previously). He was difficult to house train - it took almost a year, since his breed is known to be difficult to train. I don't want him to start this again, too; especially not after all of my hard work!

    What can we do to still be fair to the old one without having issues with the younger ones? They were barely house trained before (we had barely finished with them before this started), and this has set things back tremendously. It is an issue with the older dog, but it is much worse when the bigger dogs start the same behaviors, since they obviously eliminate more. I am also allergic to dog urine, so it is a major issue for me.

    Thanks for your help!

    Adding: The dog has been to the vet, and they say that he is in great shape for his age. He is on arthritis meds already, although they are not a huge dose. Since this is happening so frequently and generally all over the carpet, I don't think it's an issue with him having trouble getting into position to go. Also, this never happens while he is sleeping.
    Last edited by dramaprincess; 09-02-2010 at 10:32 AM.

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  3. #2
    Junior Member Jazzy's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Re: Older Dog and Bathroom Issues

    Poor guy is just getting old and doesn't have the bladder control that he used to. I can understand why your boyfriend doesn't want to keep him confined to an area with harder floors, but if this is what you decide to do, they are a some ways to make it more comfortable for him. You could get him a bed to lay on (look for one that has a removeable cover). Also, depending on what type of flooring it is, you could also get a few throw rugs to put around to prevent slipping. I would get some cheap ones that can be thrown in the washer if he does have an accident on them. Also, while you are home with him I would try to take him out every hour, just like you would when you were potty training the other pups. This isn't going to re-train him, like I said he's just getting old, but this will hopefully help prevent more accidents in the house. Good luck!
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  4. #3
    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Older Dog and Bathroom Issues

    Older dogs are also more likely to get urinary tract infections. They also can develop Cushings or diabetes. It would be a good idea to get a vet to check him out specifically for those. The tests for a uri or diabetes are cheap, and antibiotics, if it's a uri aren't expensive. The really frequent urination makes me think it could be a medical issue rather than just old age related not being able to hold his bladder. Unless a vet checked him for a URI, he may seem to be in good shape, but still have that problem.
    The pooping may be due to arthritis, and poor muscle tone, so he has to strain to get up, and the sphinter muscles aren't as strong as they used to be. Sometimes joint supplements (like Glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM) can help but not always. If you notice that he seems to move more stiffly/have a hard time getting up, you might want to ask your vet about putting him on an NSAID that will help him. (Or if he's on an NSAID, maybe try a different one/higher dose. You said he's on arthritis meds but didn't specify whether it was a nutracutical or an NSAID.)
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  6. #4
    Senior Member hachna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Sydney, Australia

    Re: Older Dog and Bathroom Issues


    How sad for your bf and you (you guys seem dog lovers)!!! Is there any possibility that you could change your life style more fitting into the old dog such as hard floor living room etc. (i do not know what your living arrangement) Secondly combine confinement and using pads. So while you and bf are not at home live the older dog somewhere it does not matter if he has accidents or not. When you guys are at home, perhaps you can use pads on him. It is a difficult situation physically and emotionally. All the best

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