Why paralyzed dogs develop fecal incontinence
Paralysis and other neurologic conditions cut off communication between the nerves that control the bowels and the brain. Dogs can’t feel or control the muscles around the rectum so they drop small amounts of poop without realizing it. This typically happens while they’re sleeping, playing or walking.
If this is your situation, there are a few changes you can make to improve life. Putting your dog in a diaper can prevent accidents from happening around the house and feeding a healthy diet can keep stools firm. You’ll want to talk with your vet about getting the right amount of fiber and water in your dog’s diet before making any changes.
Other dogs have a hard time moving and emptying their bowels. Their level of communication between the brain and the muscles is more severe than the dogs described above. Many times, this is a result of the location of their spine injury.
These are the dogs who benefit from conditioning and expressing the area.
Techniques that manage bowel incontinent dogs
Be sure to discuss these management tools with your dog’s vet before using them.
The practice of helping a dog empty their bowels sounds intimidating, but don’t let that worry you. It’s something a mother cat does when her kittens are born and what every animal rescue group does when a litter of newborn kittens arrives at their doorstep. These are “tried and true” techniques.
The goal is for your dog to have a bowel movement once or twice a day. I personally think you’re doing a good job if they poop one time a day, but you’ll soon know what works best for your pet.
The first step is to touch the skin around your dog’s anus with you hand. If you feel a solid mass, it’s time to begin. Many times this happens about 30 minutes after your dog has eaten.
Another point to keep in mind is that you’re trying to encourage the body to do what comes naturally. These are gentle techniques to condition the body and should never be used too excess.
Use one or two of the suggestions listed below. Do not use all of them at one time. These techniques are meant to help you discover which of the remedies works best for your dog. And please wear disposable gloves at all times.
Nighttime and naptime diapers:
At night some incontinent dogs will poop in their bed. This will require diapers and even waterproof liners for the bedding. Also, be sure to find a bed that has a removable cover so it can be washed frequently.Â
Alternatively, pee pads can be used over bedding if diapers are not liked by the dog. This way hopefully, a mess will stay on the pad and is an easy clean up in the morning or after a nap.Â
Bowel Incontinence in Dogs | Wag!
Owners of dogs with bowel issues, such as fecal incontinence or constipation, often need more information on how to care for these conditions at home. Sometimes it is due to age related changes, injury or a degenerative disease. Here are some guidelines on how to help your dog in their new stage of life.Â
Several things can cause your dog to lose bowel control. Essentially their bowels, or colon, can no longer get the signal, or reflex, from the central nervous system to be controlled. These may be due to such things as spinal cord injuries, damage to tail nerves, intestinal diseases and even sometimes anal gland (sac) disease.Â
If you suspect your dog may have fecal incontinence its important to go see your vet. After a physical examination, they will do blood tests, urinalysis and fecal analysis to look for causes. Additional ultrasound or x-rays may be done to further investigate the exact cause and help establish treatment options.Â
After a cause is established, owners will find coping with incontinence to be a new lifestyle adjustment just as much as their dog does. Here are some tips from a veterinarian on how to manage a dogâs fecal incontinence.Â