Urination and Defecation
Many paralyzed dogs have little or no control over their bladders and bowels. Some are incontinent, so they will dribble urine and drop stool manually. However, this can simply be overflow from the bladder and not true urination. Some paralyzed dogs have trouble emptying their bladders and will need manual expression. Your veterinarian can show you how to properly express a bladder by placing gentle pressure on the lower abdomen. Be sure a professional demonstrates how to do this properly as incorrect techniques may injure or even rupture the bladder. Paralyzed dogs may need their bladders expressed several times a day to prevent urinary tract infections (which may be caused by old urine sitting in the bladder).
Incontinent dogs may also drop small amounts of stool periodically and can even become constipated. Monitor the dogs food intake versus stool production to make sure he is somewhat regular. Also, keep the rear end clean to prevent stool from drying around the anus and restricting bowel movements. Ask your vet for advice on how to help your dog with bowel movements. Increased dietary fiber can help, but this should only be done if recommended by your vet.
What working pet families worry about most
When I put out the word for advice to our Facebook community, Carol C. wrote back to say she was facing the problem of going back to work. Her dog had been diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), a progressive neurologic disease.
Carol’s question confirmed one of the biggest fears of pet owners. We worry their condition will get worse, if they are home alone too long.
Caring for a Paralyzed Dog
Paralyzed dogs need special care. The degree of care depends on the severity of the dogs paralysis. Your veterinarian is the best source of information about proper care. In general, there are a few things you need to know about caring for a paralyzed dog.