Bowel Incontinence in Dogs : A Manageable Condition

Bowel incontinence can be defined as the inability to control elimination. In dogs, is actually quite rare. Often it happens when a dog has a bout of diarrhoea and the need to go is too urgent to wait to get outside. It can also be a result of injury, for example in dogs that have become paralyzed in their hind legs. Parasites are often found to be the cause as are viruses.

Bowel incontinence in dogs is also a problem that can increase with advancing age. Old dog incontinence is often regarded as a part of the life of a senior pet. Many times it can be treated and resolved however.

If your dog is suffering from incontinence you should monitor the stool. It may be watery or a strange colour. You should also note any other symptoms your dog may be experiencing such as vomiting, gas or bloating. A stool sample should also be collected for evaluation at the veterinarian’s office.

Diagnosing the problem will involve a physical examination in addition to testing the stool sample. X-rays may also be done to assess the stomach and bowels. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. If parasites are found to be the issue, medication can resolve the problem. If there is infection present, antibiotics will be administered. Viruses must run their course but most will resolve on their own. Some viruses, such as parvo, have no known cure which is why it is important to vaccinate pets against such threats.

In common with urinary incontinence in dogs, special doggy diapers or nappies are available for senior dogs which can make a big difference to the management of this condition.

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