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Friday, September 18, 2009

Potty Talk

Last week I discussed what your dog’s feces can tell you and now just a short subject on the urine which many people rarely take a look at until there is a blood drip on the floor or the dog is constantly licking the genital area. Constant licking is a good indication that there is a problem going on yet many people yell at their dogs for doing this thinking it must be some type of pleasurable sexual thing! I know, go figure! Constant licking can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, vaginal infection, or if the male is intact then prostate problems come into play. Also constant licking will probably take away any type of discharge that you would see if the dog were not licking.

Of course the site of blood in the urine makes some people panic, their first thought is some type of cancer or kidney failure, and so I write this to have you remain calm until you visit your vet. I remember when I first saw blood on my kitchen floor and since both my females are spayed I knew it was not a heat cycle. Had I not worked answering dog questions for the last few years I would have panicked like most people do, so just as I mentioned in my post regarding your dog’s feces I reiterate it here. You should know the prone illnesses of your breed. It was because I knew that Newfoundland’s were prone to bladder stones I did not panic at the thought of it being some devastating illness when I saw the blood on the floor; instead I took Abby and her first in the morning urine sample off to the vet’s office for exam. Sure enough she did have an infection but while we were there we did a sonogram to check for bladder stones as well. Thankfully there weren’t any.

Blood in the urine can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, or it can also mean something as serious as your dog having gotten into rat poison. At the same time very dark urine can mean there is a problem with the liver or kidneys. But before you panic, make a note of all symptoms you are seeing and when you started to notice them, then bring that information to your vet. IF possible catch a urnine sample from the first of the morning. Never ignore it as it is not likely to go away.

One more thing about a dog’s bladder that I want to mention because so many people believe that the dog is doing this on purpose or that it is a problem that can’t be fixed, and that would be urinary incontinence in older dogs. You may find a wet spot after your dog has been lying down or she may dribble urine as she walks. This is due to a weakness of the urethral muscle and medication can help within a matter of days in most cases. Abby started on Proin medication for this and within three days, her incontinence stopped. Some dogs need only be on this for a short time but some need to be on it for the rest of their life.

Also if you have a puppy who seems to be unable to get the potty training thing down it may not be due to a behavior problem. There is something called Ectopic Ureter which a pup is born with and it causes incontinence. So if potty training becomes a problem please have your pup checked for this. It is mostly seen in Labs, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, and Miniature Poodles. Sadly many pups are euthanized because of this as sometimes surgery does not help.

Alright then, two weeks in a row is enough of bodily functions! Just remember, if you feel deep in your heart that your pup is not acting right, then you are more than likely right. They are like your children and you know them better than anyone.

Again the website to look up your breeds prone illnesses http://www.petplace.com/dog-breeds.aspx

Ectopic Ureter http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_ectopic_ureters.html

Next blog, Tips (from experience) to make it easier on you when you have a brood like mine, or even one really messy dog!

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