Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs

Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Diarrhea / Flatulence / Vomiting

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Rated as serious conditon

64 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Diarrhea / Flatulence / Vomiting

Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Lack of Bowel Control?

Aside from the puppy training moments, dogs are very conscientious creatures and will not defecate inside the house unless there is a problem. While fecal incontinence is most common in older dogs, there are medical reasons that may contribute to this problem in younger canines. An illness, disease or injury may be the cause for the lack of bowel control. Consult the appropriate veterinary professional without delay; her knowledge and understanding will be able to remedy the situation.

Fecal incontinence is the veterinarian term for a dog who is exhibiting a lack of bowel control. This can be an unpleasant situation for you as a pet owner, and will most likely cause stress for your dog as well. A visit to the veterinarian clinic is imperative in order to diagnose and treat the cause, as well as prevent further complications that can arise from the incontinence.

Lack of Bowel Control Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $200 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,800

Symptoms of Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs

The inability to control bowel movements stems from a lack of communication of sorts between the brain signals and the colon. There can be various explanations for the problem, and the veterinarian will be able to diagnose and find a solution to relieve the difficult. Take note of the following symptoms, and relay them to the veterinarian at your clinic visit:

  • Lack of anal tone
  • Passing feces while walking
  • Passing feces while sleeping
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Scooting hind end along floor
  • Diarrhea
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Causes of Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs

There are many reasons why your dog may lose control of his bowels and have an accident in the house. Remember, this can be an upsetting occurrence for your pet. To avoid further complications resulting from the added stress, take your dog to the veterinarian in order to pinpoint the exact cause that may be included in the list below:

  • Degenerative myelopathy (spinal cord disease)
  • Peripheral myopathy (damage to nerves which impairs sensation)
  • Muscle atrophy (wasting)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Trauma after injury such as impact from car accident
  • Paralysis or debilitation of hind legs (this can lead to a colon that is never expressed fully, as the dog does not have strength to eliminate feces - because colon is not fully empty, your dog may lose bowel control when asleep or upon standing)

  • Infection of anal sac
  • Viruses such as Parvo, which cause uncontrollable diarrhea
  • Perianal fistula (chronic lesions around the anus)
  • Parasites (resulting diarrhea for an extended length of time can lead to damaged muscles in the rectum)
  • Spinal tumor
  • Myasthenia gravis ( a neuromuscular disease that keeps the muscles from contracting)
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Diagnosis of Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs

Diagnosing the cause for the lack of bowel control will be greatly improved if you are able to give the veterinarian informative, relevant information. Make a note of the incidences when your dog has an accident in your home, and try to document any behavioral changes that you may see as well. Collect a fecal sample to bring to the clinic for analysis.

Along with the feces analysis, the veterinarian will want to do a urinalysis. These tests, together with a chemistry blood profile and complete blood count, will diagnose infection or parasites if present. A discussion of your pet’s medical history and a thorough physical examination will be done, which will include checking the anal and sphincter muscles.

If required for an accurate diagnosis, the veterinarian may decide to do radiographs of the abdomen, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine to see if there are visible tumors or spinal arthritis.

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Treatment of Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs

When treating fecal incontinence, it is essential to address all of the complications and causes that may accompany it. For example, a dog who has incontinence in the form of diarrhea may have blistering around the anus, which if left untreated, can lead to a secondary infection. Another instance of a complication may be a stress induced illness. Though you may not be able to ascertain the amount of stress the fecal incontinence is causing for your pet, there is no doubt that the situation is causing him discomfort and quite likely mental anguish.

If the lack of bowel control is being caused by a simple infection, antibiotics can quickly resolve the problem. A parasitic infection, such as giardia or intestinal worms can be eradicated with the appropriate medication. There are drugs that can strengthen the sphincter muscles if necessary.

Surgical reconstruction of the anal and sphincter area may be required in some dogs. The veterinarian will be the absolute best person to decide on the appropriate treatment protocol. Some may recommend therapies such as chiropractic care, physiotherapy or acupuncture, for example, if the incontinence is resulting from lower back pain or weakness.

In the case of a senior dog, the incontinence may be a permanent situation, in which case diapers or frequent trips outside may be of help.

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Recovery of Lack of Bowel Control in Dogs

Working closely with the veterinarian will be a big part of taking care of a dog who has lack of bowel control. Pay special care to the instructions given to you by the veterinary professional; your cooperation will be instrumental in relieving your dog of this problem. Follow instructions completely when dealing with medication. If the veterinarian suggests diet changes, be sure to heed the advice. Your veterinarian may prescribe a hypoallergenic diet (with ingredients like rice, fish oil, and soy hydrolysate) or an intestinal diet (containing corn meal, chicken liver hydrolysate and soybean oil).

Psyllium supplements may help to slow down diarrhea, but can also aid in facilitating stool elimination. You will have to consult with the veterinarian in order to find the right diet balance that works with your pet’s digestive system.

At home, patience is key. We never want our pet to associate accidents of bowel control with anger. Frequent walks allow for plenty of opportunities for your pet to pass a bowel movement. Exercise can assist the digestive system with elimination, and chances are if your pet has emptied his colon after a long walk or run, you may have helped him to avoid an accident later. A long walk before bed may benefit the situation also.

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Lack of Bowel Control Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $200 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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Lack of Bowel Control Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Ace

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German Shepherd

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11 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Incontinence
Trouble Walking

My 11 year old German Shepherd has had weakening back legs, starting about a year ago. Recently he has begun defecating at random and does not even notice it happens. The only way I know is when I actually see it. He does not even squat anymore, I would liken it more to the way a horse defecates. I have a feeling this is a degenerative spinal issue given the weakness in the legs but is there any way to help somewhat restore feeling to his colon? I of course never reprimand him because he literally has no idea it has even happened when it does. These are his only health issues as well. He is otherwise in perfect health, no tumors or other ailments.

June 14, 2018

Ace's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

German Shepherds are prone to degenerative problems with the nerves of the back end, and that may be what is happening to Ace. There is no treatment for that, unfortunately, but giving good pain medication to help with any arthritis issues can sometimes help the whole picture and lessen the signs of the nerve dysfunction. It would be best to have him examined by a veterinarian, as they can assess him and provide safe pain medication if he needs it.

June 14, 2018

You just described exactly our experience with our 13 yr old German Shepherd mix, including the weakness in the back legs. I'll be interested to hear the response.

June 14, 2018

Mascha F.

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Scooter

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Boston Terrier

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bowel Incontinence

I have a 3 year old Boston/Frenchie mix who had his first groom and anal gland expression yesterday (which I am not regretting agreeing to) but since he got home he’s have bowel incontinence and dropping small amounts of fecal matter as he walks and overnight while sleeping. Otherwise acting completely normal, hasn’t eaten anything new, when he poops it’s a normal consistency and brown color... I’m not sure if the anal gland expression caused it given the timing or what it could b.

June 13, 2018

Scooter's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Faecal incontinence isn’t something we see after anal gland expression, however it may occur as the area is generally sensitive. You should keep an eye on Scooter for now, but I would recommend that you visit your Veterinarian for an examination before the weekend to check him over, determine anal tine etc... Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 14, 2018

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Baxter

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Labrador/Border Collie

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12 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Limping
Urinary Incontinence
Fecal Incontinence
Stiff Movements

I have a black lab/border collie mix who is approximately 12 years old (rescued at~4 years old). He poops multiple times a day and more and more they are happening indoors. He has what we have dubbed "walking poops" as he no longer squats. He lifts his tail, but that is the extent of effort on his part. He has even sat in it and smeared it, and I don't think he realized he did it. He also pees as he walks and he rarely lifts his leg to pee. He also limps and has difficulty going from standing to laying and vice versa. To get him to get into the car we have to physically put him in as he no longer even climbs to the floor board of the car. Each of these has gotten progressively worse in the past few months. I'm aware of hip dysplasia being prominent in larger dogs. Does this sound like typical hip dysplasia, or could it be something else?

June 8, 2018

Baxter's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If there are signs of faecal and urinary incontinence the cause is more likely due to spinal issues than hip issues; however, you should visit your Veterinarian to confirm. You Veterinarian will check Baxter’s hips but may require an x-ray or two to make a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 9, 2018

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Ender

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Doberman Pinscher

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Gas
Pooping In The House,

My 1 yo doberman is completely potty trained. He didn't have an accident for over 8 months and then suddenly he started pooping in the house. I have taken him to the vet and dont blood and fecal tests but they came back clear. He has solid poos most of the time but a couple days a week he has diareah. It's been so consustent that we have had to put him on a fast for one day a week for 2 months. I have tried immodium which helps short term but makes it worse later. He has had good results from the food he eats but regardless he still has diareah a couple days a week. It's when he has diareah that he has accidents in the house. What do I do? I'm super frustrated.

May 24, 2018

Ender's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It can be difficult to narrow in on a specific cause of diarrhoea which may be due to a variety of possible conditions which may include infections, parasites, poisoning, food intolerance, inflammation among other causes. At this stage, if your Veterinarian hasn’t narrowed in on a cause, I would recommend visiting an Internal Medicine Specialist to examine Ender and review his case; part from trying different diets and keeping track of possible triggers for the diarrhoea, I cannot think of anything to recommend. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 25, 2018

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Princess

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West Highland White Terrier

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Change In Bladder & Bowel Empting

I have a westie 4 years old. Over the past three days has not been going to empty her bladder when first let out in the garden. She aslo does the same with her bowels. She doesn't seem to do this until around about 13.00. She has her food round about 9 in the morning always has. Could you please tell me if I need to take her the vets or is there something I can do for her. Thank you.

May 17, 2018

Princess' Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

You should visit your Veterinarian as it is unusual for a dog to not empty their bladder first thing in the morning especially when it is a routine, defecation is not as reliable indicator as a dog will not always defecate first thing in the morning unlike urination. This may be the first signs of a spinal issue or another condition, but without examining Princess I cannot say with any certainty. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 18, 2018

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Chico

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Cihweenie

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3 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

We have a 3 month year old chiweenie n he was born with round worms n had it bad when we got him from his previous owners. We have been giving him worm treatments but he recently started dropping bigger amounts of worms in his feces and puking them up . Then a sudden Change in his behavior no longer our little happy go lucky pup . He began losing weight and lost control of his bowles he will be walking and it will be falling out in a liquid mess and it does it when he is laying down to he won't eat but he does drink his Pedialyte on his own and stands from time to time .

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Rex

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American Bulldog

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6 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination
Bad Breath
Uncontrolled Bowel Movements,
Delibitation Of Hind Legs

I rescued my American Bully as he was about to be put down as the runt of a liter and has debilitation of hind legs, he was neglected from his mother and breeders so taking him in was a no brainer. He's very co dependent and needy, which i dont mind since im a mom anyway. But his uncontrolble bowel movements and peeing has become more frustrating as he gets older. He started squatting which gave me hope that he knew but he still walks and sleeps poop. It gets everywhere and its hard. The peeing is more frustrating as he pee's when excited, or any mood really. and he walks and pee's so it spreads everywhere. Is there anyone who has tips on how to maintain this and somehow control it as an owner? Or is this going to be the norm. He's such ba great dog, loyal, cuddly, gentle, and LOVEABLE. I dont want to get more and more aggravated. Help. Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/condition/lack-bowel-control

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Poppi

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Chiweenie

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6 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Large Abdomen
Holding Poop
Too Much Poop
No Control Of Bowel Movement

We rescued a tiny, starved, 6mth old chiweenie puppy. She was nothing but bones and fur. After the vet looked her over and determined she had no parasites and her heart and lungs sounded good, we took her home and fed her small frequent meals. As her digestion started kicking back in, she went through a stage of watery stools that firmed up after a few days. Now, 10 days later, she is looking much better and has gained 1.8 pounds for a total of 3.8 pounds according to the vet's scale. Now I think we have another issue to deal with. She eats full meals now and I feed her 4 times a day. I usually walk her after every meal and several times though out the day. Sometimes she poops, sometimes she doesn't, even after long walks. Also, sometimes she eats and then just wants to sleep afterwards. When she hasn’t pooped for a while, her little abdomen swells, and she looks like a bowling pin. When I take her out, she may or may not poop and when she does, it is way too much for such a small dog and it just falls out. Then today it hit me, she has megacolon from being left in a small crate too long by her previous owner. Here is what makes me think this: My grandson lived with his negligent mother until my son got out of the military and got custody of him. At that point, he was 9 years old and frequently pooped his pants. We tried sending him to the bathroom frequently, but it didn't help. I finally just sat down and talked to him about it. Basically, what he said was that he didn't feel the urges that told him he needed to go and then suddenly, his pants would be full. He said he had no control of it. Also, when he did go, it was a huge amount. Even though he was still a little guy, it was enough to stop up the toilet on occasion. After searching on Google, I read about megacolon in children. His doctor confirmed it and put him on medication. Now he has fully recovered. Those symptoms he explained to my fit the observations I am making regarding this puppy. That is why I believe she has megacolon. It is important to note that neither my grandson, nor the puppy had/have constipation in conjunction with this problem. The puppy's poop is well formed now, but not hard. So, how do I help her regain proper bowel functionality?

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Reggie

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French Bulldog

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10 Weeks

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

No Control Of Bowels

My pup trsted positive for giardia. Was on two meds. No change. Then became backed up. Changed foods. Still drips liquids and poop. Doesnt try to squat. Dont know what else to do.

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Dylan

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English Springer Spaniel

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11 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lack Of Bowel Control

My 11 yr old springer spaniel has recently had a couple of poop accidents in his bed. He doesn’t seem to know he’s done it and I think it’s either he’s been asleep or it’s happened when he’s tried to get up. He has a back problem which he has had for some time which is causing a gradual weakness in his back leg which alongside old age is probably the cause. My solution, until things get worse or other factors mean a bigger decision has to be made, has been to put him in a dodgy diaper at night and this has worked brilliantly. He’s only ‘used’ it on two occasions in the last few weeks and it was really easy to sort out, though I hasten to add it was solid!

Lack of Bowel Control Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $200 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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