Oh Those Puddles on the Floor …

      7 Comments on Oh Those Puddles on the Floor …

dog urination problemOne of my dogs, Jet, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, on occasion started piddling on the floor. There were two separate periods when she did this – well after the time that she was house trained, that is.

I consulted with my vet about the problem during the first period, and various suggestions were made (none of which actually helped). Eventually, all it took was for me to actually catch her in the act one time (she had been making puddles for several weeks by this stage – out of my sight – and driving me to distraction). But anyway, I caught her in the act that one time, and screamed at her. She stopped mid-stream, went outside as instructed, and from then on she stopped making puddles in the house.

So I’m really none the wiser as to what that was all about.

The second time the same sort of problem started again, was during a lengthy rainy period. Jet just decided she didn’t like getting her feet wet outside, and when I put her out she didn’t piddle, but did so often as soon as I let her inside again.

The only solution to that was to leave her outside for very extended periods in the rain. Not a very happy solution, I must say. It made me feel very mean to do this. And Jet didn’t like it at all. But eventually she stopped peeing in the house again.

The following article is written from a veterinary perspective on this issue, and is quite interesting. Most people don’t realize there are so many potential reasons why a dog might start peeing in the house!

The Reasons Behind the Puddles on Your Floor

dog urination problemAn archive of Pet Columns from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is available online at www.cvm.uiuc.edu/petcolumns/. Requests for reprints of this article may be directed to Mandy Barth, mandyb@uiuc.edu.

What do you do when Fido starts peeing on your brand new carpet or having accidents in the night while she sleeps? Inappropriate urination problems are not uncommon in dogs and owners should be aware that finding unexpected puddles on the floor may warrant a trip to the veterinarian.

The first step in your dog’s diagnosis will be to decide whether Fido’s inappropriate urination is caused by a behavioral or medical problem. Your veterinarian will want to know how long your dog has been urinating in the house, how often it occurs, and the situations surrounding the accident.

If your dog or puppy is still being housebroken it is likely that further training and not medical attention will be the solution to the problem. Puppies are unable to hold their urine as long as their adult counterparts so frequent walks at consistent times throughout the day can help with the housebreaking process. However, it is still important to keep an eye on your puppy’s bathroom habits and seek advice from your veterinarian if you?re concerned.

Once behavioral problems have been ruled out, your veterinarian can then move on to narrowing down the long list of medical problems that can cause your dog’s inappropriate urination. According to Dr. Julie Byron, a veterinary specialist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana, it is important to know whether the animal is actively, or consciously, urinating. This information can help distinguish between urinary incontinence and other medical problems like bladder infections or stones.

Incontinence problems in dogs can be caused by a variety of problems. Dr. Byron says that it is important for owners to recognize that with incontinence the animal has no control over its inappropriate urination and usually does not even know that it is occurring. Incontinence is usually characterized by accidents that happen while the animal is resting or asleep, the owner may simply notice that the dog’s bed is damp in the morning and that the dog never moved.

There are several factors that can predispose your dog to incontinence issues such as age, breed, and sex. Incontinence is more common in middle-aged and senior animals, but can occur at any point in the animal’s life. Also, female dogs and large breed dogs over 45 pounds–like Dobermans, Old English Sheepdogs, and Weimaraners–tend to be more prone to urinary incontinence.

“I also make a point of asking owners if they have noticed their pet drinking more water than usual,” says Dr. Byron. “If this is the case the animal may have an endocrine problem that is causing their increased thirst and subsequent increased need to urinate. Blood work would be needed in order to diagnose such a problem.”

Once incontinence and endocrine problems have been removed from the list of likely causes the next question your veterinarian may ask you is whether the inappropriate urination is characterized by an increase in frequency or urgency, straining when urinating, or any other signs of discomfort while urinating.

According to Dr. Byron the next step is diagnostic testing, which usually includes a urinalysis and urine culture to detect signs of infection. Depending on those results further diagnostics such as an ultrasound, radiographs, blood work, or cystoscopy may be needed, and can diagnose anything from bladder stones to tumors in the bladder or urinary tract.

If infection is the cause of your dog’s problem, your veterinarian will use the results of your dog’s urine culture and sensitivity to prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the offending infection. The results of this test are important since it enables your veterinarian to prescribe the right antibiotic to target your dog’s specific infection.

dog urination problemUnfortunately, not every medical condition is so easy to fix and some dogs will hit the unlucky lottery with a diagnosis of bladder stones. Bladder stones can form when the pH of your dogs urine is either too basic or acidic, causing the minerals that are naturally present in the urine to form a hard stone. Breeds that are predisposed to bladder stones of various compositions include the Dalmatian, English Bulldog, Schnauzer, West Highland Terrier, and Bichon Frise.

Dr. Byron explains that your veterinarian will use x-ray and ultrasound images to determine how many stones are present and how large the stones are. If the stones are small enough they can be flushed out of the bladder in a non-surgical procedure known as urinary hydropulsion; however, the more common method of removing bladder stones is a surgical method called a cystotomy. After the bladder stones are removed your veterinarian will work with you to create a plan to help prevent further stones from forming.

Dr. Byron recommends performing x-ray studies every other month after the initial operation to reduce the need for future surgery, since it is possible for bladder stones to reoccur despite preventative measures.

For more information on causes of inappropriate urination or on any of the medical conditions that may cause inappropriate urination, contact your local veterinarian.

An archive of Pet Columns from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is available online at www.cvm.uiuc.edu/petcolumns/. Requests for reprints of this article may be directed to Mandy Barth, mandyb@uiuc.edu.

If your dog suffers from urinary tract infections, there is a natural remedy that seems to be very effective. Any remedy that reduces the need for drug type medications such as antibiotics, is a great idea. But naturally, you must see your vet for ANY health problems your dog may develop that are of concern to you or your dog.

If you have any informative or funny stories about puddles on your floor, please fell free to leave your comments below. We love to hear from you!

7 thoughts on “Oh Those Puddles on the Floor …

  1. Kimberly

    Hi Bridgette, I truly like the blog you have created, lots of helpful information on a number of things not just one topic. I like that!
    OK here is my advice, for those of you who don’t know we have been breeding pugs for many years now. I reccommend a food called Blue Buffalo it has life source bits (vitamins & nutrients), that are cold formed. This way your pet gets all the vitamins and nutrients, 100% potency, Blue has 23 vitamins & nutrients so I don’t have to give vitamin supplements. Pugs tend to have a lot of allergy problems, but with Blue we have none! Really none, there is no wheat, soy, corn, or any fillers at all! Also we hardly have any fleas, no skin disorders, no eye or ear problems, tear stains, bad breath, or anything else! We feed Blue to our dogs & highly reccommend it to all our clients too! I can’t tell you enough about how happy we are with this food called Blue Buffalo. If anyone is interested in doing some research on this please go to blubuff.com and see what I am raving about for yourself! (They also have cat food) So I just covered all the topics you mentioned with one highly nutritious food, I would say that calls for some research if you are serious about keeping your pet healthy?
    Again keep up the good work Bridgette, people are becoming more aware because of this website! I give all our clients lots of your info (printed out), and ask them to go to your website. I have recieved nothing but praise for your site, I sincerely thank you for taking the time and effort!
    Sincerely… PugTona Pug Breeder of NC – Kimberly

  2. Eunice Jones

    Our Westie is 12 years old and has just started to pee in his bed. First time he had an accident it was on our bedroom carpet and then once in our bed (yes, he had been sleeping with us) and now this morning I notice he is sleeping on the floor because his bed is soaked. He has always had such great bladder control. He does drink a lot of water but always has. He seemed to take a chill from his last grooming about 5 weeks ago now and is scheduled for another grooming tomorrow. I think we’ll cancel that appointment to prevent another chill from happening. We are going to the vet today if possible. Do you think this may be ‘just’ a bladder infection? My husband and I will be devastated if he is seriously ill.
    Thank you for any reply you may make.

  3. Brigitte Smith

    Hello Eunice,

    I’m sorry to hear that your Westie is suddenly having trouble controlling his bladder.

    Perhaps by the time you read this you will already have seen your vet, and I hope you’ve been given some good news. I really hope it is a urinary tract infection, which can be treated quite readily (see above article for the link to a great natural remedy for UTIs), or some other problem that can be treated quickly and simply.

    As you know, I’m not a vet, and I really don’t have any more idea than you what could be ailing your Westie.

    I wish you well, and wish your dog a speedy recovery.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  4. Ludeen

    Eunice – I just read your posting about the bladder issues with your Westie! We too are Westie lovers, having had three of them. Charlie was our last, and he lived to be 3-months shy of 18 years. We too had a few problems with bladder control, and I want to relay a few of the things I found.

    Have you made any changes in his diet or treats, which could be exasperating the bladder problems? Have you tried taking his water dish away early in the evening, so that he is not drinking alot before bedtime? Have you started any new medications, or has there been any chanage in vaccinations, etc??

    Charlie came to us at two years of age, with alot of allergy problems. His previous family had fed him alot of table scraps and a poor quality dry dog food, both of which only further aggravated his allergies. He was especially sensitive to milk products, which affected his bladder and urinary control. He also had seasonal allergies. My vet bills were horrible the first couple years, until I found changes to diet and supplements which worked – and virtually eliminated the problems. We found a diet of home-made food (ground turkey mixed with orzo and brown rice, cooked, and frozen in small containers. At serving time I would add raw veggies, such a carrots, to the thawed turkey) and mixed with a high quality (all natural) dry food (He lover Merrick’s Turducken). We supplimented with vitamins and omega3-6 oil capsules. When arthritus set in, glucosamine tablets helped immensely (after a prescription from the vet nearly killed him!!). We also built ramps on our deck, when the steps became hard for him to handle. When the seasonal allergies set off symptoms, we used Benedryl gel caps (dye free).

    I hope some of this helps!

  5. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Ludeen,

    Thanks for your comments and advice to Eunice.

    They’re some great tips for keeping a dog in great health generally, and hopefully will be helpful to other dog owners whose dogs have developed seemingly age-related bladder problems.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  6. Debbie Louise

    Help….I can’t afford the UD diet dog food or the prescriptives…..my dog just had stones removed and he is doing wonderful…but I am looking for a way to make his food or get a really good dry vegetarian dog food….Please help…he is a dalmation and he is 13 years old and otherwise very healthy and happy…this is the first time we have had this problem and don’t want him to have it again.

    Thanks so much! I have been out of work for 5 months so funds are very low.

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