I have a 14 1/2 yr old bichon friese. He was originally purchased as a pet for my children and now my children are all grown up. I thought one of my 4 children would want him but no one did. 3 of the 4 of them got their own "new" dog. My dog started his incontinence about a year and a half ago. It is getting progressively worse. He is wet every night, and has to be walked every 2 hours during the day and more often around and after his dinner. He also gets an infection usually about every other month -- UTIs, ear infections, skin infections, anal gland infections. Last May he had big lesions on his abdomen where I spent about $700 to get biopsies and nothing was definitive although the dermatologist said the lesions "could" be paraneoplastic indication of some type of cancer. He gave me a $15 container of prednisone which cleared up the lesions but of course made him thirsty, hungry, and extremely unpleasant. Now when the lesions recur, which is about every other month, I have to give him more prednisone. The dermatologist said I needed to go to an internal medicine doctor to get more information. I have spent about $1500 on medical for him in the last year and a half. Every morning he is wet and I have to give him a bath. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this easier to deal with?
Yes, your situation is difficult, and normal as far as children go from my personal experience.
I guess we usually decide to put a dog down when it is in pain, that may also be the case. I believe there are dog gyppers (sp?) you may want to consider while you decide what to do.
We had a 12 year old Golden Retriever that had many old age problems and developed "fat pockets" - one was removed and found to have a low active cancer, I'll call it. About a year later the pocket came back and while he was able to get around (he had a stroke about two years before that and had weak rear legs, but he was able to walk and toilet by himself) still the prospect of high cost surgery and radiation treatment led to the decision to put him down. That was long ago, and still hurts as he was a great dog and a good friend. The other input was 12 years is about life expectancy for the breed.
It is a difficult situation. It seems clear that his medical problems are going to continue until death. In my experience, vets nowadays pretty much never are the ones to suggest euthanasia, even when the animal is elderly and sick. Even if you bring up the topic of euthanasia yourself, vets often tend to suggest other things that you can do to keep the dog going longer.
If you are ready to have the dog put to sleep, you simply need to call the vet's office and state that you want an appointment to have him put to sleep. When you take him to the appointment, the doctor will ask you some questions to determine for sure that you have made up your mind. He or she might ask you nothing more than, "have you made up your mind?" If the doctor suggests other treatments, you can say, kindly but firmly, "I'm just not able to provide the care to keep him going. He needs to be put to sleep." At that point, I can't imagine that any vet who knows this dog's age and medical history will refuse to perform euthanasia.
You need to decide ahead of time whether you want to stay in the room while the euthanasia is performed or leave him for the staff to take care of him. It is okay to leave, if you want. Sometimes they do put the dog in a cage for a little while, if you are not staying, until they have more time to watch him as he passes. You also need to decide ahead of time what you want to have done with the remains. The usual choices are: disposal by the vet, cremation, or you can bring him home and bury him.
It sounds like you have taken good care of him. Your can either keep him going as you have until he passes naturally, or you can have him put to sleep. It is your decision to make. There is no way for the burden of the decision to be lifted from you. I know that it is a burden, either way. No one could call you negligent, though, if you should choose to have him put to sleep after the amount of time, energy and money you have devoted to his care so far.
Welcome to the forum......Have none of your Vets or specialist ever offered you a medication for incontinence? Each of them sells one, but they go by different names.....They work beautifully & are made specifically for what your describing....I know many dogs that have taken them & it changes everyone's life including the dog's, who by the way, is picking up on your displeasure....We ourselves, will all be in this same situation eventually....
Next would be doggie diapers....You can purchase either disposable ones or you can purchase cloth ones (That you put a throwaway urine pad in) & machine wash.......For a male, they are called "Belly Bands"....With all the
rescues that come through this house, they are worth their weight in gold!!!
If nothing else, you can purchase a cloth, urine absorbable bed pad....Made for humans that are bed ridden....Your dog could sleep on it and it will absorb any urine & keep your dog dry.....You machine wash them.....These are wonderful...
As far as all the medical issues, I have NO comment...Just something we must deal with as our doggies get old.....
Money: Can't put a price on Love! I spend, what you've quoted, on a regular basis to help any Rescue that comes to this house....Eventually, (When I get them healthy & well & all their needs addressed), they are adopted out for a whopping $85......Why? Because I feel they deserve a second chance!
As far as the kids? I wouldn't have allowed any of my dogs to go with them anyway!!!! Wouldn't happen! So, I suppose I can't help you there....
So yes, you do have a few options to make yours & your guy's life easier.....Gotta love those Bichon's!!!!! Karla
Thanks so much for writing back. I looked at the Belly Bands but didn't really think they'd stay on. So I got the female dog type and that was not working. So could you give me the details on the belly band and how I can keep them on and I'll try them. We live near PetSupermarket. It just seems like tying it around his belly, it would slide away.
He sleeps on a puppy pad that absorbs some of the urine but usually he moves it out of the way and there is urine under him that gets all over him.
I will also call the vet and ask about the incontinent meds. The first time I asked they said he had a UTI but I know he doesn't now because since he has had some, I'd recognize the symptoms.
Thanks for your help Karla. Sounds like you're a great help for our little doggies.
Great advice above! Just wanted to add that the prednisone is likely a factor in the incontinence. One of my dogs, while on prednisone, would often lose control while sleeping. If you can get to the root of the issues and treat that so that you can get the dog off the steroids you might see an improvement.
One of my other dogs has been on meds for spay incontinence for several years and is doing great. Good luck.
Hello. He only goes on prednisone when he gets the abdominal lesions and therefore hasn't been on prednisone for the last month and a half, and still the incontinence. I ordered a "Belly Band" as someone suggested. But I'm also game for some type of medication. What is the "spay incontinence" med? Do you think it would work for my dog's old age and possibly something wrong with his kidneys/bladder situation?
Hello Tootsie...Sorry, I didn't catch you in time...I wanted to tell you which to NOT get, that don't stay on......Where did you order so I can look real quick? I don't have much time right now, or I would already have gotten back with you......
I can point you to the great ones & why they work (I order mine online) And I can tell you what NOT to buy (That won't stay on) that are usually the ones you can buy in a Petsmart or Petco or any pet store.....I also will be back to to tell about what urine pads to use & Not have to spend the outragious price on pads from the petstores sell.....Karla
My dog is on Proin for incontinence. It's working very well. I know there are other meds for this as well. Check with your vet. It isn't that expensive and has made a huge difference in our quality of life (and quantity of laundry!)
I just looked...It's perfect!!!! I wanted to mention to get a flannel one (Or lined) as the do grip better.....Velcro is what you need, too...You did good!!!
The ones to stay away from have elastic on both outside edges...The seem to draw up with movement and defeat your purpose.....
Next: Urine Pads....Get a pack of regular size HUMAN urine pads...Get the kinda thick ones, not the thin panty liner ones....Don't get any scented ones, either.....They can cause irritation!
Your going to cut this pad in half with a pair of scissors & only use 1/2 at a time.... Stick it in the panties and your good to go!!! Karla
You got some good advice. Definitely get the belly bands and check on the meds. Can get time consuming and expensive taking care of the Seniors. Where dies he sleep? If not in a crate, try to contain him to one area, one without carpeting, if possible.
Boy, he gets a lot of infections and that must be miserable.
Not sure if you are considering euthanasia but when it comes down to a quality of life issue, you may have to make that decision.
I know about the kids leaving pets behind. My daughter left 4 cats here and I am really not a cat person. Two eventually passed and it took me over a year to get a reputable rescue to take the other two, who went to a nice farm.
So glad it's the right one. So you mean like a Poise pad. And when you say cut in half, I assume you mean not 2 thin strips. It may all make more sense when I actually get it and start using it. I assume it will take about a week. I'm thinking I should just use it at night because otherwise we'll have to keep taking it off during the day to walk him.
Thanks Margo. Yes, I'll try the belly band first. I assume the vet will want to check him first before they'll administer the incontinence medicine. Actually in October of 2011 I asked for Incontinence Pills and that's when they said he had a problem with his bladder. At that time they did a sonagram (not the expensive type) and saw a tumor. And they treated him for a UTI even though he was too small to get the sample. Another time they did another sonagram and said the tumor was gone but that he did have a UTI. I did see some type of herbal incontinence pill on Amazon. People seemed to think it was great. It is called "Vetri-Science Laboratories Bladder Strength Tablet for Dogs."
He does sleep in a crate but still he gets wet and I have to give him a bath in the morning, and wash the bottom of the crate, and replace the puppy pad. We watch him closely during the day and take him out every 2 hours and every 1 hour after he eats dinner which is his worse time for accidents.
I am vaguely thinking of euthanisia if the lesions become unresponsive to the prednisone or if the infections become unresponsive to antibiotics.
On the children aspect, about 5 years ago I found someone who wanted my dog but my daughter insisted I keep him so her children could have a pet when they came to visit me.
Thanks for your help.
Okay, forgive me for harping on the euthanasia. When you titled your post, "How long should I deal with ..." I thought what you really wanted was permission to go ahead with that. It sounded to me like you didn't want him anymore. I didn't mean to sound like I was directing you to have him put so sleep. I'm definitely in favor of trying to find another solution. Sorry I misread you.
My dog totally loves my granddaughters. He would love to live with them. They pet him a lot when they come because they both truly love him. He loves to sit on their laps and seems sad when they leave.
Now they're getting their own puppy. A Cockapoo. They're so excited.
You didn't really misread me. As I waver back and forth. I love my dog but I wish he were not incontinent and didn't have so many infections. In fact, I wish he were younger. I appreciate your response and it's good to feel that that is an option, especially if things get a lot worse. of course we all would prefer our dog die a natural death. My last dog died suddenly of Congestive Heart Failure and it was so much easier. She was a 13 1/2 yr old Shih-tzu.
Thanks for clarifying. All of us would hope that our dogs would live a long life with excellent quality right up to the end and that one day we would wake up to find that our very elderly pet had simply passed peacefully in the night. I do think you got some good suggestions from the other posters, and I hope something works to extend your bichon's life and quality of life. Good luck.
Give us an update on what works. My current dog, a rescue, estimated to be 8 year old, West Highlands White Terrier (similar sized dog, agout 20 pounds with very short legs) doesn't have any old dog problems yet, but he is def and has the usual Westie allergies and other breed specific weaknesses. But he has one great bladder - can sleep from 9 PM to 9 AM and still not be in any hurry to go outside.
The comments on thie website have been very helpful. I thought I was the only one with doggie old age problems and now I realize it is the norm, and that my last dog's symptoms and death within less than 24 hours was extremely unusual.
Last year we had to put down our beloved 14 yr old Buddy. I know the agony of that debate. I kept checking Buddy's breathing, hoping, for his sake, (but dreading), that he would die peacefully in his sleep. He just kept getting weaker and sicker and finally we knew it was time. It was his poor quality of life and no hope of recovery that helped us decide. Our comfort after his death was that he was out of pain and misery and that we had given him a long, loving life.
It is an incredibly tough act of love. It was very hard to do, but people on this site were loving and supportive.
Another of my comforts was that I had tried everything and done all that I could to keep him comfortable. You are doing that and I applaud you!
If you end up having to do the euthanasia, it is easier to live with yourself if you've tried everything, as em722 states. In your first post, it was completely out of my frame of reference to understand that you could have taken him to the vet as much as you have, and yet the vet wasn't working with you on incontinence meds or a belly band. I guess that's the difference between input from a vet and input from pet owners who've been there.
We waited forever to try the Proin med for incontinence. First we were sporadic in giving it, which was a failure on our part.
I give the med now nightly with supper to our old "Lady" border collie, age 13, then on Friday night instead she gets Estrogen med, also vet cut the Proin incontinence med in half. Now we can really enjoy her again. I felt so bad leaving her outside so much and the other dogs got to come in.
By the way, Lady also had recurrent bladder infections, for some reason, she hasn't had one since we started this regimen 2 years ago.
Hope OP has as good of luck as we had.
As far as the nodules or growths, if they cause no pain don't treat it.
So for two meds a night we enjoy her again as part of our family. No stress of her barking begging to come in and join us, which was really sad, therefore no stress on us.
So I used the belly band with an overnight Kotex Maxi pad with wings. The pad was totally soaked but the crate was dry, and so was Sammy. The pad itself needed to be washed so I washed it by hand. I probably need to order more belly bands or maybe one that would dry faster. Mine is thick cotton and I'm not sure it will dry by tonight.
Thanks so much. I blew it dry for about 5 min and now it's much dryer. So I think it will be fine by tonight. He only needs it at night. We take him out about every 1 1/2 - 2 hrs during the day. I was hoping the belly band would discourage him from going, but at his age, I don't think he can help it. But it was so much easier not to bathe him and wash his crate. And after I use up these pads I'm going to look for thicker ones.
Plus I'm still trying to get my vet to authorize the Proin. I've used a couple of different vets, so I'll ask them all if I have to.
Wow! That's alot of urine.....Does he drink that much water? When was the last time your guy had a complete blood panel?
I keep 3, of every size, belly band in this house as I never know what size the next rescue will be......Three's a good amount because there's always one in the wash!! I wash & dry mine in the machine and they come out great.....
Glad you had some luck with them, though...They really do make life easier. ;) Karla
I was reading some history of dog rescues that the Westiemed organization has helped fund medical treatment for... all for Westies. One story talked about an older Westie that had not been neutered, and that he had a leaking problem. The story went that for old male dogs that had not been neutered some develop prostate problem, just like us human guys. Part of the attempt to clear this problem was to neuter the dog. The dog also had a very weak stream. After the dog was neutered, best I can recall, he continued to have low stream. X-rays then showed (or was it a CT scan,don't remember) stones in the bladder that we interfering with emptying the bladder. Further surgery removed those stones and the dog's problem was solved or reduced - again I don't remember.
Just some information in case it can be of any help. I can find the story again if it could be of any value.
I think basically he doesn't leak but actually goes during the night.
The belly band seems to really work so that it catches virtually everything. I got an overnight pad and used the whole thing. I used Kotex overnight with wings because it seemed natural as it had some cotton inside. I don't want any weird chemicals on his skin. I don't know if there's anything bigger out there.
Also I try not to give him water after about 7:00 unless he barks for water. Then I give him more. But usually he isn't thirsty in the morning anyway so I know it isn't a UTI. When I take him out in the morning he seems to mark things but doesn't really have to go.
Yes, I'll order a few more. I'm going to get the same type since it works so well. Thanks for helping with that.
Sam was neutered right before he turned 1/2. And had never had a leakage problem until he turned 13. They did a few unltrasounds on his bladder last year. First they thought they saw a tumor but in the 2nd one it was gone. Do you think this would work? Vetri-Science Laboratories Bladder Strength Tablet for Dogs. It's on amazon and people seem to swear by it.
I buy stuff that has a high score on Amazon - including dog products to treat hot spots, and the chronic yeast problems common in the Westie breed. I don't consider the rating high unless at least 25 people have rated. When only a few provide evaluation the results are too dependent on the "Nut factor".
A man of my word, I just ordered from Amazon Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone . It is unusually high, well above my minimum rating benchmark, it has over 1,000 reviews with a average score of 4.8 or of 5.0. I have a high confidence this will help my battle with ear yeast problems, both inside and around the base of the ears, both sides. I also ordered a bottle of BItter Lime to try to stop feet licking... my dog will lick his feet raw.
Yes my dog has been to the vet at least twice on ear problems, he had an infection determined by examination of a sample taken form the ear, that was treated and cured. He has an ongoing sensitivity (allergy) to foods and the environment in general, I fear. So it is routine to shampoo him at least every two weeks with a dog shampoo containing Ketaconazole. This ear stuff will alllow treating the ear and surrounding every day. I am hopeful.
In case I rambled on too long to find an answer to your question:
Yes, I think it has a good chance of working based on the company and the reviews/reviews.
Hi Tootsie. I have nothing to add to he excellent comments you have from others above, but just wanted to say that you are doing a great job of caring for Sam in his twilight years. Old age comes with so many issues and I think if you can deal with them one at a time, it's the best way to go. Once you solve the overnight incontinence - or at least make it manageable - it will help ease the other management problems, make you feel less tense or anxious and hopefully, of course, make Sam's life so much better too. This forum is great for advice, so please keep asking any questions you may have and I'm sure you will get a fabulous choice of replies. Once again, well done to you for helping your best friend and doing everything you can to improve his quality (first priority) and quantity of life. Tony
Youre right about Poise Pads. I just called the Kotex company since we're still having leakage out of the pad. She said the Poise would be better since they are designed for urine. So I'll try that next. They make the Poise Pads. I'm just a little nervous about the plastic granules that help the absorption since he has sensitive skin. I was using the very thin pads with granules last year when he developed some abdominal lesions. Don't know if it is related. They never worked because I was using a female dog diaper. These belly bands are much better for males.
Still waiting on the Prion. Have you ever heard of "Vetri-Science Laboratories Bladder Strength Tablet for Dogs." Saw it on Amazon and it's natural so no prescription required.
From what I can find through dog owner-review sites, where both Prion and Vetri-Science have been tried ... there seems to be very good results coming from the Vetri-Science Bladder Strength Tablets, in many cases reducing the number of 'accidents' by more than 50%. Some have said it works better than Prion and, being a natural product, has less side-effects and less potential interference with other medications. On that basis, it's certainly worth trying. The best price I can find is on Amazon, $17 for 90 chewable tablets.
Vetri-Science is a very trust worthy company......I see this formulation includes Olive Leaf Extract.....This is a natural antibiotic & certainly would be good for potential urinary tract problems.......Karla
Yes, it is totally soaked plus he is still getting it on himself and the crate, so today it was bathe, wash crate, wash pad.
And I couldn't order Proin from my vet, and I couldn't order from Drs. Foster and Smith because my vet wouldn't sign for the prescription.
I wish I could leave the dog outside but we live in a TH and I can't put him outside.
Bottom line. I don't know what to do anymore.
Sammy also chewed and licked his feet raw, and other spots also. I don't know if I tried everything but I'd tried medication and spraying with bitter apple. Finally I just put an ecollar on him. He doesn't seem to mind as it is sized such that he can eat and drink with it on. In a way it's great because his sores always heal up and go away. Of course, if we take off the collar he starts chewing/licking again. As I said, it looks funny but he doesn't seem to mind a bit.
On ears, Sammy finally got a little ear infection and I have some Otic ointment I got at the vet. I used that plus amoxicillin, and it went away. Now I try to keep them as clean as possible.
If I can't get any Proin this week (I'm going to try another vet), I'll order the herbal remedy on Amazon.
If the crate is still getting wet maybe you can try one of the 'bed pads' made for humans? I have a few that I used for one of my dogs to sleep on when she was on really high doses of prednisone that caused her to pee in her sleep a lot. You will still have to wash it but it beats having to scrub a crate down.
I really hope you can get the Proin, but if not I would definitely try the herbal remedy. It sure can't hurt. Has your vet given a reason why he will not prescribe the Proin?
I was reading up on Proin and why it has become more difficult to obtain recently ... I think it is worth you reading this, which is contained within a forum I also visit from time to time: http://www.i-love-dogs.com/forums/dog-health-nutrition/21481-your-dog-proin-read.html
I read the whole thread here, and it's possible I might have missed it -but has the vet checked his kidney function? (by blood test?)
The reason I ask is my dog had sudden incontinence, was fine in the day, but needed to be taken out to pee 3 times in the evening, and twice or three times during the night as she was wetting the bed. This upset her so the best option was to take her to pee -though I also used doggy diapers as well to be on the safe side.
Anyway she was found to have early stage kidney failure.
Not as bad as it sounded!
We caught it early, and with treatment (ACE inhibitor and new diet) within even a week she was no longer having accidents!
This progressed well, to the point where within 3 months her Blood Urea and Creatinine had come right down to normal, and was staying that way.
I would definitely suggest the vet runs a blood test to find out if this could be the cause.
Gosh. That is all really scary. Although people on this site have posted good things about PROIN. I was waiting to get some vet to approve it, but now I've ordered the herbal remedy from Amazon, Vetri-Science Laboratories Bladder Strength Tablets for dogs, plus some diaper doublers that my daughter recommended to use for additional absorption.
Sammy had blood work done in 2012 and everything came out normal. His incontinence hasn't been sudden but just progressing for the last year. However, I just ordered the herbal remedy for incontinence and I think I'll see how that works first. At almost 15, there could be more serious problems in his future.
Tootsie, Alot of what you describe (Skin Wise) about Sammy could be caused by food issues.....With the Normal bloodwork last year, I would have to at least consider it........ If you want me to do a background search on the brand you use, I would be glad too...& Yes, I would try the Herbal treatment, too...Karla
I had to give up on the belly band. It caused a major diaper rash. Just wasn't worth it. He is still recovering with little scabs on his sores. He has always had very sensitive skin.
so I started with the Vetri-Science Bladder Strength Tablets about a week ago. I know comments suggested it takes a few weeks so I'm still hoping. He still is wet every night but the amount might be somewhat less. Still has an accident during the day if I don't take him out every 2 hours or so, particularly after dinner.
I also talked to my long-time vet from Virginia, and he said don't take his water away in the evening. I don't think it made any difference anyway. It just made him mad and I'd have to end up giving it to him anyway.
Yesterday, I had to take Sammy to the vet because he had been harboring a skin infection that wouldn't go away. The vet felt that Sammy, an old dog, has a lot of problems. He prescribed Baytril for the skin infection for 14 days. He also prescribed PROIN for Sammy with the understanding that he thinks it is mostly helpful for females. So, since it works in some cases for males, we're trying it. He gave me a 20 day supply, and if it's sucessful, he'll prescribe more. He said to continue also with the Vetri-science bladder control tablets even though I don't think they're doing anything. He said the PROIN would take about a week to 10 days before I'd know if it was working.
Here's hoping we can turn back the clock for Sammy!
Hi. It might be worth re-reading the link to Proin discussion thread I posted earlier, just to refresh your knowledge about it. I'm not saying don't try it, but it is best to be aware of the problems and potential symptoms to look out for. I'm sorry Sammy isn't very well at the moment - and I'm really hoping things improve over a short period of time. Good luck. Tony
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