Care of dogs with loss of bladder or bowel control
after 6 weeks post-op OR 8 conservative weeks of crate rest
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Ways to help prevent a bladder infection
(Tips and ideas for incontenent dogs: garments, exercise, expressing and fluids, recurrent UTI.)
- ▪️Help keep the body hydrated by soaking dry kibble with equal amount of water at each meal. Give hour dog frozen low/no salt broth to lick on as a treat. If it is going to be a few hours before you can express the bladder, don’t give too much water.
- ▪️If you express 4 to 6 times a day, the bladder tone will stay in good shape. This is generally the number of times a healthy dog will go outside anyway.
- ▪️The longer urine remains in the bladder the more inviting for bacteria to breed leading to infection. Details on expressing a bladder and the bowels.
- ▪️Cranberry’s proanthocyanidins are known to only work on the strain of E. coli bacteria which make velcro like fringe attachments to the bladder wall. Not all E. coli make a fringe.
- ▪️A dog with a UTI can have urine with an “off smell” or no obvious signs at all. See the vet for periodic urinalysis as UTI’s can lead to a serious kidney infection if not treated promptly.
- ▪️Confirm with the vet if the urine contains crystals or if there are chances of bladder stones being formed. Some supplements, like Ester C, depending on what the stones and crystals are made of, should or should NOT be given.
- ▪️Constant UTI’s can often lead to bladder stones. If your dog has had more than a couple, it might be a good idea to do a bladder ultrasound or X-ray.
- ▪️Understand why UTI’s may be returning, what you and your vet can do to help get rid of recurrent UTIs
Dogs need daily aerobic running exercise
- ▪️Wheelchairs allow joining in with family activities and good exercise. Carts are not 24/7, but for a couple of hours at a time. Some carts allow walking on all fours with support. Cart features to look for with and IVDD dog. https://dodgerslist.com/2020/06/06/wheelchairs/
- ▪️PT and massage 3x day is still required on legs to keep muscle tone and prevent joints from freezing up. More information. https://dodgerslist.com/2020/05/27/surgery-dog-pt/
- ▪️Hydrotherpy can be done in a child’s swim pool or your tub https://dodgerslist.com/2020/05/28/surgery-dog-water-therapy/ or at a PT facility with an underwater treadmill.
Garments for frog- or seal-like scooters
Garments to protect
- ▪️4 DIY garments to protect from ground bacteria from entering the bladder and from skin abrasion.
- ▪️Barbara Techel’s boots for paws http://youtu.be/9vRstz6Ayyk
- ▪️Toe grips for traction on smooth floors http://www.toegrips.com/kk
Expressing is the best way to keep a dog dry
Diaper/male belly wrap
Diapers are NOT recommended. Dogs abhor being near/in their waste, diapers cause problems with skin. Proper expressing is what keeps a dog dry and the bladder healthy. Male wraps and diapers can be helpful short term while solving UTI leaking issues or while learning to express. Change often.
Check the belly and back legs daily for abrasions. Treat with EMT Gel or Neosporin and a self-adherent wrap such as Coban or VetWrap. Keep skin clean of urine and feces. Baby wipes or baby body wash is easy on the skin. If the condition does not improve within 3 days, seems worse or oozes pus, go to your vet as oral antibiotics and perhaps a skin culture might be needed.
Know the emergency signs
Signs of pain
- ▪️It’s a survival instinct not to show weakness (pain). Signs of pain to memorize are crying/yelping, panting, shaking/shivering, licking/chewing, tight tummy, head held high or nose to the ground. Crate your dog at once to limit movement of the back and get to the vet for help.
- ▪️A must-have document on emergency signs. Print and place on your refrigerator.
Schedule your dog for effective expressing.
Sample Daily feeding with 5 times expressing schedule
7:00 am – express bladder and bowels
7:15 am – breakfast (dry kibble soaked in equal qty. water)
noon – express bladder and bowels
5:00 pm – express bladder
6:00 pm – supper (dry kibble soaked in equal qty. water)
8:30 pm – express bladder (last drink of the night)
10:00 pm – last expressing of bladder and bowels for the night
Adjust schedule to keep your dog dry between expressings. Eight hours should be the maximum time between expressing during the day. During night time sleep, the body produces less urine.
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