Senior Lab with uncontrollable bowel movements

Discussion in 'Senior Labradors' started by Tom Griesmann, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Tom Griesmann

    Tom Griesmann Registered Users

    Apr 10, 2017
    Our black lab is about 13 years old. He still has alot of energy, eats well, gets up and down the stairs. We generally take him out for a walk 2 to 3 times daily. He is on a strict diet of dry dog food and almost never has any "people" food. The problem we are having is that it seems to be on a daily basis now, he looses his bowels between 3am and 4am on a daily basis. Its like clockwork. He is also starting to lose his control of his bladder, because he drips urine on the floor quite frequently. Does anyone have any experience with this issue in an older Lab?
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Registered Users

    Jun 6, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    Sorry, I don't have any experience with this. Have you talked to the vet about it?
  3. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Jun 16, 2015
    leicestershire uk
    Yes I do. A lot of older labs get this its due to muscle deterioration and sometimes pain. With my old boy he had both. His main problem was his pain because of back and leg pain could not move quick enough to go outside or the strength to hold for long. we increased his pain relief and he improved he could move better so not so many accidents. I adjusted his feeding times so that the urgency to go got latter but I also got up at about 4 to just be sure he was ok. I also lined his bed extra large puppy pads if he was a bit leaky. We had a large very absorbent crate liner which washable and dried quickly. I took one of these everywhere trained him to lie on it and it absorbed any stray leaks when we went anywhere. It was just a case if management, we were lucky because we could manage his pain to improve his leakyness.

    I would speak to your vet I also spoke to a physio who was extremely helpful
  4. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog

    Jul 31, 2016
    Regensburg, Germany (Bavaria)
    Poor pup and poor you! I agree with @Lisa , first stop would definitely be the vet. There could be a better food that might be more digestible (I personally don't like kibble and prefer fresh homemade food, but that's just me) or there may be an underlying medical cause that has nothing to do with his food. With my geriatric dog with a dodgy tummy, I found a probiotic helped keep his tummy on an even keel.

    As far as the bladder and other issue, my geriatric female dog (not a Lab) had big problems in her old age. In her case, it was probably from early spay but you never know. She started "dribbling" urine and then had more frequent problems controlling bowel movements as well. Sadly there was nothing the vet could do to help, so it just became management and things like wee pads and moving her from my bed to her own bed next to mine with a waterproof liner to make clean up easier. Also doing a last potty very late (midnight) and a first potty really early (5am) helped, as did adjusting feeding times as @SwampDonkey says.

    Hopefully your vet/physio can help but also continue to enjoy your sweet old boy despite his dribblyness.
  5. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

    Jan 28, 2014
    Hi Tom and welcome to the forum :)

    Sorry your old lab is having a few problems. I would say he needs to see the vet. Agree with the others may also be time to revisit his diet, and maybe adjust his meal meal times, a small lunch, followed by a smaller later supper of something designed to be more digestible.
    BevE likes this.
  6. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

    Sep 5, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, my old girl had faecal incontinence. Poops are a lot easier to handle than loose pee, pick
    'em up and throw them out. Since your dog only "looses his bowels between 3am and 4am on a daily basis" you could just get up them and take him out.

    You really need a thorough investigation with your Vet. After an acute episode of pain we found Jet had "significant spinal stenosis" and intravertable (sp?) disk disease. She was put on pain meds, serious stuff, no mere Metacam. We actually are not sure if it wasn't the pain meds contributing to the incontinence, she could not feel a poop coming on anymore. As per Vet Immodium and a weight loss food (because it's higher in fibre) helped to bulk up her stools and did seem to help her to know when to ask to go out. If I'd known about pumpkin, or even better sweet potato, then I'd have tried them instead because the weight loss food was not needed for weight loss and her coat and general condition deteriorated on it. Now I'd try to keep on the food that worked and add in sweet potato.

    Good luck. There could be any number of things influencing this, maybe in conjunction with each other. You really need a complete blood panel and maybe some Xrays. DO you see any signs of pain in movement?
  7. Ligia

    Ligia Registered Users

    Apr 14, 2018
    We are experiencing the same issue with Thor. He is 14 years old. Every morning we wake up to a bm on his bed.

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