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Thread: Help for my senior dog

  1. #1

    Help for my senior dog

    Hi all, I'm new and this is my first post. I have a senior shep-mix named Addie (coincidentally, thats the name of today's Dog of the Day!)

    I've had her since she was a tiny puppy, and she's now 13. She's been healthy her whole life and until recently, there have been no signs of anything other than laziness. She has no stiffness or soreness, just a tiny limp on her front paw that started this past week. Her eyes, teeth, ears look like a dog much younger than she is. Her senior lab work came back in perfect order. Only a few elevations, but the vet assured me it was nothing to worry about.

    What's worrying me is that she's been drinking a LOT of water and asking to go potty a hundred times a day. My husband and I refill her bowl 6-8 times a day, whereas we used to do it twice a day, perhaps a third time in the full-heat of summer. She's started to have potty accidents inside the house at least once a day, when she never had an accident in the past 13 years! The accidents started in the past few weeks too. If we try to limit her intake at night (so to avoid a late night accident) she drinks from the toilet or tries to lap up shower droplets in the tub. Or whines for hours on end until someone relents and gives her free access to water. She sits next to her bowl all afternoon whining if the water is gone. Of course we refill it as soon as we notice its empty again.

    My mom came to visit a month ago and said she was looking great. My mom came to visit again this morning and told me that Addie's looking really old all of the sudden. mom said this without me mentioning my worries.

    I have a call into my vet, but she's in the Carribean for another week. I could see another vet in the same office but my vet knows my dog and has known her forever.

    I'm worried its kidney disease. I was relieved when her labs came back in good order. I spoke to a coworker who shows dogs and she said it sounds like early renal failure; even though her blood work came back good that the only true way of diagnosing some types of kidney disease is by biopsy.

    My poor Addie..... anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    There could be quite a few different things wrong with your Addie, a lot of them treatable. Please don't wait to see a certain vet, just take her.

    If we try to limit her intake at night
    Not a good idea to withhold her water, she may need it. I will keep your Addie in my thoughts and prayers, please keep us updated.
    Forever in my heart...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Welcome to Pet Talk! I'm sorry that it is under these circumstances.

    I'm Sandie. I live in RI, with 4 dogs, 10 cats, and my father who is 81.

    About your Addie:

    Yes, take her in, don't wait for the other vet to return.

    It could be kidney, diabetes, or even thyroid which is easy to treat with a pill per day. Other things, too.

    Withholding water will just give more issues as she will get dehydrated.

    MOST of the things which it 'could' be can be diagnosed via blood work. They may also want a urine sample for a urinalysis.

    Please don't wait, as some things are easier to treat the earlier they are caught.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Upstate NY
    I'd take her in as soon as you can. Some illnesses require further blood work & testing to diagnose. It could be something wrong with her kidneys or liver (unlikely though depending on when you had her last bloodwork done & what she has ate, done & been around since then), diabetes, cushings, urinary/kidney &/or bladder infections, addisons, cancer, hypothyroidism, etc.... I don't mean to scare you, some of those can be easily treated or managed if caught early. Good luck & keep us posted.
    Soar high & free my sweet fur angels. I love you Nanook & Raustyk... forever & ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    near Green Bay, WI, USA
    My first thought would be dibetes insipidus: Though kidney troubles would be a close second.
    Sarah, the human, Naples the Greyhound, Cooper, and Manero the Borzoi boys.
    Always in our hearts, Gunnar, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Hair of the Dog by Doc's Blend GPA-WI NBRF

  6. #6
    Thank you all for the help thus far. I don't know if this helps any, but she has a marvelous appetite and still eats like normal. She hasn't increased or decreased the amount of food she's been eating. She gets excited about things, like when I tell her that daddy's home or that we're going for a walk. Unfortunately she tends to tire out awfully fast... last week she made it one block before she gave me sad eyes that said, "please don't force me to do this!"

    We did realize she might get dehydrated if we held out water. We tried half heartedly to limit her water but realized immediately that it wasn't something good. The poor girl is just so very thirsty anymore.

    I don't mind picking up potty accidents since I now she's not able to control it. This would be different if she made habit of it. But she's never had one accident her whole life after we potty trained her, so I know this is nothing I can blame her for. She tells us she has to go out. The accidents are happening while we're at work or in the middle of the night when we don't hear her telling us. I say shame on us for not being there when she needs us. I know a lot of doggy parents would be mad at their dogs for that.

    We did run a large battery of blood tests and a urinalysis. Nothing came back with any tell-tale signs of illness. not even a tiny little bacteria in her urine to show any infection there. The vet said there are some slightly elevated levels that aren't worth worrying about. Then why am I worried?

    I will call the vet Monday and make an appointment for the first time slot they can fit her into. Thanks again for all the help you've given me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. I hope it is something "fixable," and I am glad you aren't mad at her for her "accidents," I am sure she doesn't like it happening, either.
    I've Been Frosted

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Any news on Addie?
    Forever in my heart...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    New Jersey
    Quote Originally Posted by Addies-mom
    We did run a large battery of blood tests and a urinalysis. Nothing came back with any tell-tale signs of illness. not even a tiny little bacteria in her urine to show any infection there. The vet said there are some slightly elevated levels that aren't worth worrying about. Then why am I worried?
    Aw, because you are a good Mom. I am hoping that you get some answers and good news soon.

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