View Full Version : Update on Rowan's overflowing bladder

06-02-2009, 03:15 PM
So I finally got in to see a new vet (waited for almost two months to get in on a day I could go and a day she was working, ugh) and I explained about Rowan's constant submissive peeing. I had them do a cysto on him (oh I felt guilty, I hated doing those!) and sent the sample off for testing. His results came back normal except that it was pretty dilute, which I've noticed since I've had him that his urine is almost always very light and watery with little smell--lucky for my carpets. Anyway, she suggested we do another specific gravity to double check that and possibly some testing to see if he has some structural abnormalities. She mentioned it's possible to have a ureter bypass the bladder and go straight into his urethra, but I dismissed that almost immediately, because then wouldn’t he be leaking constantly? He doesn’t…he can hold it 10 hours sometimes, and other times less than 1. And I explained to her that he only pees in reaction to people, he doesn’t do it when he’s alone (although the past few weeks I'm not so sure about this) or even with all people—just most. He’s inconsistent. She also told me that some dogs can have occasional incontinence…which was news to me, I figured if they had it they always had it. One of her dogs is on meds for incontinence and she has her weaned down to 1 pill a week and that maintains her perfectly. So instead of having him pumped with dye and x-rayed a dozen times ($$$!), I opted to try the meds (Proin) first to see if that helps. Overall she sounded pretty worried that this is going to turn out to be something very serious.
We also moved over the weekend, so we’re in a new house. I’m being extra vigilant to stay up-beat with him and use his diapers more consistently. I’m hoping he’ll leave his submissive peeing at the old house and not generalize situations like he does so well—his seatbelt = pee, patio door = pee, concrete patio = pee, car ride = pee….so I’m busy with lots of treats trying to make all new, happy, pee-free associations. Unfortunately I won’t know if its my hard work or the pills that are helping, if he does get better :banghead:

06-02-2009, 03:48 PM
I knew we just had this discussion on another list, so I wrote and asked, and here is Anne's response - maybe it will be of some help:

You might be thinking of Charlie. If so, it is still a problem, but not a physical one. The vets put him through all kinds of tests, watching urine go from his kidneys to his bladder over the course of several hours, and testing for strength of bladder (bladder control capability). It turns out when he wants to hold it, he can. No leaks between kidneys and bladder. No infections, and no stones (kidney or bladder).

They declared it a "happiness problem". When he gets excited which is lots of the time, as he is really hyper and very people oriented, he lets loose. They found he could be in an ex pen all day on newspapers with not a drop spilled, but if they spoke to him, he went nuts with excitement and let loose. He is also a submissive wetter, which does not help.

We tried incontinence pills but they did not help. Because it turns out he is not incontinent.

What to do? Charlie is getting some pills (the name of which I don't have with me right now) to control anxiety (translate: minimize his physical response to excitement). A very mild pill, nothing like Valium or that class of drug. I also put a leash on him as he is coming out of the crate and do not speak to him until he's in the outside kennel. I avoid leaning over him (which triggers submission). Though we are working on a collar game in which I lean over with him, take his collar, and say "ready, steady..." then release him to his food. Note at this time I'm doing this AFTER he's been out, and he's gradually learning to accept it and that it's fun. Hopefully this will translate into me bending over him being a good thing and no wetting... time will tell.

The vets think, hope I should say, that several months with the drug and trying to modify his responses behaviorly, will work and we can wean him off the drugs. If not, either stronger drugs or consulting a behaviorist for more ideas... I continue to experiment with things and try to find what mentally involves him enough that he focuses on something intently - in which case he doesn't pee. Working in the field does it (he's a cocker, quite possibly from European field lines). So does preparing his food - he is so focused on what I'm doing with his food that he doesn't let anything else distract him. Thus no peeing.

P.S. I tried a belly band but he got it off.

Anne Bentley and the EC/BC crew...

06-02-2009, 04:47 PM
My Opie does the same thing, but I would never even consider drugs. When I let him out of his crate- I just open the door and walk off and ignore him. If we say "who wants to go OUT?", the girls run to the backdoor, but if Opie tucks his tail, we shut the door and go about our business- don't say anything to him or try to coax him into doing anything. With most dogs, I wouldn't take no for an answer- I usually insist that my dogs do what I say- obey every command quickly, but with Opie, I know there is no question of who is boss. The less pressure I put on him, the less he pees. When we are training, I carry a bottle of Natures Miracle and a towel, just in case he drops his dumbbell or clips a jump. I've found that extremely submissive dogs are often triggered by things that we are doing- even if we are trying to console the dog. Like consoling a dog that is afraid of thunder- you are just reinforceing the behavior. I have learned that certain things- stooping down right in front of his face or bending over him, triggers his fear. We're at a point now where he only pees while we're training- and only if he screws something up. We are training for scent articles- so if he gets the wrong one- I just say "try again". If I stay upbeat, he will go back and get another article. He will never be a confident dog (except around livestock)
Personally, a charging bull or angry cow could make me wet myself- to him, it's a challenge! His bark says "bring in on, you stupid cow"!:biggrin2: But if I even raise my voice to my husband- Opie pees!
Opie is 4yrs now- your guy will gain his confidence. I push Opie because we compete. Even though he enjoys learning new things- he is still under more pressure than the average pet-mostly because he wants to please me. Just give it some time- and carry lots of towels!

06-03-2009, 08:37 AM
My problem with Rowan is that he's starting to anticipate things. For instance, I took him and Luka to my friend's house to play with her dogs. They did great and played until they were ready for a nap. We went to the car, I put the boys in the back seat and started to buckle Rowan in when one of my friend's dogs came over to sniff the car. Rowan got growly and I told the other dog to get back. Rowan got upset and peed all over the car, me, Luka, the other dog, and sprayed everything else as I was pulling him out to let him finish in the grass. And ever since then, if I approach him, touch him, or even talk to him NEAR the car, he pees. And yet, its not 100% of the time either. He's totally inconsistent. He aniticipates something scary *might* happen and pees. And because my dogs go everywhere I do, the instances when he pees is growing steadily, and so he's starting to anticipate some phantom scary thing just about everywhere, even when I'm not paying any attention to him. At my parents he's started peeing on the way to the door, because he did it one other time. Now he does it all the time. I only get one shot with him. If he pees somewhere, that's it forever, he'll always pee there. Its to the point that I'm going to have to start leaving him behind, or leaving him outside. I know his triggers (raising my voice, leaning over him) but he's six steps ahead of me now, so I can't predict him anymore. Even if I manage to diffuse one of his 'reactions' by turning and nearly running away from him, it often is only a temporary fix, he'll let loose in a few minutes instead of right at that instant. This has been going on for 7 months...I'm frustrated.

06-03-2009, 12:13 PM
Sounds like he has a really full bladder. When Opie pees, its just a little squirt. I always make sure he gets time to relieve himself much more often than the girls. It won't stop the submissive pee, but it helps. Does Rowan have any issues with relieving himself when away from home? My friends Wolfhound will not go away from home- she will not pee or poop. They had to stop showing her- she didn't have a medical problem, she just refused to go, unless she was at home and she could get to her spot in the yard. I never stop Opie from drinking- it is really hot & humid here- but I give him extra time to pee. My female Penny is the opposite of Opie. When I correct her, she never looks frightened or sad- she gives me this "yea whatever" look. She is obedient, just not submissive. If I loose my temper or another dog gets aggressive with her, she forgets about it in a few minutes, while Opie will remember the next year. I totally understand how you feel! I've never worked with a dog this sensitive either- but I've never had a dog this intelligent. I've thought several times, I should just stop training him, after he has had a meltdown in the ring, but then he brings me his dumbbell. He gets upset if I DON"T train him:banghead:

06-03-2009, 01:02 PM
Nope, he certainly has no problem peeing anywhere. And I make it a point to take him out frequently, at least every 2-3 hours. He still never tells me he has to go, so I'm treating him like a puppy, taking him out constantly. But that's the thing, even if I've taken him out recently, he still seems to pee a LOT. Maybe he has something going on with his kidneys. It just doesn't seem right. Rowan never just 'squirts', its always a good puddle. He soaked through two diapers just getting to the vet last week. And when they did the ultrasound for the cysto, she said his bladder was HUGE! I don't know where it all comes from.
I really wonder if he knows if he even has to go. Yesterday I was throwing his jolly ball and he was running after it. He stopped mid bound and squatted, like he didn't realize he had to pee until he was already doing it.
ahhh my special special boy (short-bus special, lol)

08-26-2009, 10:26 PM
Lin wrote this on another list - wondering if this might be Rowan's problem?? I know he's a male, but might there be the same problem for the boys?

As for the peeing in bed. She may have that bladder problem where the muscles are lax. I know I am hearing more and more of this in the last few years after a man bought a puppy from a breeder up in Canada and he had horrible problems with her leaking urine. After many test it was determined that she had a urinary tract that did not close fully, it was deemed a heredity thing. She had surgery to correct it
Lin Allen

08-27-2009, 01:38 PM
Anything's possible. If its muscle related, maybe he'll grow out of it...?
I stopped giving him the Proin once I realized it was having no effect on him. He had a pretty big relapse in June/July where he was peeing daily again. He's done really well the last few weeks but there are still some situations when he'll pee. At this point I'm leaning more toward a neurological problem mixed with behavioral things. Many of his pee-issues can be attributed to something that scares/excites him, but others are completely out of the blue. The vet still wants to do the dye-test, but I won't do it, that's not his problem and I can tell you that without putting him through that and spending $800.
I've been doing agility and obedience training with him the last 3 weeks and that really is helping his confidence and overall behavior. He was even well behaved with my cousins' kids!!