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Sometimes failure to be able to “hold it” is not related to cognitive dysfunction s much as it is to degenerative joint disease or arthritic conditions. These conditions keep the dog from maintaining a posture that will allow him to urinate or defecate. The poor dog or cat will try to assume the correct posture and attempt to go, but he just can’t stay in position long enough to do his business. His attempts often result in trails of poop, or may even involve the dog or cat sitting in feces. These are the times when owners are most tempted to yell, “Sampson!! What are you doing?!” But try to restrain yourself. It’s not Sampson’s fault – it’s geriatric condition.
Some pets leak urine; however, a number of different veterinary medical solutions to the problem, which involve giving the dog a pill, will help tone her sphincter muscles so that they work again. Sometimes an anti-anxiety drug is sufficient to enable the dog to relax enough so that he can figure out where he wants to go to relieve himself. This type of problem tends to creep up on you, and behavioral solutions usually involve being as regular as you can about taking your dog out. Sometimes you’ll have to add one or two trips outside for him o relieve himself. You can help your cat in this situation, too.
If you just can’t seem to make enough extra trips to keep your dog and home clean and dry, consider “doggie Depends.” These diapers come in a variety of colors and prints for dogs to wear (cats seem to hate them), they’re functional as well as fashionable, and you can select a style for solid waste or solid and fluid waste. Both disposable and reusable models are available in different sizes. They fit both sexes and are available through pet stores, pet-supply catalogs, and veterinarians’ offices. Most geriatric dogs need one to three changes a day. Doggie diapers may also be the last resort for people living in communities with scooper laws, if they don’t wish to join the shovel parade.
Excerpt from: “Ain’t Misbehavin'” by John C. Wright, PHD
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