Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Hi All! I haven’t been a very good HDA and have pretty much been MIA all summer. Sorry about that. I had some stuff going on in my personal life and was making some adjustments and living life and one thing led to another and my DK time drastically declined. Hope you have all been well.
I’m back here today looking for some help and insightfulness that I know can always be found on DK. Here is the background to the situation…
Ollie has NEVER had an accident in the house. This is the dog that didn’t go potty for over 21 hours when I first brought him home after his adoption. Suddenly he has started going to the bathroom in the house (pee and poop). On September 20th I took Ollie to the regular vet because he wasn’t eating (he is normally a piggy-doodle) and he wasn’t being very responsive. Over the week or week and a half prior he had become more and more picky with his food and wasn’t eating as much. Everything else seemed normal though so I wasn’t super worried since I have another very picky doodle in the house. Well on the 20th I couldn’t get him to eat anything. He wouldn’t even touch his favorites (raw dog food, peanut butter, cheese). I took him to the regular vet and they did some blood work and recommended that he spend the night at the animal emergency hospital. When we picked him up later the next evening we were told that he had Addison’s disease and that he would need a shot once a month for the rest of his life in addition to lifelong steroids. He has been acting mostly normal since we picked him up. He has a larger appetite, but that is a side effect of the steroids. He has also seemed to be a little more grumpy growly with the other dogs in the house. He will growl if they walk too close to him when I’m prepping their meals or if he has a toy. He has even started growling at them if they walk by while I’m sitting with him on the couch giving him snuggles. The vet said that this could also be another side effect of the steroids. I can deal with all that, but less than a week after he got home from the hospital he started going to the bathroom in the house. I came home from work one day to find dog poop in the bonus room upstairs. I typically have the upstairs closed off but that particular morning I forgot, though he did have access to the outside potty area via a doggie door so he could’ve gone out had he needed to go. I cleaned up the poop and sprayed the carpet really well with Nature’s Miracle. A day or two after that I let him out in the morning where he promptly peed and then came inside for his biscuit. I went upstairs to shower (the dogs normally go back to bed while I get ready for work until it is breakfast time). Ollie raced up the stairs before me like normal only to go and start pooping right outside the closed door to the bonus room. Then sometime during the weekend after his hospital stay he peed on the bathmat outside my shower. I don’t know when, but I eventually noticed a smell that got worse and worse. Another incident occurred after I gave him a bath one night. As I was gathering all the towels up to throw in the washer he peed in the hallway near the bonus room. He had been outside not even an hour and a half before. Last night I was putting laundry away and saw him trot down the hall past me away from the bonus room. I went in there and he had peed on the carpet (in a different spot than the first pooping incident). I cleaned it up, sprayed it with Nature’s Miracle, and then used the spot-bot with pet cleaner to make sure I had removed all traces. This morning my bf let him out while I showered. Ollie peed, ate his biscuit, and then came upstairs and pooped in the bonus room. He wasn’t called in from outside so he easily could’ve pooped if he had to. My bf was downstairs so had Ollie been near the door he would’ve been let out. It seems more like a behavioral thing than a medical issue but I don’t understand why. Every time he’s pooped in the house it has been firm so it isn’t an issue of diarrhea where he can’t make it outside before it’s too late.
I’m at my wits end. I don’t know what to do. I’m going to clean the whole upstairs hall and bonus room carpet with a carpet cleaner with the pet stain/odor formula in case I missed something using the handheld unit but I don’t understand why he suddenly started to think that it was ok to do this. Yes, I could just close the door to the room, but he has also peed and pooped right outside that room when he couldn’t get in there. Cutting off access to that area seems like more of a band aide than identifying and fixing the underlying cause of the behavior. He was crate trained when I adopted him but he became protective of his crate and would lunge at Cubbie if Cubbie ever got near the crate. The fighting between them is much better so I’m very hesitant to reintroduce the crate. He knows that he shouldn’t go in the house so other than keeping him in one place when I can’t watch him, I’m not sure what benefit the crate would provide. Cubbie and Ollie used to like to race around the upstairs of my house in the evenings while I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. I’ve stopped allowing that unless I can be up there watching him. When puppies have accidents it is normally right where they are playing or walking, but with Ollie it seems like he will specifically go into or near that room to potty which is why I tend to think it is more behavioral than simply not being able to hold it.
Thoughts, opinions, suggestions, recommendations for a white good wine (I need a copping mechanism) J
Amy, I'm sorry to hear all this.
It sounds like there have been a lot of changes in the household dynamic, including some new pack members, both human & canine? Is that the case? If so, it could certainly be a contributing factor in Ollie's behavior, especially with all of the other changes that have occurred in the past year.
Regarding the Addison's diagnosis and treatment, who made that diagnosis, and based on what specific tests? To my knowledge, it could not have been definitively diagnosed overnight. Is your regular vet directing the treatment, or does he have an internist? (Pretty soon, Ollie is going to be vying with JD for DK Doodle With The Most Doctors, lol)
I am wondering if his meds might need to be adjusted.
And I was also thinking that a Behaviorist (a real one who is also a Vet) could also be very helpful right now. The Behaviorist will help you understand exactly what's causing these behavior changes and the best approach for dealing with it. We had just one visit when Murph was having all his problems and we learned so much about what was behind some of his issues. It was expensive....but it was only one visit and so worth it. I feel so badly about this....you've been through so much with the Doodles.
I didn't even think about a behaviorist. Thanks for that suggestion! I'll have to start looking around to see what is available out here. When you say "expensive" how expensive are you talking? How did you find your behaviorist?
thanks Karen. Unfortunately, that site doesn't list any in Washington.
Check with Ollie's dermatologist for a referral. If there is a veterinary specialty center like Jane mentioned, that might be another place to get a referral.
I think we paid $280 and our session which went a little over an hour. She observed Murph (and we had completed a questionnaire in advance), asked questions, and then came up with her assessment. She never even suggested a return visit unless things did not improve, so it wasn't about $ for her. I really think her advice along with our trainer's "hands on" help enabled us to turn the corner with Murph. When Guinness was really sick with the Pancreatitis he was admitted to the Specialty Hospital in our area and that's where we heard about this Behaviorist.
The "additional pack members" have pretty much been hanging around since the beginning of August and these potty issues are recent (started less than 2 weeks ago). Ollie is actually very protective of the new human pack member.
I took Ollie to the emergency hospital where his internist is located. The internist was consulted on this case even though we went in through the ER. They arrived at the diagnosis after doing various blood tests and finding that his electrolytes were off. HIs potassium spiked in the middle of the night and they had to give him an injection to lower it before the elevated levels started to create problems for his heart. The internist sent me back to my regular vet to have them check Ollie's electrolytes on a monthly basis. I was there this weekend and they lowered his steroid dosage. He was on 2 pills a day for 7 days, and then 1 pill a day for 5 when we went in for the recheck. Now we are at 1/2 a pill a day until I go back in 10 days for another blood test and his shot. Today was the first day of the new lower dosage.
Hoping that helps.
Sorry you are going through this Amy. It is way out of my realm of experience, but know that I am thinking of you.
Same with me, but I am sending positive thoughts that you can resolve these issues soon.