I have a senior Old English Sheepdog. She is 13. She has been on California Naturals Kangaroo and Red Lentils for about 6 months now. It has really done a great job of keeping her dermatitis and constant licking at bay…However, in the last couple months we have noticed that she leaves poop balls (I have no other way to describe them! Sorry!) on her bed or on the floor where she sleeps. It’s almost constant. I have never seen the poop actually come out of her body but they are suddenly almost always there. Yesterday, she literally pooped all over the foyer for the first time since she was a puppy. This is a completely house trained dog who knows that outside is where she should be going. Is this something to do with the food or could this be something more serious? Is this just an old age problem? I have had dogs my whole life but none of them had a pooping issue that sprang up late in their life. Should I change her food???
I would see the vet, at age 13 she is a senior, and if she hasn’t had a checkup and lab work done in the last 2 years, now would be a good time.
Sudden changes in bowel habits such as fecal incontinence, are always red flags.
Her problems may have nothing to do with her diet.
Good luck and please give us an update (if you feel like it)SusanMember
Hi Ryan, change her to the Lamb & Rice in the California Natural, it has only 4 ingredients see how she goes, the kibble you are feeding has Lentils & lentils are high in lectin, lectins can cause leaky gut in humans & dogs, her kibble may have just taken 6 months (food intolerance) for her to start having a reaction to the food, so I’d change diet to the rice & Lamb it is still an hypoallergenic kibble, the vet will probably put her on Metronidazole for 2 weeks to treat the bowel…. http://www.californianaturalpet.com/products/1181
Gee, I just looked at the Kangaroo & Red Lentils the FIBER is 6.5% there’s your problem, she needs a lower fiber kibble, the Lamb & Rice is about 3%-fiber & she will need the Metronidazole as the high fiber has imbalance the bacteria in her bowel, then when the 2 weeks metronidazole is finished give a good dog probiotic… or just change her kibble & see how she goes but if the poo accidents don’t stop after the kibble change after 1-2 weeks then see the vet for some Metronidazole..
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Susan.
Thank you guys so much! Susan, you just eased my mind a lot! This is BEYOND a stressful time for us. We are in the middle of a move and literally have ZERO extra funds right now for any serious incidents to be happening. Since she seems fine otherwise I am going to switch the food out to the recommended food you mentioned and hope that her poo incidents decrease. I think it’s the food. I am HOPING it’s the food. I know things only get worse as they age and as a large breed dog, 13 is pushing it, but I hope that she gives us a little longer with her. I’ve had her since she was 6 weeks old. She’s like my best buddy. If she shows any discomfort I will rush her to the vet. It’s just awful timing. AWFUL AWFUL TIMING! 🙁
Thank you for the help!! I am buying that food now!! 🙂
“Fecal incontinence is almost always due to the colon and brain not communicating effectively. The nerves that control the colon are supposed to send a message to the brain when it’s time to go outside. If there’s a problem with the lower back – for example, degenerative myelopathy, peripheral myopathy, arthritis, muscle weakness, atrophy, a spinal tumor, or a condition such as myasthenia gravis – the communication pathway is compromised, and the animal isn’t aware nature is calling”.
“In older pets, the anal sphincter can lose its ability to hold in feces efficiently”.
“Parasites can also contribute to fecal incontinence. If you have a pet that has diarrhea for an extended period of time, there can be damage to the muscles of the rectum, which can lead to the problem as well”.
“Other causes of fecal incontinence can include an abscess or infection of the anal glands, a dietary issue, medications, or a perianal fistula”.
“Owners of pets with fecal incontinence might find accidents around the house. Or the pet could inadvertently pass feces when he uses his abdominal muscles to go from a lying position to a standing position, or when he jumps up on the couch, or in similar situations requiring use of the abdominal muscles”.
“Your dog or cat may also poop while walking without knowing she’s doing it. It can also happen during sleep. Excessive gas and swelling of the abdomen are common in cases of fecal incontinence”.
“It’s important to find the underlying cause of your pet’s fecal incontinence. Your vet will want to do a complete blood profile – including a chemistry profile, CBC, urinalysis, and a fecal analysis – to check for the presence of an infection or parasites. Sometimes, additional diagnostics such as X-rays may be required to check for spinal arthritis or a bone tumor”.
“Both chiropractic and acupuncture – I use electroacupuncture in my practice – can be very helpful in these cases. Aligning the vertebral bodies and stimulating the nerve fibers that communicate between the colon and the brain can help reduce incidences of fecal incontinence”.
When my yellow lab hit around 13-14 she started doing that. Just a little bit, and it happened whenever she would go from laying down to standing. I assumed it was just from old age, as she had been house trained her whole life. I would suspect its from her age before I even began to suspect it had anything to do with the food – especially after 6 months.
At 13 she is getting to be quite an old dog, and senior dogs come with a lot more medical conditions and ‘quirks’, so to speak, lol. My girl suffered from one bout of vestibular, and as she hit the 14 mark started suffering from more pronounced arthritis and even showed signs of dementia, along with the fecal incontinence. I started taking her out more often and encouraging her to potty, and it seemed to help with the incontinence.
I don’t know if it’s something any medication can fix, I think its just something that comes along with old age imo. I would still take her to the vet ASAP just to double check, but to me it honestly sounds like she’s just getting old. Think about how many elderly people have to wear diapers and it doesn’t sound so strange that our pets lose continence as they age.Jennifer HMember
Also, try not to get upset with her. She’s not doing it on purpose or to be bad, if it’s from her old age it’s honestly something she has no control over. With Blondie, my lab, I just kind of sighed and cleaned up whenever she had an accident. I knew it wasn’t anything she was consciously doing.
As I said in my previous post, I would start taking her out to potty more frequently. As the age holding it in gets more difficult a their muscles lose tone. Good luck!
I took her to the vet today after waking up to find her laying in a big pool of urine. The vet took blood work and everything came out to be totally fine. They aren’t putting her on any antibiotics or anything for the stomach issue. The vet seems to think that is just a natural part of her aging mixed with the bad arthritis in her hips. She is probably straining to stand and causing the feces to fall out. She told me the change in her food was not what she would recommend but I already ordered it so I think I am going to give it a shot. She said the higher the fiber the more solid the poop will be that comes out which is easier to clean up. So, that is not really a solution to the actual problem happening but that was her idea on it. I think I will give the California Natural Lamb & Rice a try though to see if it decreases the amount of stool she has. She really does have to poop a lot more since having started the Kangaroo & Lentils formula. She poops at least a few times a day compared to her prior once MAYBE twice a day from before.
Anyways…that’s my update. The vet put her on Proin and gave me a week sample of a medication for her arthritis called Deramaxx. We’ll see how she does.
I have a 14+ year old small breed, he needed emergency surgery 3 years ago for bladder stones.
He is stable now, but I agree with Jennifer, frequent bathroom breaks. My guy is doing well on Wysong senior, I soak the kibble in water. He gets 4 small meals per day.
I want to keep him comfortable….so far, so good. He sleeps a lot, but still appears to still enjoy his time outside in the yard. There is nothing wrong with his appetite, he does have an occasional accident…..but only when I forget to take him out every 2 hours.
I’m glad you went to the vet.
PS: He has trouble walking, sometimes I have to carry him outside. He has good days and bad days.DogFoodieMember
My Golden is intolerant of lentils and has had and some loose stool when he eats foods that contain them. His stool is much better and more formed with a food with a bit less fiber. His ideal is around 4%.
I think changing foods is worth a shot. Eliminating lentils and reducing the fiber could decrease the urgency.
Glad to hear that DogFoodie! My vet acted like it was the WORST idea ever to lower her fiber intake but why should I feed her a dog food that is causing her to poop more than normal? Especially when she is leaking poop in her sleep because of her advanced age. They were very adamant about the fact that she has had allergy/dermatitis issues and that the Kangaroo recipe is “hypoallergenic” but she still itches and licks her paws on it. Sure, the amount she does that has decreased but not enough for me to feel like it has been a miracle worker food. Plus, how can they call it hypoallergenic when it has ingredients that a dog can be allergic to in it? Doesn’t make much sense to me. I’ll be giving my smaller dog the Kangaroo (since I have a half full bag that is just going to go to waste) since I think he needs a higher amount of fiber in his diet. He has anal gland issues. They always need to be expressed. He has been on Zignature Trout and Salmon formula and it hasn’t been doing much for him. Maybe the Kangaroo will work out for him and the Lamb & Rice will work for my big girl. Crossing my fingers. 🙂C4DMember
I hope everything works out well for your senior girl. It’s always tough when they get to the geriatric stage. We had a 15 year old Husky mix that started urinating at night. Have you thought of putting a doggie diaper on her just to keep her dry and clean? Also I think you mentioned that she had arthritis. Have you tried adding just a bit of fish oil to her diet or some of the commercially available arthritis dog meds like cosequin? Adequin is a vet prescribed injection that you can be taught to use by the vet. There is always turmeric (my own preference) if you want to try a more natural approach. Easing the arthritis pain has helped my older dogs and while it might not help with the incontinence it could make her more comfortable. The only thing I never recommed are any of the NSAIDS. We used them in very small and occaisional doses and ended up with liver issues and quite possibly the kidney failure that occurred. Good Luck with your girl!DogFoodieMember
I use a couple of different vets, that work together as a team, both of which do chiropractic and acupuncture to help with a variety of conditions. They also do laser therapy which can help with arthritis. Maybe you could check into alternative practices that might help your pooch, too.C4DMember
Great suggestion DF! I know a lot of people who’ve had great success with those treatments!Jan EMember
Age has a way of creeping up on us all…I have 3 seniors now – 11 y/o Rotti/malamuteX w/ diabetes and low thyroid, 14 y/o Australian Kelpie X w/ arthritis issues, & 10 y/o lab/Rotti X. I have seen the “same poop balls” from my 10 y/o this past winter, I assumed it was from drinking less water as the consistency seemed dry in these “chunks”. He is fed a 5 star kibble w/ a 5 star canned topper. I started soaking his kibble prior to feeding and the incontinence cleared!
Best to you!Sylvia SMember
Have your vet run a pancreatitis test. My dog had the exact same symptom and ended up testing positive for pancreatitis (caused or triggered by food with a high fat contenterin aMember
I just adopted a dachshund from a very bad situation. She is popping the same way even while sitting on my lap! My bed was covered in poop this morning! ? She is 6 they said bur I think she is older. He stool has been very soft since she first came and she is also
Super thin! I will be taking her to the vet this week but was looking for answers on here first..anonymouslyMember
How much are you feeding her? It could be just stress related. I hope the vet visit gives you some answers.SusanMember
I’d be worming her with an allwormer, I use Milbemax, its mild & does the job she may need to be wormed again after 2 weeks, she could be full of worms, I rescued a cat & when I’d lifted him up, poo was just coming out of his bum, I took him to vets he was riddled with worms he had to be put in hospital for 3-4 days he was that infested & the thing was I didn’t see any worms in his poos…
Start taking her outside & say toilet go wee wee & if she does wee or poo make a big fuss Yeh GOOD GIRL & have a little liver treat in ur pocket & give her a treat or a kibble from her food……I’d be feeding a real bland diet for now chicken & boiled potatoes, more chicken then potatoes & see if poos firm up, if you feed a kibble get 1 that’s just Fish & Rice or Lamb & Rice, no peas, no lentils, no extra ingredients until you work out what’s happening she may need some Metronidazole, its an antibiotic for the bowel & stomach….Ingrid DMember
Omg m so glad i googled this issue. You are describing my 10yr old schnauzer. It started 6 months ago, vet has no clue, only recomm lower fiber food. After reading all these suggestions, i will go bak and request xrays and may even try acupunture/chiropract? (I didnt know dogs get those). Thx everybody for the postings, soglad to know my lupita’s issue is not so weird after all.
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