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Causes of Fecal Incontinence in Dogs

The lack of bowel control in dogs is known as fecal incontinence in dogs. This disability is stressful to both you and your dog. But there is actually more to this condition than the messy cleanups!

Is This Fecal Incontinence?

Most of the time, fecal incontinence (bowel incontinence) can be mistaken as diarrhea by most pet parents. Bowel incontinence in dogs while sleeping is often a tell-tale sign that it is fecal incontinence rather than dog diarrhea. To know whether or not your dog is incontinent, here are signs to look for:

  • Pooping suddenly when sleeping, lying down, sitting, walking, etc.
  • Dragging hind while walking
  • Bloating
  • Inability to wag tail
  • Losing anal area's muscle tone

"Most of the time, fecal incontinence can be mistaken as diarrhea by most pet parents."

Possible Causes of Fecal Incontience 

There can be a number of possible reasons why your dog is suffering from fecal incontinence. It can be because of:

  • Intestinal worms and parasites
  • Damaged or weakened anal reflex muscle
  • Infection in the anal sac
  • Side effects of medications and/or diet
  • Spinal cord diseases, neural disorder, nerve damages that stops the bowel's ability to function properly
  • Diseases that disable the rectum's capacity to function

How is Fecal Incontinence in Dogs Diagnosed?

shih tzu bowel incontinence, bowel incontinence in dogs while sleeping

Fecal incontinence can be traced through your dog's health history including some diseases that may have possibly caused this condition. If you have a feeling your dog has fecal incontinence and showing the symptoms mentioned above, it is best that you consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will perform certain tests on your dog and will give proper diagnosis & treatment plan.

Treatment and Proper Management of Bowel Incontinence

If your dog has some diet allergies, you may try alternating or changing his diet. Furthermore, some dogs, too, may have rectal abnormalities and treated by means of surgical reconstruction. You should also be able to provide him a stress-free environment that's away from loud noises, stray animals and other animals & people at home that may act as his stressors. Bowel training is also recommended - you train your dog to poop at certain times of the day particularly after meals. Regular bowel movement will help your dog's fecal incontinence.

There are also drug treatments available for fecal incontinence such as opiate motility-modifying drugs and anti-inflammatory agents that can help as well. But never self-medicate!

Fecal incontinence in dogs is very stressful and tiring for both you and your dog and it's inevitable to get upset. But while you train or wait for medications to take effect, washable dog diapers will kiss your worries away. These diapers catch the mess before it hits the carpet and are a comfortable choice for your pup. This will prevent you from having to constantly follow your dog's mess all day.

Fecal incontinence isn’t necessarily fun to deal with but with patience, love and care for your dog, the way to recovery won't be as hard of work as you may think it will be.

"Bowel training is also recommended - you train your dog to poop at certain times of the day particularly after meals. Regular bowel movement will help your dog's fecal incontinence."