You may think you have the best dog in the world, who is well-trained and does everything according to how you have trained it.
However, at one point, you may realize that your dog is not the same as before. You may have toilet-trained it, and it would have done the job precisely as trained previously.
Once your dog grows old, incontinence is possible, and you might see your dog doing the job all over.
At this point, many owners ask themselves, “Why does my dog walk and poop?” Old dog pooping while walking is very much possible, and here we see the causes and solutions for this issue that pet owners should know.
What Is The Lack Of Bowel Control?
Lack of bowel is also medically known as dog fecal incontinence. Although it is more common in older dogs, it can happen to any dog, especially for medical reasons.
Your well-trained dog will start pooping even while walking, especially as it ages. This lack of bowel control is purely due to aging and may not be due to a medical condition.
However, it’s best to show your dog to a vet if your well-trained dog lacks bowel control at some point in its life.
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Lack of bowel control in old dogs could cause a lot of stress and frustrate them. It is because they once used to do the job properly and were well-trained, but aging takes a toll on these dogs and takes it out of their control.
➡️ If your old dog is pooping while walking, a veterinarian can identify the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment to restore their normal bowel function.
8 Symptoms Of Dog Fecal Incontinence
The inability to control bowel movement typically occurs from a lack of communication between the brain and the colon. It is the same for humans as well as for animals like dogs.
A vet could only make a proper diagnosis of the condition. However, watch out for the below signs in your old dog, which typically relate to fecal incontinence.
Here are the symptoms of lack of bowel control in old dogs:
- Passing feces while walking
- Passing feces while sleeping
- Lack of anal tone
- Bloated stomach
- Scooting hind end along the floor
Why Does My Old Dog Walk And Poop?
Several reasons may cause your old dog to walk and poop. Below are some of the major causes:
1. Dog Fecal Incontinence
Older dogs typically develop bowel control problems. With old age comes a decrease in sensory perception and muscle strength.
It causes a loss of voluntary control and involuntary bodily functions, which is the reason for incontinence.
2. Dog Nerve Damage
Dogs could develop a condition where the signal is weakening from their spinal cord to the muscle because of nerve damage.
This condition leads to a weakening of the muscles that cause contraction. As a result, these dogs find it difficult to control their bowels.
3. Age Related Issues
Some dogs find it hard to communicate with their owners about the need to go outside. These dogs typically walk by the door, stare for a moment, and keep walking. Owners should identify this as indicating that the dog needs to go to the toilet.
The ability to see, hear, and move decreases as dogs age. They have a greater chance of forgetting as they grow older, similar to what happens to older people. Older dogs also have increased frequency or urge to urinate and poop.
4. Parasitic Diseases
If parasitic diseases find their way into your old dog’s anus, it could also lead to a lack of bowel control.
This leads to problems in pooping because the inflammatory process creates lesions within the anus and anal sphincter muscles. It results in dogs finding it hard to control when they defecate.
Tumors in the anal area or GI tract can attack tissues and cells found there and cause them to malfunction. It results in a lack of bowel control in your old dog.
6. Anal Abscess
If a dog has anal sacs, it can become impacted or infected. The result is that the sphincter muscle becomes damaged and cannot shut completely. It leaves your old dog unable to ‘hold,’ causing poop to leak or causing constant accidents in the house or on walks.
7. Gastrointestinal Disease
Dogs with soft stool or diarrhea have an increased urgency to defecate. If your old dog suffers from this, it might start pooping all over the house, which could mean something is irritating its GI tract.
Major disruptions in an old dog’s schedule will cause inconsistencies in other areas of its life, such as inappropriate defecation.
9. Dietary Changes
Changing your old dog’s diet could also affect its bowel movement. Various treats and foods may have different levels of fiber or ingredients that may not agree with your dog.
Sudden changes in food patterns and diets and the introduction of a new food could also cause this in dogs.
Therefore, you must check any food you introduce to your old dog and see if it’s causing the issue. If that is the case, you can change it immediately.
What To Do About It?
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If your old dog is pooping while walking, you need to find its root cause. First, ensure that your dog is comfortable and healthy. You should also discuss what is happening to your old dog with your vet.
Your vet will do an exam and some diagnostics, such as a fecal test, to check your old dog. He may even recommend a special diet for your old dog.
Once they have ruled out diet and disease, it may be age-related changes that are causing your old dog to poop while walking.
Here’s what you can do if your old dog is pooping while walking:
- Let it out of the house frequently.
- Use pee pads next to doors and areas where your old dog likes to go.
- Block off nice furniture or roll up carpets, so it does not have access to it.
However, you must also ensure that your old dog doesn’t go beyond an area like your neighbor’s yard. The best solution is to use a dog GPS virtual fence that will keep your old dog inside a specific area as you create the fence.
Many people question the effectiveness and safety of these devices. Read IPet guide’s reviews to learn more about these devices and whether they are safe and effective.
Diagnosis Of Lack Of Bowel Control In Old Dogs
Information you get from the vet will help diagnose the cause of the lack of bowel control in your old dog.
For this, you need to note the incidences when your dog poops while walking and document any behavioral changes you see in it. You may also have to collect a fecal sample for analysis.
The vet may also do an urinalysis, chemistry blood profile, and complete blood count to determine the cause. It can specifically help diagnose parasites or infections if present.
Based on the results of these tests, your vet might recommend radiographs of the abdomen, lumbar spine, and thoracic spine to see if there are tumors or spinal arthritis.
Lack Of Bowel Control In Old Dogs: Treatment
The treatment depends on the cause of the problem. If the cause is a simple infection, you may recommend antibiotics to resolve the situation. Specific medications will be given if it’s a parasitic infection.
Sometimes, lack of bowel control in old dogs seems less treatable, so you may have to move to use diapers or frequent trips outside.
Fight Dog Fecal Incontinence!
Lack of bowel control in old dogs is possible, as age has a major impact on incontinence and related problems.
Your old dog may be pooping while walking due to a medical condition, dietary changes, stress, or aging.
Discussing this with your vet and diagnosing the cause of incontinence in your old dog is vital. After that, your vet can recommend a treatment plan for your old dog.
What Causes Senior Dog Incontinence?
Senior dog incontinence could occur due to a medical condition like arthritis, urinary tract infections, or nerve damage.
Can Bowel Incontinence In Old Dogs Be Cured?
Bowel incontinence in old dogs can be cured if the underlying condition is treatable. A vet will diagnose the cause and recommend a suitable treatment plan accordingly.
How Can You Treat An Old Dog With Bowel Incontinence?
Anti-diarrheal and anti-inflammatory medications or sometimes even surgical procedures may be required to treat bowel incontinence in old dogs, depending on the cause.