|Sprite is drinking water excessively|
We noticed that now he can only hold his urine about 3-4 hours (or less). In fact, he wakes us up at 1 a.m. after going to bed at 10 p.m., so we can let him out. Then he goes out again at 4:45 a.m. His urine is mostly clear, of course. I tried diapers and they won't fit. He's very good about going to the door and waking us up to go out. It's SO hard to watch this poor old guy struggle- just heartbreaking.
UPDATE 9 am 2/23/13: Went to the vet with Sprite to get a blood test and give a urine sample to check for diabetes, kidney issues, etc. - His kidneys were failing.
Here's what I found on-line and think is going on: Decrease in kidney function
As animals age, the risk of kidney disease increases. This may be due to changes in the kidney itself or result from the dysfunction of other organs such as the heart, which if not functioning properly, will decrease blood flow to the kidneys. Kidney function can be measured through chemistry tests on the blood and a urinalysis. These tests can identify a kidney problem well before there are any physical signs of disease. The most frequent sign of kidney disease first noted by an owner would be an increase in water consumption and urination, but this generally does not occur until about 70% of the kidney function is lost. **I read that Kidney issues cite diarrhea and vomiting, and he's not experiencing those. He's also eating fine.
**CHECKED Cushings: He's not losing fur, which is a sign of Cushing's. - The vet tech said that Cushing's will be tested after the other tests come back, and if they're negative.
Here are some suggestions I got that I wanted to pass on to others:
- Try researching Cushing's disease. Those are some of the symptoms. Bloodwork would tell. If it is just his kidneys there isn't much you can do for him.
- I'll have him checked for Cushing's disease. It's caused by a tumor in the adrenal or pituitary glands, though, and Sprite can't be operated on because of his severe heart murmur. The 4 medications I read about seem to have side effects, but I'll see what happens. Thanks, all. Here's a great source, btw: http://www.2ndchance.info/cushings.htm
- 2015 UPDATE
- A NEW OPTION Our other Dachshund now has exhibited incontinence. We give him a daily chewable from Nutri-vet called "Bladder Control" and over the last couple of months he's only had a couple of in-house accidents (we never leave the dogs at home longer than 5 hours).
- ANOTHER OPTION - Petsmart or Petco both sell "Belly bands" which are strips of material that go around the waist of a dog and over their privates. When they urinate, it gets absorbed by the pad in the belly band.
- Be sure it's not just a urinary infection- Urinary tract infections produce VERY strong smelling urine, and sometimes dark urine. It's extremely Painful for the dog and they need antibiotics to get rid of it (which takes about 5-7 days).
Bladder irritation/infection. We do not use antibiotics and use an all natural remedy I get on line. Official Site for PetAlive UTI-Free™, a Natural UTI Remedy.
- PEE PAD OPTION - One person said during kidney failure, I'd keep him confined to the kitchen with blankets and pee pads. He was also blind, so I had the same problem. It helps to get pee pads that are scented to attract puppies to the pad. That way, he'll at least be able to kind of find it, but he still might not aim exactly right. My vet had given me some kind of enzyme to put on his food that was supposed to help. It was a powder that was also available online. I'll see if I can hunt down the name, but you might want to ask your vet. It was basically when he stopped eating and seemed to have a lot of pain/weakness in his hind legs (so much so he could hardly stand and often fell in his own urine/poo) that I decided he no longer had any real quality of life. Hope this is helpful.
- Unconventional, but have you sought out anyone who can do animal Reiki? - Yes!
(JULY 8, 2013: We said goodbye to our beloved Sprite. His kidneys were failing, but we made the decision after he bled excessively out of his nose (and after an emergency vet hospital visit) we made him comfortable. His hearing, sight and strength in his back legs were almost gone. )
Sprite provided us with several signs that he was still around after his passing. If you or someone you know has lost a dog or cat, you may find comfort in reading his story and stories of other pets who have communicated from the other side: Book: Pets and the Afterlife - by Rob Gutro - To lose a pet means to lose a child. The love we share with our pets never dies, and the author proves our pets do communicate with us from the other side. Learn how dogs, cats, horses and some birds have the intelligence and ability to send signs to the living after they pass. Take comfort in knowing our pets are around us from time to time and recognize the signs they give. Learn how they wait for us when it’s our time, what a pet’s ashes can do, and the difference between ghosts and spirits. Learn how and why living pets can sense entities. Follow one of the author's dogs on a ghost investigation. Read how spirits of the author’s 2 dogs and dogs from three other mediums communicated with them from the other side. Read about spirit cats and how a ghostly dog rescued a girl. The author also volunteers for Dachshund and Weimaraner rescues and has several dogs.