Why is our our shitting in the bed?
December 5, 2011 4:49 AM   Subscribe

One of our dogs has shat in the bed twice in a month. There's no reason I can see for this. Any ideas?

I need some advice. One of our dogs is shitting on the bed.

We got these little guys - they're Chihuahuas, or Chihuahua-ish - as rescues in '08. They're maybe 13 years old.

We take them out on walks four times a day - every six hours, more or less - but lately one of them won't shit on walks. Lately, Ariel shits indoors on the puppy pads between walks, or on the rug in the kitchen. This is okay, tho we'd prefer she shit outdoors.

Just now - three hours after her last walk - Ariel shat on the bed for the second time in a month. On the BED!

Her poop is solid. Her food and water haven't changed. She's her same old self - cuddled by my partner, stroked by me. She doesn't get treats and there's nothing on the floor for her to eat, tho she'd love it if there were. Both dogs saw the vet in November for a regular checkup. They're old, but healthy.

What are we overlooking? Any ideas?

She's off the bed for the foreseeable future, and has a crate and a pillow to sleep on. But we're worried.
posted by goofyfoot to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
This sometimes happens when dogs get older. It may not actually know when it has to go because it's losing feeling.
posted by empath at 5:07 AM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Agree with empath- I had a dog who did this when she got old. She would just be walking through the house and suddenly poop would just sort of fall out of her- kinda like a horse. She was just as surprised as we were. She was also very upset and ashamed that she pooped in the house, and we had to reassure her it was ok.

Frankly, if she were going to lose function control, we were glad it was poop and not pee. Poop is a lot easier to clean up than pee- if it's solid, it doesn't soak into anything.
posted by dogmom at 5:55 AM on December 5, 2011

Bring it up to your vet. This exact thing also happened to an adopted greyhound we had, around the time she turned 13-14. The vet told us that she was basically losing control/muscle tone due to age. Same deal - firm stool, left where she was sleeping or sometimes just falling out of her as she walked. In our case, the vet said that there wasn't much to be done about it. We had to make some very difficult decisions at that point - there was a newly-crawling baby in the house.
posted by jquinby at 6:22 AM on December 5, 2011

If it does turn out to be an age issue, I'd recommend you check out Good Old Dog, a handbook on caring for older dogs.
posted by zamboni at 7:17 AM on December 5, 2011

I would imagine that it's just age. My almost-12 Corgi has this problem occasionally. Not much you can do.
posted by radioamy at 8:56 AM on December 5, 2011

You might check and see if any of this sounds familiar: http://ask.metafilter.com/177205/Demented-old-dog

Have you witnessed any of the incidents?
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:04 PM on December 5, 2011

I've got a dog that just can't poop unless he walks the length of 2 blocks or has 10 minutes free run. If I keep him out less than that he'll have an accident when he comes back in. So it might be worth going for slightly longer walks, sometimes the action of walking can sort of encourage pooping.

I'd talk to your vet, you can always just phone to get some advice about weather or not you should go in for a consult.

But I imagine from what you've said it's just age. I'd keep them off of the bed, and you can get doggie diapers if it becomes a regular problem, I've seen some cloth washable ones out there which work out cheaper in the long run.
posted by wwax at 6:49 PM on December 5, 2011

And the end of my dogs life, she got some sort of seizure thing going on, and when she'd seize she'd poop, and sometimes also roll around in it, get it on her and on the carpet or wherever it was. It was horrible for her, she thought she wasn't being A Good Girl—the best dog on the planet and she's thinking she's A Bad Dog—and on top of it all whatever it was that started it happening in her brain began to take from her all of her confidence and happiness; this spectacular, joyous, festive animal became cowed.

If I got to hang with her, clown around the way we did, if she could be how she was before that seizure thing nailed her, and took her down, hey, a little bit of poop here/there, not much a problem, esp since it's firm stools. Like you've done, no more time on the bed, maybe diapers if it's needed and if the pooch will hold to it; Rusty would've had any dang diapers off in a heartbeat, a hard-headed pooch, she was.

I hope you can work out a way to keep peace for you and for the pooch.

Good luck.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:28 AM on December 6, 2011

Response by poster: Ariel's shat on walks like a champ ever since I posted this question! Go figure.

Which isn't a resolution.

We're looking at the links and posts. Thank you for your help, friends!
posted by goofyfoot at 7:10 AM on December 9, 2011

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