Canine housesoiling (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare
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Canine housesoiling (Proceedings)


CVC IN BALTIMORE PROCEEDINGS


Overview

For the young puppy, the purpose of micturition and defecation is to rid the body of wastes. Elimination by adult canids can serve other functions including social communication. It also may occur as a component of fear, submissive responses, separation anxiety, and excitement.

Eliminating in the home can be due to a variety of reasons. The most common causes in young dogs are inadequate training, submissive urination and excitement. During adulthood, marking and separation anxiety can result in inappropriate elimination in the home. Medical problems can occur at any age, but tend to be more frequent in the older pet. Occasionally, you will see a housesoiling problem that occurs rather spontaneously and may be due to situations such as an abrupt change in the owner's schedule, failure of the owner to allow the pet access to the elimination area in a timely fashion, a change in the pet's feeding schedule or a change in the pet's diet. When the problem is allowed to persist, it is likely that the pet will develop strong, new location or surface preferences for eliminating within the home.

Table 1. Differential Diagnoses for Housesoiling
  • Inadequate training
  • Submissive urination
  • Excitement urination
  • Marking
  • Separation anxiety
  • Medical problems
  • Management-related problems

Medical causes of fecal housesoiling

Before working up and treating any behavior problem, it is always important to rule out underlying medical conditions. This is particularly true when working with older pets that have a relatively high incidence of medical problems. Conditions that result in an increased frequency of defecation or cause inflammation and pain to be associated with the act can lead to housesoiling. Diarrhea, maldigestion, malabsorption and colitis are all problems that can result in the pet defecating in the home. Anything that compromises the neurological control of elimination can cause incontinence and result in housesoiling. Neurologic causes of defecation in the home include peripheral nerve damage, spinal cord disease, and cephalic problems including tumors, trauma, infection, inflammation, and age-related degenerative disorders. Impaired cognitive function in some elderly pets can cause confusion, disorientation and poor perception, which can lead to housesoiling.

Medical causes of urinary housesoiling

Urinary problems that cause polyuria, increased frequency or irritation can trigger housesoiling problems. Housesoiling is often one of the first signs noticed by owners of dogs that have polyuria due to conditions such as renal disease, hyperadrenal disease, diabetes or pyometra. Lower urinary tract infections or inflammation, and irritation caused by cystic calculi typically lead to an urge to urinate more frequently. Anything that decreases the volume of the urinary bladder can also increase the need to urinate more frequently. Problems such as urinary bladder tumors, large calculi or abdominal masses can result in a decrease in bladder volume and an increased frequency of urination. An increased frequency of urine voiding usually will cause housesoiling if the pet's access to its elimination area is not concurrently increased.

Anything that compromises the neurological control of elimination can contribute to housesoiling problems, including peripheral nerve damage, spinal cord disease, and cephalic problems, including tumors, trauma, infection, inflammation and age-related degenerative disorders. Urethral incompetence that results in incontinence can be another cause of housesoiling. As with fecal housesoiling, impaired cognitive function in some elderly pets can cause confusion, disorientation and poor perception, which can result in housesoiling.

Table 2. Medical Causes of Fecal Housesoiling

Problems that cause increased volume of feces

  • Maldigestion disorders
  • Malabsorption disorders
  • High fiber diets

Problems that cause increased frequency of voiding

  • Colitis
  • Diarrhea

Problems that influence control

  • Compromised neurologic function
  • - Peripheral nerve impairment
  • - Spinal cord impairment
  • - Cranial disease (tumors, encephalitis, infection, degenerative disorders)

Medical Causes of Urinary Housesoiling Problems that cause polyuria

  • Renal failure
  • Hyperadrenalcorticism
  • Diabetes
  • Pyometra
  • Hepatic disease

Problems that cause increased frequency

  • Lower urinary tract infection or inflammation
  • Urinary calculi
  • Urinary bladder tumors
  • Prostatitis
  • Abdominal masses

Problems that influence control

  • Compromised neurologic function
  • - Peripheral nerve impairment
  • - Spinal cord impairment
  • - Cranial disease (tumors, encephalitis, infection, degenerative disorders)
  • Urethral incompetence
  • Cognitive dysfunction


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Source: CVC IN BALTIMORE PROCEEDINGS,
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