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Urinary Issues?


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Please forgive this lengthy post - this has been going on in spells for quite some time, so I'm hoping a thorough history will help solve this puzzle!


My young BC (20 months) still occasionally urinates in the house, and I'm having trouble figuring out if it's a training issue and/or a medical one. This has really caused a strain in the house, because my mother (who loves the dogs but is not a "dog person" per se) is becoming increasingly frustrated about floors/rugs/etc getting "ruined" by this.


When I first brought Potion home, her breeder told me that she would put indoor-outdoor carpet over the potty pads in the puppies' x-pen to keep them from tearing up the pads. Every time I would try to put bedding in her x-pen with her, she would seek it out to urinate on it (or try to rip it to shreds ;)). I don't remember having much of any issue in the house with rugs during this period, but she was also only out in the house with an empty bladder. We tried restricting access to those sorts of things for a while during housebreaking to break the cycle and it seemed successful.


She also would have submissive urination about just about anything/anyone, and I was told her relatives did as well and usually grew out of it. She now rarely does (pretty much non-existent towards people, very rarely with other dogs).


She has been checked MANY times in the past 18 months for a UTI and it's always negative.


When she has accidents in the house it is often (but not always) on one of any number of rugs. I have inspected the rugs with a black light and could not get any of them to fluoresce but one (which has since been re-cleaned). She was spayed in late August, and we had taken up the rugs shortly before in attempt to break any rehearsal of that (if that's the case). We did not have any accidents in the house until the day the rugs were put back down (about 2 weeks ago) which was notably *not* on a rug (nor near one). Since that day she has had two more accidents, however one was particularly unusual (and not the first time this type of "episode" has happened).


She loves to bring me her ball while I'm sitting on the couch working on my laptop, and usually I'll ask her to do something for me to throw it. Often this is asking her to go do her 2o2o position on the foot stool across the room. She went over to the foot stool, hopped on it, and started to urinate while standing in 2o2o. She seemed surprised and then dropped to a sitting position on the stool.


Similar incidents have happened when training in the garage, and often happen when training outdoors. I can see how it might be "stress pee" when she's trying very hard to figure something out, but I'm not sure why it would also crop up in response to very well known behaviors. FWIW - usually if she urinates while training outside she will stop mid-run to squat... the indoor mid-session incidents have always been while standing (at least at first). I have mostly avoided the issue for indoor training sessions by making sure her bladder is empty before we start (and if it's a class setting, taking one or more breaks during class).


Her most recent issue was about 2 days ago, just out of my sight. I don't know whether she squatted or not, as I yelled as soon as I heard the sound of it hitting the floor to interrupt the behavior. She had made no attempt to ask to go outside (she has been very good about asking to go out - not always in the way I'd like but she clearly does make an effort).


I know I can avoid the issue by taking her out super frequently, but to date simply breaking the rehearsal of the behavior does not seem to fix it long-term. If it's a training issue (ie she thinks rugs are acceptable) I'm not sure how to convince her that rugs are NOT acceptable. If it's a medical issue (which the fact it seems to even surprise her at times makes me wonder)... I don't really know where to start. My vet felt that it was likely marking, but to me it doesn't fit that (only one episode out of all of them struck me as possibly "deliberately placed" vs. random).


She does not have accidents overnight (was sleeping through the night by 12 weeks, and sleeps loose in my room at night with no issue), which from what I understand would probably not be the case if it's incontinence?


I appreciate any insights you have to share, and if I've left anything out that might be helpful please let me know. :)

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Thanks all :) I don't believe we've done a culture at this point (will have to double-check to be sure), so that sounds like a good next step before going the Purdue/internist route. I'm just hopeful it's nothing that's going to require surgery at this point... we had a scare post-spay where we were concerned about potential spay complications. If I wasn't nervous before I'm certainly very touchy about the thought now!

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Jen, I'd be strongly considering a specialist at this point, regardless of whether or not you've had a culture done.


I've gone the rounds with dogs with issues that wouldn't resolve. Now, I give my general practice vet, whom I respect greatly, two chances to fix whatever it is. Then I go to an internist, orthopedist, dermatologist, etc.


I save money/my worries/my dog's health by getting more expert help sooner. It's hard to shell out the larger fee, but I save a lot by getting that expertise faster.


Please let us know how Potion gets on.



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