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Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience:  8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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2 years ago we took a long haired lurcher from Dogs Trust.

Resolved Question:

2 years ago we took a long haired lurcher from Dogs Trust. They estimated his age at the time as 2, making him now 4-5 years old. Apart from the fact that he does not like certain dogs and the occasional person, he has proved to be the most adorable, loving dog anyone could wish for. However, for some unknown reason in the last 2 weeks when we have been out shopping he has gone upstairs and 'marked' his territory, last time against my husbands tea shirt which was on a hanger on the bedroom door and today the edge of our bed - duvet, valance & carpet - this from a dog who never goes upstairs, or on the furniture, except my settee when we are out. We leave a patio door open so he can go into the garden in case of emergency and he is never left for long periods, in fact today for only 1 hour. Wish we could get into his head to know what's going on. Sorry to be so long winded but HELP please. Thelma
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I can help you with your question today.
For a middle aged dog to suddenly start urinating in the house, I think we should first look for an underlying medical cause before we can believe it might be behavioral. Problems like a UTI, urinary stones, prostate issues, etc could be the ultimate cause of his problems.
I recommend having Sandy seen by your regular vet. I would start with a physical exam including rectal (to check his prostate), a urine sample and x-ray of his abdomen to look for stones or other structural issues. Hopefully these will give us our diagnosis so that we may begin a treatment plan.
Please let me know if you have further questions. I am happy to continue until I provide the service that you seek.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Re Sandy the lurcher
Why would he suddenly go upstairs to urinate, when the door was open into the garden. He never and never has gone upstairs when we are in. Any other ideas apart from possibly medical, thank you Thelma
Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 2 years ago.
In terms of behavioral issues, we could see urinary changes related to stress, anxiety or confusion. If you are correct about his age, it would be much less likely, but older dogs often develop Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). This is essentially dementia. These dogs often wake and become active at night, may go in and out forgetting to urinate outside, urinate in inappropriate places, etc.
Again, at his age, this is less likely than a medical issue. When a dog is ill, we can absolutely see inappropriate urination (just as a sick cat might urinate outside the litter box, even though it is always present in the home).
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