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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30274
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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Hi, We have had a rescue cross border terrier for about ten

Customer Question

Hi, We have had a rescue cross border terrier for about ten years. We estimate his age between 11 and 12 years. We have always been proud of what an extremely clean dog he has been. He very rarely fouled in the house. Recently though he has started pooing at night, every night. We have always fed him dried food, we still do except the brand has changed, could this be the problem? He has a long walk every morning when he does his business. Please advise. Thanks. Ian
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 4 years ago.
Welcome! I would be happy to assist you. I am a 2003 graduate from UC Davis and a Medical Director of a veterinarian practice.

Don't forget, I will do everything possible to provide a timely and detailed response, but sometimes it can be difficult to fully answer all questions. You can always select "reply to expert" if you need further clarification or more information, prior to providing a rating.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Deputy.

First, you must rule-out medical causes with intestinal parasites being the first concern. Not just worms, but for issues like giardia or coccidia, which can easily cause inappropriate defecation problems.

Bring in a fresh poop sample to the veterinarian. Ideally, within a few hours. Request that it be sent “OUT” to the laboratory instead of being looked at in the hospital (more accurate that way). We are not interested in only worm eggs, but also checking for the very common microscopic bugs like giardia and coccidia. These types of parasites will not be cured with over-the-counter dewormers. Giardia can also be difficult to identify on routine fecal tests, so ask your vet if they always add a “giardia elisa” to the fecal test. Here is more detailed information about fecal testing:
Fecal Testing

Second, many dogs suffering from progressing arthritic problems will definitely start to have issues with defecating in the wrong places. So, just in case, it would be well worth asking your vet about starting a trial with some pain medication, or at least a trial of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory to see if helpful.

Lastly, I also think about cognitive dysfunction. This is like a person getting senile, and also is well known to cause inappropriate defecation problems.

Cognitive Dysfunction

One medication that can sometimes be of benefit for this condition is Anipryl:

Holistic treatment options or additional treatments can be reviewed here: Holistic or alternative treatments

So, a few possible causes ranging from behavioral, to intestinal parsites or even arthritis, so well worth getting your vet involved to try a few things and see which helps the most.

Hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or need assistance. My goal is to provide the best answer possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating. Please remember a rating before leaving.
Dr. Andy
Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace an in-person examination.

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 4 years ago.
I hope everything is going okay. May I be of any further assistance?