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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32803
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 5 year old rescue lurcher has very irregular (but

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My 5 year old rescue lurcher bitch has very irregular (but healthy) bowel movements. She barks to be let out every night, but at different times. We have tried changing her diet, and feeding times (each change has lasted a few weeks to give it time to work, but she always reverts back. She has around 3 or 4 healthy looking movements per day. She is on daily medication for incontinence (incompetent sphincter) The night time bowel movements have been evident (and every night) since we got her 18 months ago. How can we regulate her, to stop her wanting to pooh at night please. Sleep deprivation is taking its toll on me, my husband and our neighbours

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Three to four movements during the day plus a nightime movement is excessive for any dog. My primary concerns are that Dolly is being overfed and/or is experiencing the laxative effect of too much fiber in her diet. Both maldigestion (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency/EPI) and malabsorptive disorders need to be considered as well. EPI (a lack of enzymes produced by the pancreas) can be identified with the TLI blood test. Malabortive disorders (inefficient absorbtion of digested food) is suggested by lower than normal folate or vitamin B12 serum levels. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Hi, many thanks for the reply, very useful. We do measure Dolly's food to ensure she gets enough, but not too much. She also has two good runs a day, with our other lurcher. She does have the shape and weight of a lurcher (quite lean, although her muscle mass is far more than our saluki/greyhound lurcher. We believe Dolly to be a greyhound/german shepherd cross) We'll certainly explore EPI and the malabortive disorders with our vet. Dolly is a regular visitor to our vet, due to her incontinence issues. She also rubs her face a lot, and really doesn't like strong odours such as air freshener sprays, furniture polish and disinfectant. I wonder if she has allergies? We'll ask our vet to carry out more tests, she has had many, many tests (urine, blood, skin, and a full body scan) Thanks again, we'll keep trying with Dolly, she's not going back to the re-homing centre! Linda

Thank you for the additional information, Linda. Yes, facial pruritis (itchiness) is consistent with allergies - atopy (environmental allergens) and food intolerance, in particular. I don't see a relationship between those allergies and such frequent (and normal) bowel movements, however. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.