Saturday, February 28, 2009 07:01 AM
(Last updated on Saturday, February 28, 2009 08:56 PM)
The Dog Urine Saga
 by Fëanor

(As you could probably guess from the title, the following contains a lot more about dogs peeing than you ever wanted to know, so feel free to skip if you'd rather not deal with the subject.)

The last few weeks have been really frustrating for poppy and me, as Floyd reverted to his old behavior of peeing in the house. He did this a few times when we were in the condo, and then for a week or so after we moved into the new house. Both times we were pretty sure it was a behavioral issue - he was experiencing anxiety, either because of a huge change that had just occurred in his life that he was not adjusting to well, or because he couldn't handle being alone and separated from us. Both of those times, we pretty much just waited it out and eventually he stopped. In the one case, we began trying various training methods to make him stop, but I was never convinced they had much effect on him.

So this time, I once again assumed it was an anxiety problem. Recently, Poppy and I got really sick with the flu and one or the other or both of us were home with Floyd for an entire week. It was shortly after that that he started peeing again - once every day while we were away at work, always in almost exactly the same place - so I figured he'd probably gotten used to us being home with him and was upset that we were going away again. I thought we'd be able to just wait it out as we had before and pretty soon he'd get used to us going to work again and he'd stop. But he kept doing it, again and again. And then eventually it even got worse; he started peeing at night, too, while we were upstairs sleeping. I tried some training methods, but like before, I really couldn't tell if they were doing any good. The whole situation was just incredibly frustrating. Floyd is a big dog, and when he pees, he doesn't pee a little bit. He pisses like a horse, in fact. We were spending 15-20 minutes, twice a day cleaning up huge puddles of pee. And you can't just explain to the dog, "Look, please don't do this. We always come back, don't we? Just wait a little while and we'll take you out." And you can't exactly yell at him or kick him for something he did hours ago while you weren't there. He wouldn't understand that at all. (Normally I wouldn't consider kicking him for any reason at all, but a couple of times during the past couple weeks, I sure thought about it.)

So, having run out of options and patience, we took the dog to the vet Thursday night. We have a great vet who really knows and loves greyhounds, and who's also quite kind and considerate, and happy to take the time to talk everything out with you in detail and explain everything to you. He decided from what we were telling him, and from what little he could gather from the tiny urine sample we were able to bring in (by the time we tried to collect, Floyd had already expended everything on the floor; probably we should have sopped some up with a paper towel and wrung it out over the container!), that Floyd might very well have a bladder infection, and he gave us some pills. This was actually quite a relief; maybe this problem was something we could just apply pills to and it would go away! We gave Floyd the first pill as soon as we got home. He peed again that night while we slept, but when we got home yesterday evening, even though we were a little late, we discovered to our great joy that he had not peed. The floor was also dry when I came down to let him out this morning.

We'll of course make sure Floyd finishes out his treatment and takes all the pills, but I think he's already turned the corner and most likely won't have an accident again any time soon. I'm still not sure if it was a physical problem, and the pills started working right away, or it was really an anxiety issue and it was just a coincidence that he got over it when he did. Regardless, it's a huge weight off our shoulders.
Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Dogs (Not), Floyd (Not), Personal (Not)

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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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