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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. New here. I needed to search out some experienced pet owners so I could hopefully get some help from a problem that just has me overwhelmed. I apologize for the length this may take up, but I feel like maybe the backstory is important.

We have a dog, Teddy, who is nearly 4 years old. He is a mastiff/St. Bernard mix and is about 100 lbs. We've had him since he was about 4 months old, and got him from a rescue. We had a bit of a rough start as he was injured early on by a neighbor's dog, and had to spend several months recovering, but once he was healed and had some time to reacclimate, he was a GREAT dog. He is, frankly, not very bright, and our vet who we love love love has even said as much, "He's perfect.... not very smart, but perfect."

At his best, he was house trained with no accidents, well mannered(except for snatching food out of children's hands), and sweet as can be. He's not a barker. He would sleep in the master bedroom at night on his own bed, didn't jump on furniture, and would only be crated when we left the house as he did sometimes tend to get into trouble when completely unattended.

However.... over the summer he began having seizures. It was somewhat of a process to get those controlled, but he is now taking phenobarbitol and potassium bromide and he has not had a seizure since December. We are very happy that the seizures have stopped, as they were very severe and at one point he had to spend several days in the animal hospital and go under general anesthesia to make an hours long seizure end. My husband has been overseas through all of this so I was the one who had to carry my 100 lb, seizing dog to the car, with two kids in tow. It has been challenging.

But now Teddy is not an easy dog to have. He is food and water obsessed, to the point that he goes to extraordinary lengths to get it. But in turn he does not make much of an effort to control his urination(or bowels, to a lesser degree). Our vet advised us to treat him much like a puppy and feed and water him on a schedule and let him outside in correspondence with the schedule. This works, except that he finds ways to "cheat." He has figured out how to open the toilet lids and drink from the toilets, then proceeds to urinate on the floor almost immediately. He knocks over the trash and eats from it. He climbs on the kitchen counters and steals food from sealed containers, or thawing meat from the sink, or whatever. He does this when we are home and just out of the room. He also has figured out how to open his crate and does the same when we are gone. I have tried various measures to contain him in the crate, but I have yet to find something he can't break through. Closing the doors to the bathrooms is not a good option because he will destroy the door trying to get to the toilet. Closing the door to the room where his crate is results in the same. He also urinates in his crate without seeming to care, which he did not previously do. This is why we limited his water, but when he "cheats" there's nothing I can do.

Yesterday was one of the worst times. I came home from school after having only been gone for 3 hours. He had knocked over furniture, gotten a container of brownies off the counter, broke the container and ate the brownies, tipped the trash can and scattered its contents through three rooms of the house, urinated in nine locations, drained the bowls of all four toilets in the house, defecated in one location, and knocked over two bathroom trash cans which did not contain any food items.

I simply don't know what to do. We LOVE Teddy. I tear up just typing this. He has been such a great dog, and all four of us care for him very much. Despite my OCD tendencies, I have tolerated the extraordinary shedding and the mess having such a large dog inevitably makes, but all of these food/water obsessed changes and the complete lack of "house training" has me at the end of my rope. At this point, I spend HOURS a day cleaning up after him, every single day. I have had to hire cleaning people to clean my house because I don't have time to do the basic things after having to deal with dog mess.

Please help. I don't know what to do.

(additionally, if it works, I have attached a photo of Teddy with one of his doggy friends on a hike. Teddy is the larger dog.)
 

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i think firstly i would go back to the vet and explain all this. have you thought of maybe a tape worm or something like that could be the problem. also drinking excessively could be a sign of diabetes. i think before trying any thing you relly need another check up with the vet. as for everything else if drinking excessively it could be that the dog cannot hold it back untill you get in to let it out to pee. its a big dog to be having problems with and i am sure there are many on here that will have sound advise but i would deffinately go to the vet and explain it all to them
 

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These are known side effects of phenobarbitol.

Long-term side effects of Phenobarbital include frequent urination, excessive drinking and eating. Because your dog is eating more, he'll most likely gain weight, a secondary effect of the drug. Although, it's rare, Phenobarbital can also cause anemia, which would necessitate discontinuation of treatment.
These are also side effects of potassium bromide:
The most common side effects of bromide therapy are sedation, ataxia (hind end weakness and loss of coordination), increased urination and rare skin disorders. Increased urination, hunger and thirst are also common for dogs taking bromide alone or with Pb.
If you're hiring help to clean up after the dog, you need to have a long conversation with your vet about this. This poor animal is not in control of his need to eat or drink, or of his bladder or bowels at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, the vet is aware. I think there's a reluctance on both our parts to change the meds because when he has seizures, they are very, very bad, like the one that wouldn't stop until he was put under general anesthesia.

He has been tested and is not diabetic as well. I appreciate that suggestion, though.

I guess maybe we'll just have to work on changing the meds, but I really fear what happens if he starts having seizures again. The last time the vet bill was nearly a thousand dollars.

*sigh* Its just so hard sometimes. He's been such a great dog, but this is just breaking me.

Oh, and to clarify.... I am the one who cleans after the dog. I had to hire people to clean the rest of the house, as I don't have the time to deal with the dog's daily messes AND maintain the rest of the home. As is included in the username, I also have another dog, and I have two young children.
 

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I so empathize with you as I owned two Saints during my teen years. You are correct in saying that this breed is not brilliant. My one Saint leaped through a plate glass window (that was closed) to get to a ram on the farm next door. The other one made "friends" with a burglar who robbed our house (the burglar had to come through the dog's kennel attached to the garage.) You are in such a difficult situation. Home Depot has a locking garbage can that even my houla cannot get into. You could check out the cost of a steel door for one of your rooms for containment also. I am concerned that your dog will hurt himself if you get a wire kennel for the home, trying to get out. Do you have a heated garage that he could stay in if you are out of the home?? I recently bought a sweeper/steamer to sanitize my wood floors on occasion from my dogs (mud). It's really easy to use and does a nice job if you have wood floors. Could your vet try different anti seizure meds, or consult with a University Vet school for new trial type of meds if they are needed...I think I would connect with a specialist for his seizures for more options. I would check around to see if there are any organizations that could help pay for his medical care/donations. I hope this is useful to you. I feel for you, I loved our Saints.
 
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