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Hello, all! :)

I have a 10-year-old Corgi-Jack Russell mix, named Skippy. Due to his mild anxiety, he managed to chew up his back foot so much in this past couple of months that he ended up getting an infection! As a result, my veterinarian put him on Prednisone and Cephalexin.

Skippy went through one round of prednisone and cephalexin just for his foot infection to come back. He is currently on his second round of prednisone (he's already finished his second round of cephalexin) and he's suddenly to be having fecal and urine incontinence!

I could only find one web page that said incontinence is a side effect of prednisone, which I can see why since the drug causes increased hunger and thirst. However, due to his old age, I'm beginning to be concerned that it could be the early signs of dementia or something else altogether. As I am typing this, he is sitting beside me and his stomach is making a lot of noises. He just went on a walk where he pooped once. He does have food in the living room so I doubt it is due to hunger.

He has 2 more pills to take of prednisone (one tomorrow, one Monday) so I'm really hoping once he is done with these pills and they get out of his system the issue will go away. He's had incontinence the past 3 nights.

Chances are, he will be going to the vet, whether it's because the pills are not effective or because of the incontinence. I am writing this in hopes I can get an answer from someone, preferably an owner who had an older dog on prednisone, to let me know if they had this happen with their senior dog or if it could be another issue that has not been addressed.

I will mention, in all of the 6 years we have had him, this is the first time he has ever shown incontinence.

Thank you.
 

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Prednisone will increase their thirst and urine volume, but as far as I know will not cause incontinence. Because of the increased urine volume, while on prednisone, if there is any level of incontinence present, it could certainly exacerbate it. It should not cause fecal incontinence. There may be something else going on medically, so your Vet will probably want to do a complete workup on him.
 

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Is the infection still present? If so, I wouldn't wait to call the vet as they are the only person with the medical and individual history knowledge to tell you whether this is something to be concerned about.

Edit to add: personally if I couldn't get a hold of my vet I'd be calling the nearest emergency vet as I'd be worried that something in this move was having an adverse systemic effect and they can move rapidly.
 

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Is the infection still present? If so, I wouldn't wait to call the vet as they are the only person with the medical and individual history knowledge to tell you whether this is something to be concerned about.

Edit to add: personally if I couldn't get a hold of my vet I'd be calling the nearest emergency vet as I'd be worried that something in this move was having an adverse systemic effect and they can move rapidly.
It looks healed up and just fine! However, 6 days later after finishing the FIRST round of cephalexin and prednisone, the infection came back. The nearest Emergency Vet charges a $1000 "after hours" fee and we just don't have that kind of money right now. Next time we could take Skippy to the vet would be Monday as a walk-in. :(

I hope in showing my parents this thread they'll let me make an appointment or take Skippy in ASAP.

He's fully aware that he's doing it and feels bad for doing so. I understand this is probably an old-age thing so I don't scold him. He doesn't lay in his mess. He's honestly acting completely normal except for the fact he's, well, incontinent at night.
 

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Seems odd that the vet would prescribe prednisone to a dog with an active infection that isn't caused by allergies or an autoimmune problem. However, dogs will chew their feet because of allergies, which may be what the vet was actually treating. You might want to clarify that.

It could be that the antibiotic is causing him to have some digestive problems. There are some over-the-counter probiotic products that can help build up his gut bacteria. We've had good results with giving our dogs FortiFlora when they're on antibiotics. And it could very well be that the prednisone is making your dog thirstier, and that the peeing is caused by the increased water intake.

In any case, this isn't really the forum for getting veterinary advice. I'd suggest calling your vet and finding out what he/she thinks.
 

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How are you 'diagnosing' your dog as having incontinence? Most owners often confusing incontinence with being unable to hold their urine over an extended period of time. But true incontinence is a pet having no clue at all that he/she is even urinating... it just comes out unconsciously. Having incontinence at night and not in the day is a bit unusual, but I know it can happen. But usually if a dog urinates in its bed it's due to having an sudden urge to urinate and not doing much about it (as can happen with renal failure, urinary tract infections and being on cortisone). But an incontinent dog may not have any urge at all, and urine just dribbles out while they walk about or sleep in one spot.

Urinary incontinence is usually a spayed female dog problem and related to low levels of estrogen. Male incontinence is far rarer and often difficult to diagnose the cause of.

Fecal incontinence is usually due to a neurologic problem (often spinal) that affects the colon and rectum in such a way the pet does not realize there is stool there, and it just falls out. Loose stools are usually not related to this problem, but both could happen at the same time.

It this what's happening with your pet?

As for the allergies and itching problem, there are other products available now that do NOT have the problem of causing excess urination, and we recommend their use rather than using cortisones which have way too many side effects. You should ask your vet about these newer products as they are usually as effective as cortisones but far safer (and, since newer, more costly, too, unfortunately).
 

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My dog has nocturnal incontinence but it is completely controlled with Proin. However, when she was on steroids there was no control. She would completely drench herself and whatever she was laying on whenever she slept. That was even with doubling the Proin. Now that she's off steroids, she's good. So it could be the medicine.
 

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Prednisone certainly does create an increased thirst in many animals, which, in turn, will result in an increased need to urinate. If your pet is already tending towards incontinence, then it will become more common. But it's rare to go from no incontinence to incontinence for the first time on just steroids. I have put many pets on steroids in the past (cutting that down these days a LOT) and have made many dogs pee more... but more urinating, and less control does not necessarily = incontinence (when a dog unconsciously urinates without ANY control at all). Yes, a lot of these dogs will urinate in the house or even the bed when they didn't before, but that is not the same as incontinence if they were aware of the act of urinating. They just could not either get to the doggy door or wee wee pad in time, and/or have the lost ability to hold it overnight. The result may end up being the same- urinating in the bed, but not necessarily developing incontinence.
 
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