Help! Elderly Dobe now pooping in crate!
Our nearly 13 yr old spayed female Dobe Addy has in the last few weeks started pooping in her crate several times a week, apparently while sound asleep.
Givens: Diagnosed a few months ago with a heart condition, and last several months been on Encard, Vetmedin, and Furosemide. She gets Eukanuba at 6 a.m. plus a glucosamine and a fish pill, and her meds in cream cheese. Same at 5 p.m., now moved to 3 p.m., minus the fish & glucosamine. Now we feed most food in a.m., just a smidge in evening.
Used to never, ever have bathroom accidents, even when both of us worked and were gone all day. She would typically poop/pee all at once, in the morning, in the back yard not too long after she ate breakfast, and hold the rest till we got home. At least one of us has been home all day the last several yrs, and if she needed to go out during the day, she came to get us, we'd open the door, no problem. We've even been able to leave early to go fishing, wake her & feed her 2 hours ahead, she goes out & relieves herself, comes back in and stays all day inside, just fine, till we get back. Super easy to manage in this arena.
Since this crate soiling issue emerged, we've started taking her on slow walks down the street after she eats afternoon meal/meds, just to make sure she's getting enough movement, because since she's developed heart problems she sleeps a lot more in the daytime and is less active.
Her crate is just the right size, with cushy, fresh bedding, and usually cleaner than our own bed (she's always refused to enter it if it even smells like a dog!) , and we've always left the door open. It's her den---she retreats to it when she's afraid or tired or just doesn't want to be bothered. And she knows she can choose to bed down anywhere else she wants, except on the furniture. Sometimes she sleeps beside me, on the rug. Sometimes in the living room on her pad, if there's a fire in the fireplace. She's never pooped in any of those places, btw.
So, there's something about the crate, and nighttime sleep. It's as if it puts her in such a sound and deep sleep, she loses bowel control. Oh, and it's not diarreah. It's normal consistency, maybe even a tad dry. Usually it ends up in a corner of her crate, but she usually wakes up after pooping and turns circles in the crate, it goes everywhere, on the bedding, crate, her, the floor, and anything she manages to step on before we then wake up and can get her in the tub. It is an ungodly mess to clean up at 3 a.m.
The only things that have changed since this issue began are: 1)the heart meds & cream cheese, which we have to use or she won't take the meds. (We've tried other things which didn't work, but are open to suggestions), and, 2) we boarded her at our vet's kennel for four or five days a month or so ago. They are supposed to stick to a similar feeding and exercise schedule, but now I wonder if she ended up pooping in her kennel so now that doesn't seem horrid to her.
So---ideas? Because I can't keep this up, and she's still a beautiful, loving dog! And please don't suggest moving her outdoors "where dogs belong". I don't think she'd survive long in an outdoor kennel, even if it was heated/air conditioned. She'd die of heartbreak.