Medical Causes of House Soiling in Dogs (cont.)

Increased Urine Production

Polyuria, or increased urine production, has many causes and is common in dogs. Dogs with polyuria produce large volumes of urine without straining. Other signs of this problem may include increased water intake, decreased appetite and weight loss.

Causes of polyuria include kidney (renal) disease, chronic renal failure, pyelonephritis, primary renal glycosuria (Fanconi's Syndrome), pyometra, liver disease and polycythemia. Endocrine diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease), hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease) and hyperthyroidism, can all cause polyuria. Hypercalcemia and hypokalemia can also cause increased urination. Certain medications, such as exogenous steroids, diuretics, anti-convulsants, potassium bromide and vitamin D, can cause polyuria. A rare cause of increased urine production is primary polydipsia, also known as psychogenic polydipsia. Dogs with this problem drink excessive amounts of water without an underlying cause.

Diagnosis may include a urinalysis (urine specific gravity and glucose), chemistry panel and other blood tests, contrast radiography and vaginal exam. Depending on the results, more diagnostics, such as a modified water deprivation test, may be needed.

Inappropriate Defecation

Inappropriate defecation is much less common in dogs than inappropriate urination. Possible medical causes include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), anal sac problems and food sensitivities. Older dogs may defecate indoors due to locomotion issues (a dog may be unable to stand due to arthritis, for example) or dementia (cognitive dysfunction syndrome). Diagnosis may require fecal exams, biopsies and dietary changes.

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk.

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