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Snook

Belly Bands - Pros and Cons?

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Snook   

I'm looking in to the options that are available for managing what seems to be dementia related incontinence (blood and urine tests have ruled out any other cause.) Urinating inside seems to primarily be an issue when Justice's bladder is getting full and he decides he needs to pee, but isn't getting beyond that initial thought and processing the part about needing to go outside first, so he just goes where he is. He has good control and stops when I see it happening and yell "no" but with his pre-existing fear issues, this also terrifies him which is awful to see. Two out of the last three times he's done this, I've been in another room and he's emptied a full bladder before I'm aware anything is going on. 

 

I'm working on getting him out for short walks to get him to empty his bladder when needed, in addition to his normal walks and outings of course, but there will always be times like last night, when that doesn't happen. There will also be times when I'm out and can't walk him when it's needed, or when it's raining and he refuses to go for a walk.

 

Please tell me all the pros and cons of using a belly band and whether it will even be suitable in a situation where he is likely to try and empty a full bladder at once, rather than it just being a bit of leakage here and there. I'll talk to his vet about it at his next appointment in a few days but I'd like to find out more first, from others who have experience with using them. 

Edited by Snook

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Dogsfevr   

I dont think it will suit his scenario especially as he already has issues based on where he pees & you don't wont to encourage him to hold it .
Yelling wont help him because he doesnt "get it" except that he has woken up or moved about & needs to toilet .
 We would be trying to teach to use a pee tray especially with winter coming up .

We have had oldies in the same scenario who whilst unable to hang on still had enough brain thought to know what they did went against all there training which often made them a tad more depressed as they where proud ,clean house dogs .
I can say most adjusted well to a pee tray for the moments caught short & grasped it fairly quickly & with the right rewards coped with there somewhat new normal .
 

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Snook   
25 minutes ago, Papillon Kisses said:

I’ve never used a belly band.

 

But on the interrupting behaviour bit, you could try using/training a positive interruptor. This worked well with Malcolm before he lost his hearing.

I used to use that method with Justice as an interruptor when working on his reactivity and fear of other dogs. I don't know if it will be effective now that he's losing his hearing but I can try. I'd certainly prefer that over doing something that frightens him but he's now sleeping through fireworks and thunderstorms, when he used to be a quivering mess, so it might not be loud enough. 

 

 

9 minutes ago, Dogsfevr said:

I dont think it will suit his scenario especially as he already has issues based on where he pees & you don't wont to encourage him to hold it .
Yelling wont help him because he doesnt "get it" except that he has woken up or moved about & needs to toilet .
 We would be trying to teach to use a pee tray especially with winter coming up .

We have had oldies in the same scenario who whilst unable to hang on still had enough brain thought to know what they did went against all there training which often made them a tad more depressed as they where proud ,clean house dogs .
I can say most adjusted well to a pee tray for the moments caught short & grasped it fairly quickly & with the right rewards coped with there somewhat new normal .
 

The yelling no isn't about punishing him or trying to teach him not to do it, it's to interrupt the behaviour and get him to stop immediately, which he does. If I don't interrupt him he'll keep going until his bladder is empty although I'd certainly prefer that it's a positive interruptor and not one that scares him. I'll try using the technique PK posted as he already knows it, and I can spend some time reinforcing it first, assuming he can still hear it. 

 

It's not that he can't make it outside because when I stop him just after he's started peeing, he can immediately stop doing it and he's then held it for over an hour afterwards (it's only since then that I've started taking him out for short walks to pee so that he's not continuing to hold on.) His vet said he isn't connecting his need to pee with the rest of his normal process of going outside first, so when he needs to pee he just goes where he is. I don't understand how that would change if he's taught to use a pee tray instead of his dog door? I'm certainly interested in learning about it if there's something I'm not understanding about it the pee tray but it sounds like a substitute for not making it all the way outside when bladder control is poor? Justice can control his bladder, he just forgets that he needs to go outside before he starts to pee. 

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I like the idea of trying some indoor pee trays - I can see that as being a "reminder" to him about going to the toilet in appropriate locations so he may start peeing opportunistically in those when he passes it versus holding it to when he's incredibly full and needs to release it. Plus you can have multiple ones around the house for more mini breaks, reducing the load of any accidents.

 

How does he tell you when he does need to go outside? Could you start teaching him new ways to ask to go outside? e.g. bells, the recordable buttons. Having a variety of ways to ask to go outside might help counteract some effects of dementia? I feel like i read somewhere that new tricks etc. help keep brains sharp.

 

 

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Snook   
7 minutes ago, Two Best Dogs! said:

I like the idea of trying some indoor pee trays - I can see that as being a "reminder" to him about going to the toilet in appropriate locations so he may start peeing opportunistically in those when he passes it versus holding it to when he's incredibly full and needs to release it. Plus you can have multiple ones around the house for more mini breaks, reducing the load of any accidents.

 

How does he tell you when he does need to go outside? Could you start teaching him new ways to ask to go outside? e.g. bells, the recordable buttons. Having a variety of ways to ask to go outside might help counteract some effects of dementia? I feel like i read somewhere that new tricks etc. help keep brains sharp.

 

 

The whole time I've had him he's generally held his pee until he's full, unless he's on a walk and marking grass and bushes etc. That's not a new behaviour, so I don't know if he would start to pee opportunistically now but I can try. 

 

He doesn't tell me when he wants to go outside. He has 24/7 access to the backyard via a dog door, so he just goes outside whenever he wants to. He's still very sharp with the commands and tricks he's learned over the years and he ran through a heap of them at the park the other day, just as fast as he did when he was younger. I could certainly start training new things with him to try and limit his decline. At this stage, the only sign that anything is wrong cognitively is the urinating and a few incidents of letting small nuggets of poo out where he shouldn't. Other than that, he's still completely himself mentally. 

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If they are keen on treats, IQ puzzles and snuffle mats are great for seniors' brains. :)  

 

I don't think a belly band would hold a full bladder worth of pee, it's just a maxi-pad insert. I've only used them short term on new arrival boys who aren't house trained yet and like to cock their leg on things!  

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Snook   
6 minutes ago, Powerlegs said:

If they are keen on treats, IQ puzzles and snuffle mats are great for seniors' brains. :)  

 

I don't think a belly band would hold a full bladder worth of pee, it's just a maxi-pad insert. I've only used them short term on new arrival boys who aren't house trained yet and like to cock their leg on things!  

Justice a massive food whore lol and loves his Bob-a-Lot toy and snuffle mat. I've also set up other food based games in the past to keep his brain and nose busy when he's been confined to the home for longer periods of time, either due to illness or when we were working out his anxiety meds, so I could put those together again for him. He's also done nose works in the past, both with a trainer and at home with me, so that's an option too. :)

 

That's part of what I was wondering about.. the whole bladder thing rather than it just being small amounts of urine. A friend suggested it could work if I catch him starting to go with the band on and interrupt him, then take him outside and remove it for him to finish, although it would probably still mean taking him for a walk to get him to finish. My concern was for the times when I don't catch him early on and he ends up releasing a whole bladder, plus his inability to go outside and pee normally with it on, which he is doing the majority of the time, even though 3 indoor incidents in around 10 days is still a lot (or it feels like a lot anyway.) 

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31 minutes ago, Snook said:

Justice a massive food whore lol and loves his Bob-a-Lot toy and snuffle mat. I've also set up other food based games in the past to keep his brain and nose busy when he's been confined to the home for longer periods of time, either due to illness or when we were working out his anxiety meds, so I could put those together again for him. He's also done nose works in the past, both with a trainer and at home with me, so that's an option too. :)

 

That's part of what I was wondering about.. the whole bladder thing rather than it just being small amounts of urine. A friend suggested it could work if I catch him starting to go with the band on and interrupt him, then take him outside and remove it for him to finish, although it would probably still mean taking him for a walk to get him to finish. My concern was for the times when I don't catch him early on and he ends up releasing a whole bladder, plus his inability to go outside and pee normally with it on, which he is doing the majority of the time, even though 3 indoor incidents in around 10 days is still a lot (or it feels like a lot anyway.) 

On the topic of pee. I nearly just peed myself. :rofl:

 

I've got nothing else to add really. You're so on the ball with everything. Justice is a very lucky boy :) 

 

 

Edited by Powerlegs
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Snook   
2 minutes ago, Powerlegs said:

On the topic of pee. I nearly just peed myself. :rofl:

 

I've got nothing else to add really. You're so on the ball with everything. Justice is a very lucky boy :) 

 

 

I'm just speaking the truth. :laugh:

 

You have more faith in me than I do at the moment. I'm not feeling very on the ball with all of this being new to me. I may have had Justice for a long time but he's still my first dog, which means he's also my first senior dog. I just want him to have an easy old age after contending with so much for so long with his anxiety. It's been delightful and heart warming to see his anxiety decrease as his hearing has deteriorated, and to know he's finally getting a break in his senior years from getting stressed so easily. I just want to do the very best by him that I can, whilst also preserving my own sanity by limiting how much pee I have to clean up, and how often.. lol. 

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I switched to a loud clap, which feels dreadfully wrong as it would have scared him in the past, but with his hearing loss is just an attention getter now.

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tdierikx   

Are you at all creatively minded? Maybe try some adult human incontinence pants, cut the absorbent part out and maybe fashion some sort of truss to strap it to his abdomen...

 

That's if wearing something like that doesn't needle his anxiety issues of course...

 

T.

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Snook   
11 hours ago, Papillon Kisses said:

I switched to a loud clap, which feels dreadfully wrong as it would have scared him in the past, but with his hearing loss is just an attention getter now.

Thanks so much for the suggestion. That might be a good option for Justice. Like Malcolm, it would have scared him in the past but I'd be surprised if it did now. 

 

1 hour ago, tdierikx said:

Are you at all creatively minded? Maybe try some adult human incontinence pants, cut the absorbent part out and maybe fashion some sort of truss to strap it to his abdomen...

 

That's if wearing something like that doesn't needle his anxiety issues of course...

 

T.

I'm possibly the least creative person in the world lol. Even thinking about trying to make something makes my head hurt. :laugh:

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tdierikx   
10 minutes ago, Snook said:

Thanks so much for the suggestion. That might be a good option for Justice. Like Malcolm, it would have scared him in the past but I'd be surprised if it did now. 

 

I'm possibly the least creative person in the world lol. Even thinking about trying to make something makes my head hurt. :laugh:

You could get a hand towel or the like - something that will fit around his abdomen - and attach some velcro to the ends to fasten it in place. Then simply slip the absorbent part that you cut out from the incontinence pants under his dribbly bits... worth a try... those pants hold a fair amount of liquid.

 

T.

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Snook   
23 minutes ago, tdierikx said:

You could get a hand towel or the like - something that will fit around his abdomen - and attach some velcro to the ends to fasten it in place. Then simply slip the absorbent part that you cut out from the incontinence pants under his dribbly bits... worth a try... those pants hold a fair amount of liquid.

 

T.

I really do appreciate your tips but I'm not sure you understand my level of incompetence with this kind of thing.. lol. I'd just buy a belly band and use the pad part of the incontinence pads in one instead of a maxi pad. Measuring and sewing etc isn't going to happen. I can sew a button back on but that's about my limit. :laugh:

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tdierikx   
5 minutes ago, Snook said:

I really do appreciate your tips but I'm not sure you understand my level of incompetence with this kind of thing.. lol. I'd just buy a belly band and use the pad part of the incontinence pads in one instead of a maxi pad. Measuring and sewing etc isn't going to happen. I can sew a button back on but that's about my limit. :laugh:

Sounds ike a plan!

 

T.

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BJ.   

@Snook I used a belly band with a baby nappy inside with Jester when he seemed unable to hold all night. Whether it was enough for a full bladder or not I couldn't tell you as Jester refused to pee until I had taken the belly band off. Which in my case worked just fine.

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Snook   
43 minutes ago, BJ. said:

@Snook I used a belly band with a baby nappy inside with Jester when he seemed unable to hold all night. Whether it was enough for a full bladder or not I couldn't tell you as Jester refused to pee until I had taken the belly band off. Which in my case worked just fine.

Justice already holds on until his bladder is extremely full so I'd be really concerned if he refused to pee with it on, as he would end up in significant discomfort or even pain, or potentially even develop a UTI. 

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Dogsfevr   
On 17/05/2020 at 3:38 PM, Snook said:

I used to use that method with Justice as an interruptor when working on his reactivity and fear of other dogs. I don't know if it will be effective now that he's losing his hearing but I can try. I'd certainly prefer that over doing something that frightens him but he's now sleeping through fireworks and thunderstorms, when he used to be a quivering mess, so it might not be loud enough. 

 

 

The yelling no isn't about punishing him or trying to teach him not to do it, it's to interrupt the behaviour and get him to stop immediately, which he does. If I don't interrupt him he'll keep going until his bladder is empty although I'd certainly prefer that it's a positive interruptor and not one that scares him. I'll try using the technique PK posted as he already knows it, and I can spend some time reinforcing it first, assuming he can still hear it. 

 

It's not that he can't make it outside because when I stop him just after he's started peeing, he can immediately stop doing it and he's then held it for over an hour afterwards (it's only since then that I've started taking him out for short walks to pee so that he's not continuing to hold on.) His vet said he isn't connecting his need to pee with the rest of his normal process of going outside first, so when he needs to pee he just goes where he is. I don't understand how that would change if he's taught to use a pee tray instead of his dog door? I'm certainly interested in learning about it if there's something I'm not understanding about it the pee tray but it sounds like a substitute for not making it all the way outside when bladder control is poor? Justice can control his bladder, he just forgets that he needs to go outside before he starts to pee. 

The yelling is making him confused ,yes he stops but unless you are taking him outside ASAP and re establishing weeing  he is just going to hang on  because he then knows he’s in trouble and as he has issues  peeing in general .

 

The tray will offer a option that is human friendly as you can’t watch him all the time and it’s only going to get worse just like humans who end up wearing diapers .

Old age comes with challenges but we need to attempt to try new things that may work and with winter coming up  the sooner the better 

 

This is just an old dog that is facing its new normal and you need to help modify a new normal that makes him feel confident that seeing at that spot is acceptable.

He can’t help it and your lucky he’s started late in life others deal with this earlier .

 

 

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Snook   
2 minutes ago, Dogsfevr said:

The yelling is making him confused ,yes he stops but unless you are taking him outside ASAP and re establishing weeing  he is just going to hang on  because he then knows he’s in trouble and as he has issues  peeing in general .

 

The tray will offer a option that is human friendly as you can’t watch him all the time and it’s only going to get worse just like humans who end up wearing diapers .

Old age comes with challenges but we need to attempt to try new things that may work and with winter coming up  the sooner the better 

 

This is just an old dog that is facing its new normal and you need to help modify a new normal that makes him feel confident that seeing at that spot is acceptable.

He can’t help it and your lucky he’s started late in life others deal with this earlier .

 

 

I do take him outside immediately afterwards but he won't pee. I should clarify thay when I say I yell at him, it's a loud, sharp "no" and not me screaming or going on at him. 

 

What I'm trying to understand about training him to use the tray is how he'll remember to use it when he needs to pee, if he's not remembering to go outside when he's been doing that routinely for more than 11 years? I'm not opposed to doing it and am happy to try whatever may work best for him, I'm just trying to understand for myself how the tray works when it's a cognitive issue, rather than a bladder control issue? 

 

I know he's old and he can't help it. I'm not upset with him and the reason I've posted here about the incontinence and then the belly bands, is because I'm trying to find out what the best way is to help him and to manage this. I've never had to deal with this before so it's all new to me and I'm doing my best. I don't know what I'm supposed to do beyond getting him checked out thoroughly by the vet and asking here for help and advice? You seem to think I should automatically know how to handle this in the best way when I've never had a senior dog or an incontinent dog before? 

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