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Care of incontinent & downed dachsies
after 6 post-op OR 8 conservative weeks of crate rest

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
The best ways to prevent a bladder infection are:
  1. Help keep his system hydrated by soaking dry kibble with equal amount of water at each meal. Other ideas: lick ice cubes or frozen low/no salt broth as a treat. If it is going to be a few hours before you can express the bladder, don't give too much water.
  2. If you express 4 to 6 times a day, in most cases the bladder tone will stay in good shape. This is generally the number of times a healthy dog will go outside anyway. The longer urine remains in the bladder the more inviting for bacteria to breed leading to infection. Details on expressing a bladder and the bowels.
  3. A cranberry supplement "might" prevent urinary tract infection in some cases for dogs susceptible to UTI’s. A dog with a UTI can have urine with an “off smell" or no obvious signs at all. See the vet for periodic urinalysis as UTI’s can lead to a serious kidney infection if not treated promptly. Confirm with the vet if the urine contains crystals or if there are chances of bladder stones being formed. Some supplements, like Ester C, depending on what the stones and crystals are made of, should or should NOT be given. Constant UTI’s can often lead to bladder stones. If your dog has had more than a couple, it might be a good idea to do a bladder ultrasound or X-ray.  Understand why UTI's may be returning, what you and your vet can do to help get rid of recurrent UTIs 
Exercise and therapies
  1. Dogs need daily aerobic running exercise. Wheelchairs allow joining in with family activities and good exercise. Carts are not 24/7, but for a couple of hours at a time. Some carts allow walking on all fours with support.  Cart features to look for with and IVDD dog.
  2. PT and massage 3x day is still required on legs to keep muscle tone and prevent joints from freezing up. More information.

Hydrotherpy can be done in a child's swim pool or your tub or at a PT facility with a treadmill.

Garments to protect
Diaper/male belly wrap
Diapers are NOT recommended. Dogs abhor being near/in their waste, diapers cause problems with skin. Proper expressing  is what keeps a dog dry and the bladder healthy.

Skin problems
Check the belly and back legs daily for abrasions. Treat with EMT Gel or Neosporin and a self-adherent wrap such as Coban or VetWrap. Keep skin clean of urine and feces. Baby wipes or baby body wash is easy on the skin. If the condition does not improve within 3 days, seems worse or oozes pus, go to your vet as oral antibiotics and perhaps a skin culture might be needed.


It’s a survival instinct not to show weakness (pain). Signs of pain you need to memorize are crying/yelping, panting, shaking/shivering, licking/chewing, tight tummy, head held high or nose to the ground. Crate your dog at once to limit movement of the back and get to the vet for help.

A must-have document on emergency signs. Print and place on your refrigerator.

Sample Daily feeding and bathroom schedule

7:00 am - express bladder and bowels
7:15 am - breakfast (dry kibble soaked in equal qty. water)
noon - express bladder and bowels
5:00 pm - express bladder
6:00 pm - supper (dry kibble soaked in equal qty. water)
8:30 pm - express bladder (last drink of the night)
10:00 pm - express bladder and bowels for the night

Adjust schedule to keep your dog dry between expressings. Eight hours should be the maximum time between expressing during the day. During night time sleep, the body produces less urine.

This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for the IVDD dog community. The coordinators are not veterinarians or health care professionals. Nothing herein should be interpreted as medical advice and all should contact their pet care professionals for advice. The coordinators are not responsible for the substance and content contained herein and do not advocate any particular product, item or position contained herein.

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