3 Top Medical Issues that Pretend to be House Training Problems

Being a new puppy owner can be such a wonderful experience. Your puppy is exploring, and being adorably awkward. And naughty… adorably naughty. You’re learning all the ins-and-outs of puppy training, nutrition, and veterinary care. House training is definitely on top of that list!

As you work through the “don’t-pee-in-my-house-please” details, you’ll have successes and you’ll find yourself taking a few steps back. If you do find that you’re having trouble with house training, your first instinct may be to call a trainer (which isn’t wrong!). Your vet should also be on top of that list. There are several physical reasons for your puppy to be peeing in the house, and you want to rule those out before giving him the “naughty” speech. Here are the most common medical issues that can masquerade as house training problems:

1. Urinary tract infections

As any person who’s had a UTI can attest to, UTIs can be miserable. Although female dogs are more prone to them than the boys, it’s something to take into consideration. You’ll often see frequent urination (small amounts), especially when crated or in places off the beaten path (places your puppy doesn’t normally go).

2. Congenital abnormality

If you have a young puppy with a seeming inability to house train, ectopic ureters may be on the top of your vet’s list. The ureters are the tubes that normally carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Each ureter is supposed to connect in a specific area of the bladder, which collects urine and eventually empties it out. Ectopic ureters, however, don’t end in the right place. This causes urine to dribble out of the bladder intermittently, or sometimes continuously, depending on where the ectopic ureter is actually located.

3. Anxiety

We can all appreciate the stressful situations that may cause puppies to pee in fear. Yes, it’s considered a medical issue because chronic or continuous anxiety can cause a number of medical problems (just like people). So consider your training techniques as well as your pet’s environment, potential stressors and personality. Here is a great article about creating stress-free areas at home and helping your pet with anxiety.

House training problems with your senior dog? Consider these:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Cushing’s Disease
  3. Kidney or bladder stones
  4. Anxiety
  5. Side effect from steroids (commonly taken for arthritis)

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