Old dog with diarrhea

I have a 14-year-old lab mix that I can’t stop from pooping all over the kitchen and dining room. It’s diarrhea, so it’s not easy to clean up. I have tried everything I can think of–more frequent trips outside, leave him out longer, diaper, vet consultation. More outdoor time hasn’t helped. I can’t leave him out too long because the heat really stresses him. And even if I do put him out at night or early morning, he still comes in and poops on the floor. Diapers won’t stay on him. I’ve talked to the vet about this, and we’re trying loperamide. If that doesn’t work, is there anything else I could try?

Have any of you ever euthanized a dog because of this? I’m seriously considering it. This dog has kidney disease which is currently managed ok, severe arthritis that is poorly controlled even with medication, and likely heart disease (he can’t tolerate even mild exertion). He is completely deaf, but responds to hand signals. But, he still has a good appetite and he still wants to be part of the family. He still barks if a strange vehicle comes by. He still knows who we are and where he is. I know that no matter what I do, he won’t live much longer. It’s just that I don’t want to euthanize a good and loyal companion simply because he can’t control his bowels.

Hodgson Mill (unprocessed) Wheat Bran aka Miller’s Bran found in grocery baking supply aisle.
One box is 12 ounces …

  • A Tablespoon or 2 would correct the diarrhea in my friend’s ancient Newfoundland …

I know some will poo poo this idea and say bran does the opposite
I know this works and
it also firms up poop in equine weanlings.

About $2.00 a box if that.

  • put it right on top of food once a day and evaulate.

Good Luck !

It ensured my friend’s kitchen and carpets remained unsoiled. The dog was on it for life.


It doesn’t sound like you’d be euthanizing due to the fecal issues…it sounds like there’s a long list of things that make things tough for this dog.

14 is a good long life, especially for a big dog. We have the beautiful gift of foresight–and when the general direction is down, and things are really only going to get worse, why would we not let them go when they’re still happy? Why require a certain amount of misery? Animals only know right now. Waiting until they’ve given up, waiting until things are so bad that they’re looking for death, is waiting way, way too long…in my mind at least.

The uncontrolled arthritis would be enough for me to make the call. Spoil him silly, make his last few days really happy, and let him go. I’m so sorry you’re facing this, it really is just the hardest part. :heart:


Honestly if you can’t get the diarrhea under control ( @BUSY has a great thing to try) I would probably be seriously contemplating doing that if it was my dog.

I hadn’t thought about feeding him bran; it’s worth a try. I once fed Metamucil to a cat with diarrhea on the advice of a vet. He said the fiber soaks up the extra water and helps solidify the stool.

This has nothing to do with the topic of my post, but Hodgson Mill is only about 30 miles from where I live. The containers for their products have a picture of the actual mill. Here’s a link to a youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z35jjtVCDpE

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@Simkie you make a strong argument. We (DH and I) are leaning toward euthanasia if we can’t get the diarrhea under control real soon. And we know if the diarrhea isn’t the final straw, something else will come along sooner rather than later. It’s just that the dog is still so much with us.

Loved this ^ thanks for sharing. While I have used their product wheat bran for decades, I had never known the Hodgson Mill was in Missouri !
The “Show Me” State !
Lovely video !

Funny thing about Metamucil and Wheat Bran … can produce looser stool or firmer. I had an old cat on Metamucil to alleviate constipation. But the Newfoundland required the wheat bran for diarrhea.
The best part is both products are available.

Good Luck & Jingles for your beloved dog !

This isn’t directed at just you. I hear this argument from pet owners all the time.

They don’t like/enjoy not having control of their bowels.
It’s not fair to keep them around, just because “you” don’t feel like it’s a good enough reason to humanely let them go.
With all his other health issues, I would be taking a serious look at his quality of life.

I do know how hard it is, having just went through this.
I just had to put my old girl down last week. She was going strong & mostly healthy for being 14 1/2 yrs old.
Until she wasn’t… she went from having days & days of good, with only the occasional not so good moment. To having only good moments & not so good days.
This was in a matter of 2 weeks.


I’ve done it for similar reasons. My dogs have always been mortified when they have accidents. I see nothing wrong with letting the old guy go with his dignity intact in the diarrhea can’t be controled.


Plain canned pumpkin can also work wonders in firming up poops - and most dogs love it. I’d try a 1/2 - 3/4 cup, spread out over the day. I’ve used a 1/4 cup, daily, as maintenance for a friend’s lab that tended toward chronic runny poop.

Good luck in taking the best of care for your friend.

When my older dog was having stomach issues, we fasted her for a day, except water, and then transitioned her to Science Diet I/D, which stabilized the vomiting and loose stools. But she didn’t have other apparent issues.

As others have said, 14 years is a long life for a large breed dog, and you’ve given him a good and loving life. It’s better to let them go when they still are pain free and have some dignity, and just as with us, chronic stomach issues aren’t fun to live with, if they can’t be stabilized. Don’t feel guilty just because you will be relieved not having to deal with caring for this particular health issue anymore.

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