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Urinating in the house.

Species: Dog
Breed: Bichon frise
Age: 5-8 years
I have a 6 y.o. Bichon Frisé who should be house trained by now. In fact, he is house trained, however, in the last 6 months or so he keeps marking inside. He has been neutered. He doesn't not drink alot so I am not worried about diabetes. He will go outside, pee, then come back in and go mark somewhere. In fact, many spots. I don't know what to do anymore, I have tried all products from odour remover to repellant and nothing is working. I have to crate him during the day now, and don't even trust him loose when I am around. Any suggestions? I am sure it is an emotional/anxiety thing. Can dogs be treated for this?

Thanks in advance for any advice you could give me!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a case where I would highly recommend having your vet do some urine tests for your dog. It is not common for a neutered dog who was formerly housebroken to suddenly start urinating in the house. If he was not neutered, then we could blame it on hormones. For example, if there was a female in heat in the neighbourhood then this could cause him to urine mark. But, this is not going to happen for a neutered dog.

There is a really high chance that this is a medical issue. Something that is relatively common in bichons is bladder stones and crystals. A dog with a bladder stone or urinary crystals will have irritation in their bladder from time to time that feels like a bladder infection. This causes the urge to urinate frequently.

Bladder stones are treatable. Some can be treated with special food and some need surgery. They can be very serious as well. If a bladder stone gets to just the right size then it can block up the penis and can be life threatening.

It is also possible that this is a chronic bladder infection in which case antibiotics would be necessary.

If your vet does urine tests and everything is normal (which would surprise me), then we are looking at a behavioral issue. Treating this may involve some periods of crate training and yes, possibly some anti-anxiety medications. But, I would definitely not go that route until urinary tests are done to rule out a medical problem.

Hope things clear up soon!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

I went to the vet and did urine analysis. $160 later, there is nothing physically wrong with the dog. Seems it is behaviour problem.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.