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Ask the Veterinarian
Springer Spaniel & Great Dane Health Issues

Q. Hello Doctor, I have a 14 1/2 year old black and white Springer Spaniel.

This past year he has really slowed down and has frequent accidents, which is to be expected. However; just recently he has started constantly licking the hard wood floors . When I tell him to stop , he will.. but then, one moment later he starts doing it again. Any ideas?

Could it be some sort of vitamin deficiency? Some times it almost seems like he has a form of dementia. Any thoughts that you have would be greatly appreciated.

A. I would most likely say that you dog may be suffering from dementia, there is a school of thought in veterinary medicine that dogs suffer from dementia as they age as we do but as you can imagine that is hard to prove.

This could also be an early indicator of brain disease but that's unlikely. If your dog starts to stare into corners, circles in one direction or begins having seizures then he should be evaluated for a brain tumor.

If you would like to start him on a pet multivitamin that is fine since this won't hurt him and may help with the floor licking. Give it a shot.

You can pick those up at any pet store. I would have him checked for any kidney problems if he started urinating in the house, just to be on the safe side.

Q. We have a 6 year old Great Dane. Caesar has mild ataxia, wobblers.

Our problem is that he drops stool almost every day and sometimes twice. It is not a normal amount or size. It is smaller, usually firmer and darker.

He seems to drop them when he is getting up or is sleeping. It becomes a problem when he steps in it or rolls over on it. We clean his beds every couple of days because of accidents.

Is there anything we can give him to help him out? I was thinking maybe some fiber to make him more regular but that is only a guess.

A. If you have not already tried steroids to help alleviate his neuro signs then that is worth a try. They can decrease the inflammation around the spinal cord and relieve some of his discomfort.

There are medications to help with fecal incontinence and you should talk to your regular vet, I don't have much experience with them. Your regular vet can call an internal medicine specialist that might have some ideas for you.

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Veterinarain Gregory Herndon DVM

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