Pee...so much pee. Help? Tifa's Tale...
First, a little (or lot) of back story, because I think where Tifa came from may be relevant to her issues...
This is Tifa.
Tifa had a crummy life before coming to me. She was let down by many people...sadly most of them were ones that promised she'd be safe. She was brought up to my rescue from a transport, and given to a foster home in our rescue. That foster home picked her by looking at a cute picture of a 8-9 month old pit bull and not asking any questions about her. Well, she turned out to be a high energy dog with no training. This foster home had no fenced in yard, and did not want to exercise her at all. Well, after 3 weeks, this foster home decided she was a horrible dog (her words) and could not stand living with her any longer. She brought Tifa to an adoption event and didn't come back for her. Tifa was given to someone else and stayed there for six months before the rescue got a call from AC saying we should get our dogs out of there ASAP.
The entire 6 months Tifa was there, I had a feeling things were not right. I got a vibe from the person who took her that made me just feel that bad things were happening. I said as much, but was ignored until AC made them. Suddenly, Tifa was getting out of there, but had nowhere to go. The rescue was going to put her to sleep since before the episode, she was described as a horrible dog with reactivity issues. I asked for them to give me a chance with her. The rescue agreed. So, Tifa came to me!
I was in for a shock when I saw Tifa. She had punctures all over her face which were swollen and oozing. I was told it happened two days before I took her in...yeah right. She was put on antibiotics and healed up quickly. About two weeks after she came here, a lump formed on her chest which grew very quickly. In a matter of a few days it went from nothing to golf ball sized.
She went in and had an operation. What the vet found was cool and disgusting. The vets opened up her lump, drained it, and inside they found a white mass with some tissue on it. They examined the mass, and found it to be a cuterebra. It's like a botfly, but bigger. What they figured out happened is that she had a deep puncture (there is scar tissue from yet another puncture there), and while it was super infected the cuterebra got in. It lived there for a bit, but then she came to my place and she got started on antibiotics for her ear. That killed it off, but it was still in her skin. Blood and fluid continued to drain into the pocket. Ew.
The vets were worried about her chest because it was so swollen...they didn't want her to go on any sort of walks, not even around the yard. They didn't want her to do any training or low key games because it might stretch out the skin and pop the stitches. So...kennel chews and puzzle toys were all she could do (along with low key attention of course). During her crate rest the second time around, she began peeing in her crate for attention.
So...yet another two weeks of kennel rest to heal up from that. She was not a good patient, and this is where the problem REALLY started. She obviously was not house trained. AT ALL. On the contrary, she was dang near encouraged to pee inside at the second place she was at (too many dogs, they were peeing all over the floor). She was having accidents constantly at my house.
Everything was going pretty good....except the house training. I had never had this much trouble house training a dog before. The peeing in her crate stopped right after she was let off restrictions, and hasn't been a problem since. After tests for everything they could think of, the vet said she's perfectly healthy and it's behavioral. So, I went into potty boot camp with her. I set up a timer, and we went out every 15 minutes on the dot. She'd pee, I'd throw a party and she'd get hot dogs. Repeat this scenario every day, with every other day going up by 1 minute. Once we hit 30 minutes, we went up by 5 minutes until we hit an hour. And now we've hit some sort of road block. Despite her bladder being a perfectly normal bladder, she can't hold it more than 1-2 hours. In her crate she can hold it for a full work day no problem. When she's out, I still have to take her out every 1-2 hours (SOMETIMES she will go three hours).
And so finally, to the part I need help with. Nothing I do seems to help with her peeing issues. 5 ˝ months after she came into my house, I still bring hot dogs out and throw a party every time she pees. If I catch her doing it inside, it's “Ah ah no!” and I bring her outside. Once she squats, it's party time once more. And it's not just accidents. Every so often she'll get a bug up her butt, come over, and pee on me. Yesterday, after we had done her walk, she had play time with the dogs, and did the first training session for the day, I was sitting down on the couch with my feet on the floor. She walked over, squatted on my foot and peed on it. Then just stood up and walked away. Before was a month or so ago, where she jumped on me while I was laying on the couch and squatted, peeing all over my arm.
The vet has come to the conclusion after many visits and tests that she is 100% perfectly healthy, and it's behavioral. The rescue isn't willing to pay for a behaviorist, so I will be doing so soon. I just don't have the money at this moment in time
For the record, Tifa is spayed, UTD on her shots, and is just about 2 years old now. She is not diabetic. She does not have a urinary or bladder infection of any sort. It's never 'leaking' like she's incontinent, and she's always aware of the fact she's doing it. She can hold it in her crate for a work day.
I'm at a loss of what else to do. Have any of you come across behavior like that? Do you have any tips or ideas that may help out? If you're familiar with the MN area, do you know of a decent behaviorist(other than the U) to contact?
There is no breed of dog more in need of our compassion; in need of our call to arms on their behalf; and in need of what should be the full force of our enduring sanctuary.