Everything I've read in the replies to your intial concern is correct with regards to the behavior and the thinking patterns of dogs. I think you've received some very good ideas on how to overcome this training problem.
Here is some information to fill in the gaps:
You were concerned that the dog went 50 hours without peeing. You were right, this is NOT good. When a person, or animal cannot pass his water
, say from an obstruction or, fortitude, or whatever, the urine backs up. It literally fills the kidneys and causes the structures that form the urine to become damaged and the result can be Kidney failure and death. Even though the dog may finally go, simply because he can't hold it any longer, does not mean that damage did not occur.
So, here are some suggestions when faced with a long passage
that you might want to employ.
First, try to find a dogfood that is low in salt
(sodium) Dogs get plenty of salt
, just from being on the water, and licking the deck, or the stanchion, or themselves...salt, finely coats everything as you know, so no need to give him extra in his food
dog foods tend to have a higher salt content, but I've heard that some of the better dog foods, like Eukanuba for example, may also be higher is salt. Ask your vet for the real facts, or choose to feed your pet a bland assortment of people-food during the passage
, one that you can regulate the ingredients...like boiled chicken and rice, no salt added.
Second, you can limit his water intake for that time period. I know in humans that 2 oz an hour is a sufficient quantity for life. There are many patients that are put on water restrictions for various reasons, but the prime reason is kidney failure, or congestive heart failure.
My last suggestion is to be used as a last resort. Ask your vet for a Urinary Catheterization Kit. Now, don't freak out, this is not really as big of a deal to do, as you might think, and although everyone expects this to be painful, it simply is not. There are people that self-cath 4-5 times a day every day for various medical
reasons. To do it on a dog, would probably require 2 people, one to do it and one to hold the dog, but its super easy to "straight cath" a dog, and something that I would do in an instant if the dog had held his urine for more than 36 hours. If you get a kit from your vet, or from someone that works at a hospital, they come in a sterile package, which is about the size of a pencil case. They contain everything that you need to do this mini procedure, and this package can be easily added to your first aid supplies. Ask your vet to show you how its done. There are also books
on it, and if you can't find it, write to me and I'll help you find it.
If your dog, not peeing for super long periods is really a problem that you are facing and you love your dog....talk about this possiblity to your vet. And remember, not passing urine during a certain time frame is considered an emergency
. Your vet can also help you determine what size kit you need, depending on the breed of your dog.
FYI, I lived aboard for 2 years with 2 large Golden Retrievers. I would never sail without them, as they earned their passage more than once by alerting me to thieves while at anchor
. They could sound intimidating if need be, and were perfect to have aboard, since we were not marina dwellers, but preferred to live on the hook, when we were in port. Keeping a soft muzzle in my first aid kit was important, I felt, in case the dogs were ever injured, and I would need to stitch something or splint something...We, as people, often are great about outfitting our emergency
first aid kits for humans, but a muzzle should not be left out if you are crusing with dogs.
Hope this helps,