My blk lab was 9 yrs old in September. A year and a half ago the lab and the other dog we had, a border collie, got loose and ran up to the highway. The blk lab saw the b.c. get hit and killed by a car. The blk lab went into a serious depression so we looked for a new companion for him and got an Old English sheepdog abt 6 wks later. In the six weeks that the blk lab was on his own, everytime I left him he would suffer serious separation anxiety....destroying anything he could release and constantly expressing his anal glands. Even though he got along with the new dog and they seem very friendly with each other the lab still suffered from anxiety whenever I left him....we would continuously come home to pee on the floor. The two dogs are tethered within a few feet of each other whenever we have to leave the house. Two months ago we had had a weekend where the blk lab wasn't peeing at all and he didn't want to drink...we convinced him to drink w/chicken broth and he started to flood everywhere. We blamed it on the flea baths and flea Advantage medication that we had to use on the dogs two weeks previous (the first time we had ever had fleas!). Two weeks ago the dog started once again not peeing and we took him to the vet who put him on meds for infection. A week later we were back at the vet because the dog was in a lot of pain and in distress. This time they did an exray and found his bladder greatly enlarged so they put a catheter in to drain it. They did find some crystals so they put him in on meds for that. Three days later he was still no better so they put him on meds to contract the bladder , these meds can only be used for 7 days, which we are coming to the end of. The dog isn't any better...the vet said that if this didn't work that it could be emotional considering the extreme problems for the anxiety....which we tried three different medications for but they didn't make any difference in his anxietey level...before this problem whenever I left him he would always pee plus salivate a ton, poop, express his anal glands and bark and shake uncontrollably. We have to keep him in adult depend type diapers and this morning he started to drool quite a bit. He's also lost 12 lbs. since June. We are considering euthanizing him...which we don't want to, but the quiallity of his life is extremely poor. If anyone has any suggestions I would be truly grateful.
You may also want to check in with a behaviorist. We had a kitten that witnessed the cat he saw as mama cat get nailed by a car. He sat on her grave for three days without moving, and then ran away for good.
The best I can tell, he definitely associates high trauma with your absence.
When he wet the floor, did you have a high response, i.e. one that would have caused stress for the dog? Don't knock yourself about if you did, it's always startling to have a well trained dog suddenly pee everywhere. That could be why he's holding his bladder - if your response to his accident caused even the slightest emotional response within the dog, given his extreme psychological distress, this could have been amplified into exacerbated shame behavior. My gut is really strongly yelling at me that this dog needs to see a behaviorist, and a pet sitter should definitely be considered, one that has worked with stressed dogs before, if possible.