Monday, November 17, 2008

A Wonderful Discovery -- I Think

When you're trying to express an incontinent dog, it's largely a learn-as-you-go process. At least for me, there wasn't anyone to show me exactly how to go about it. The general idea was explained to me, but it's difficult to have an expert present right at the moment Popeye needs expressing. Also, I'm inclined to think that the process is a little different for every dog, and part of it is just a matter of getting to know your dog.

I've never been a great expresser of the bladder or bowels. Luckily for me, the pressure against his bladder when he moves around appeared to be enough for Popeye to "express" himself, so it was mostly just a matter of changing belly bands periodically. Well, the other day, I made what I think might be one of the greatest discoveries in the kingdom. Well, in dogdom. Ok, Popeye-dom then.

I change Popeye's belly bands outside. I always try to express both his bladder and his bowels during this time. It's a lot of guesswork, squeezing here and there, and I'm usually not that successful. Which I figure is ok, because even if it doesn't come out on command, it'll come out on its own time. It's just easier to deal with when it comes out on command.

So after I do my fumbling, as he is still standing, I always use a baby wipe to give a quick wipe of his belly area, where his belly band has been sitting up against.

A few days ago, I also happened to use a baby wipe to clean some debris off his butt. I noticed that when I put the baby wipe against his anus, a ton of urine streamed out of him. I was amazed at how much. So this was what a successful bladder expression must be like.

I was holding the baby wipe between the tips of my fingers, the way you would hold a kleenex up to a child's nose. At first I thought it was the pressure I was applying against anus, but as I experimented over the next couple of days, I saw that pressure wasn't really needed. Just holding the baby wipe against him seemed to be enough to start the flow, and then as his bladder became more empty, I squeezed a little (again, as you would a child's nose) and the added pressure would help empty it a little more.

I don't understand this phenomenon at all. It could have something to do with the coldness of the baby wipe. Since they are moist and kept outside, they tend to be on the colder side. I'll try this with some dry tissue next time and see how that works. Whatever the explanation, the phenomenon is awesome. It makes expressing the bladder so easy, it's almost too good to be true. Like magic. I hope it lasts.