Having decided to take a look at the world of pets medicine and common problems and medicines related to Dogs this month I think I may have put a curse on the them. Almost immediately Fatty McDougal (or Faye if you wish to be polite) hurt her foot and has been hopping about the place being grumpy until today. Then yesterday as we were sipping a few vinos outside I noticed that Daisy (the gorgeous girl in the photo at the top) had a wet patch by her. Dogs urinary incontinence?
She started to lick herself and as she was doing it I could actually see her slightly wetting herself. I had a suspicion the other day that she may have done it as there was a small wet patch on a wicker rug that she likes to lie on. Nothing has happened since yesterday so I am not really sure if it was a one off occurrence or if it is going to be a really major problem. It may simply be that all the Dogs are drinking an absolute boat load of water at the moment as the temperature here in Spain has risen quite dramatically as Summer begins to kick in with a vengeance.
Having started writing about the most common problems Dogs are faced with and the best pets meds to prevent or help with remedying them, I know that male and female Dog incontinence is a real issue. My partners family Dog had an issue with Dog incontinence, she was overweight when they got her and although a great job was done of getting her back in trim she was always a little on the “boxy” side afterwards. I knew that being overweight can add to the risk of a Dog becoming incontinent but I really did not know much more about the subject until today.
I have tried to find out what I can and hopefully this post will provide a few answers for you and for me. Dog incontinence has many causes and as many treatment options. I think the saddest part of my searching resulted in the fact that many Dogs simply cannot be totally cured of their incontinence. Many cases can be treated very effectively but some Dogs may always have to have Dog Diapers. Although not the most glamorous of things I suppose it helps if there is a real issue that cannot be totally cured. I think things like Dog diapers would be used more for when you do not want wet seats or furniture such as for car rides. In the night I think I would simply be more content with washing the bedding or putting washable absorbent pads down to make the night more comfortable.
Symptoms Of Canine Incontinence
The symptoms of male or female Dog incontinence are going to be fairly obvious. You will see large or small wet patches where the Dogs has been sitting or lying. You may even see them have a small involuntary leak as I did with Daisy.
If there is an issue then it is more likely to happen when the Dog is asleep or relaxed. More often than not it can occur in the night when the Dog is sound asleep.
Causes Of Dogs Urinary Incontinence
Canine incontinence is most common in older Dogs. It happens when the Dog simply cannot control its bladder properly and accidents may then happen. It is often simply that old age has caught up with them and they no longer have the bladder control that they once had.
There are many other causes of incontinence in Dogs and the problem is by no means confined to older Dogs only.
Canine Urinary Tract Infections
The cause of the Dogs incontinence may be because of a urinary tract infection. This can be treated with antibiotics that will clear this up in much the same way that the problem is addressed in humans. The causes of urinary tract infections are mostly unknown but it is often e-coli that can cause the problems.
If your Dog is repeatedly wanting to go out to pee, has blood in its pee or stops going altogether then it is more than likely an infection and a visit to the vets sooner rather than later is in order. About 3% of female Dogs may have this problem and they are at much higher risk than male Dogs.
The hormonal balance may be the reason why a Dog becomes incontinent. As they age it is more likely that this will happen. Female Dog incontinence is much more likely to happen and it is the decreased estrogen levels that are the problem. Hormonal therapy is available to try to rectify this. It is more than likely a lifelong problem that will need constant treatment to keep it in check.
Stones May Cause Dogs Urinary Incontinence
Small stones may cause slight incontinence levels in Dogs. This is not simply kidney stones. There is a possibility that stones may be present in the bladder or urethra and this may cause symptoms of incontinence. If it seems like your Dog is in pain when peeing or even stops peeing then it is more than likely a stone or obstruction that is the cause of the problem.
Dog Spaying And Incontinence
There is a risk that having your Dog spayed may lead to the early onset of incontinence. This again is hormone related. This is much more common in female Dogs that have been spayed. The estrogen levels may go down leading to urinary incontinence in female Dogs. This is oftne the first thing that is treated for if a spayed Dog begins to become incontinent.
It may be that the symptoms of the Dogs incontinence are neurologically based. The nerve supply to the bladder may be damaged and this can lead to incontinence. This is fairly difficult to diagnose and many vets will be loath to make the diagnosis. More than likely you will have to see a neurologist if this is the suspected reason for your Dogs incontinence.
Treating Dogs Urinary Incontinence
There are a number of different treatments available. From antibiotics if it is a suspected infection such as cephalexin, amoxicillin, and enrofloxacin, to estrogen therapy. Estrogen supplements do not carry a risk for a lot of Dogs but the dangers are very real and very serious. Estrogen supplements can carry the risk of reducing the bone marrows ability to produce red cells. This can be a very serious side effect in a few cases and may not be relieved by withdrawing the medication. This is very rare but many vets prefer to try different medication before resorting to estrogen supplements for female Dogs. Female Dogs are much more likely to suffer from incontinence than males.
It seems that most vets would rather try to treat the problem by using Phenylpropanolamine. It has much fewer possible side effects and can be very successful at curing Dogs urinary incontinence. It is the active ingredient in Dexatrim and Propagest. Phenylpropanolamine works by enhancing the release of the neurotransmitter chemicals that act on the receptors of the bladder sphincter. Basically this means that the “don’t pee” signal is boosted so that the Dogs leakage is halted. If estrogen supplements are to be used then it will be with diethylstilbestrol or something similar. In neutered male Dogs that suffer incontinence which is much rarer they often respond very well to only a few testosterone injections.
How To Know If Your Dog Has Urinary Incontinence
The diagnosis must be carried out by a vet. If you are sure that there is a continuing problem then a trip to the vets is in order. There may be a multitude of test that need to be carried out and it can be quite expensive. It will depend on how easy the diagnosis is. It may be a very simple case to diagnose or specialists in there respective fields may need to run further tests.
Other Causes Of Dogs Urinary Incontinence
The problem may be none of the reasons discussed so far. It can be any of the above such as an infection or lower levels of estrogen or testosterone brought on by spaying or age. One way to lower the likelihood of a urinary infection or cystitis is to ensure that your Dog does not go to long without a pee break. Dogs that are not allowed to pee on a regular enough basis are much more likely to develop cystitis. Let your Dog out often to avoid this. Overweight Dogs are also much more likely to suffer from cystitis. You should never let your Dog get overweight in the first place but if you have then a strict diet will do your Dog the world of good. This will also lower the chance of other medical issues because of its weight.
On top of this it may be a natural birth defect when surgical intervention is the only answer. It can also be caused by damage that results from an accident where nerves are damaged and control is lost.
Natural Prevention And Remedies For Dogs Urinary Incontinence
If your Dog has been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection or UTI (which I had been typing that all along!) then as well as antibiotics an addition of citrus juice may be extremely beneficial. Cranberry juice has been known to greatly help in both humans and pets, just get the OK from your Vet first.
Also ensure that your Dog stays clean. Dirt around the region can lead to repeated infections that cause minor leaks and continued infections.
For proper cases of Dog incontinence and not just UTI then to be honest I have found little that has been proven effective. I have visited quite a number of sites for this post as part of my research and there are no real success stories that I could find that are based on natural remedies for dogs urinary incontinence. Antibiotics for UTI or proper medicines based on years of testing have been proven to be the most effective way to combat serious Dogs urinary incontinence problems. Citrus juice and cider vinegar are very effective at treeating mild UTI but for serious cases or hormonal related problems then prescribed medications are the most effective treamtents.
May the Doggie Force be with you all.