Canine Incontinence

Involuntary passing of urine in dogs is called ‘incontinence in dogs’. Urinary incontinence occurs when a housetrained dog loses control of his bladder. This problem causes your dog to have little accidents. The animal is not deliberately urinating but as a result of the condition, urine will dribble out without the pet being able to control it. It’s very important to realize that urinary incontinence is something completely different from the act of scenting or marking territory. When a dog leaves a scent by urinating, he is doing it voluntarily. A dog with incontinence urinates involuntarily and is often unaware of what is happening.

There are several medical reasons that could contribute to this condition including muscle control issues in the urethra (female spayed dogs), trauma to the brain or spinal cord, Cushing’s disease, diabetes, bladder or kidney stones, kidney or liver disease and urinary tract infections. Older dogs are at the highest risk for dog incontinence, they may become incontinent because their bodies are naturally producing less of the desired hormones, but younger dogs may experience it as a result of birth defects or following a spay/neuter operation. More than 20% of spayed females are affected with urinary incontinence. Both male and female dogs can be affected, with medium to large breeds being more prone for the problem. Diagnosis of dog incontinence can be established by physical examination, urine tests, dye study of the bladder, etc.

Keep in mind, if your dog starts having accidents in the house, it may not be a behavioral issue. Canine incontinence is a medical condition which can be treated. The first step is to visit the veterinarian and establish appropriate treatment. Medications can often effectively manage this condition and prevent everyday accidents. Dogs with incontinence may have to take these medications all lifelong. Some herbal and homeopathic medicines are also available as an option. Fresh foods and raw vegetables have been known to improve a dog’s condition and have also shown to be successful in treating dog incontinence. Surgery also may be an option if medication alone doesn’t work. If your dog does not respond treatments you can purchase dog diapers to help your pet. Dog incontinence is more or less a lifelong condition, with proper medication and diligent care, dogs with incontinence can live comfortably and have fewer accidents.

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