HomeNutritionA Guide to Determine Canine Urinary Incontinence and the Treatments Available

A Guide to Determine Canine Urinary Incontinence and the Treatments Available

Is your dog urinating while sleeping or urinating during the day when they are awake? 
It could be a bladder infection or canine urinary incontinence.  If left untreated a bladder infection can damage the bladder so that the dog can not hold urine when needed.  In most cases of urinary problems in dogs, they are unaware of dribbling or urine leakage.  If the cause is due to a bladder infection, the dog is aware of the urination, usually because of pain, but unable to control the urge to urinate.

Young or middle aged dogs may not have incontinence, so you must have the vet rule out other urinary problems in dogs such as bladder or UTI infections or other ailments that can cause urine leakage such as bladder stones, kidney failure, neurologic disorders, hormonal disorders and diseases that increase urine output, such as diabetes.  A urine sample, a culture and other lab tests will determine the cause of the urinary problem.  There are various treatments for canine urinary incontinence which can help to control the dilemma.  Neurologic and hormonal disorders are the most common causes of incontinence in dogs. If the tests come back negative for infection or disease the vet will inquire and investigate the following issues.

1.  Maybe the dog urinates because he can’t get outside
2.  Other medications the dog is using can cause incontinence
3.  Is the dog drinking more water and urinating more
4.  Neurologic disorders affecting the nerve supply to the bladder can cause incontinence
5.  Behavioral causes such as stress or excitement can lead to incontinence

If none of the above issues seem to be the source of the problem the vet will more than likely want to place the dog on either a decongestant or hormones.  A common therapy for urinary problems in dogs (both male and female) is a decongestant that works by causing the sphincter muscle from the bladder to tighten.  Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) or (Proin) works best for dogs that have an occasional problem with canine urinary incontinence. If your pet experiences restlessness, increased heart rate, weakness, pale gums, seizures, or difficulty urinating while being treated with Phenylpropanolamine call your vet immediately.  This drug should not be given to dogs with high blood pressure or heart disease as there have been reports of serious fatal side effects. 

Another treatment, DES (diethylstilbestrol), a synthetic form of estrogen, can be used to treat canine urinary incontinence in spayed females. Estrogen supplements are considered fairly safe, but in rare cases they can cause bone marrow suppression leading to anemia that does not go away when the treatment is stopped. Natural estrogen supplements are available for treating spay incontinence, as are ovarian glandular products. 

For dogs that do not respond to other medications PPA is sometimes combined with DES but only to control difficult cases. Imipramine (Tofranil) is an antidepressant that causes urine retention in some patients, is also occasionally combined with PPA for dogs that do not respond to other medications.

There is help for an alternative to prescription medicine if it is not working for you and your dog.  While prescription hormones and decongestants work to treat the symptoms of canine urinary incontinence, natural medicine strives to create balance in the body to support complete health, relieve ailments, and help prevent future disease. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, the natural ingredients in alternative remedies support overall health and functioning and have had great success with stabilizing and preventing canine incontinence.

Source by R. Shelly

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