Urinary Incontinence in Dogs
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 17, 2012 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary passing of urine. It is very common, particularly in older, spayed female dogs. True urinary incontinence means that the dog urinates when he or she is asleep and unable to do anything about it. This condition may be linked to bladder problems, bladder stones or some other disease that will cause more frequent urination. If your dog is having incontinence problems, it is best to take him or her to the veterinarian and have a urine specimen analyzed.
Urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incontinence is extremely common among spayed female dogs. With out the proper hormonal stimulation, the urethral sphincter becomes flaccid and allows urine to leak out of the bladder. Phenylpropanolamine or PPA is most commonly prescribed for this condition.
Animals that have submissive urination sometimes urinate in the house when new or strange people visit. Usually these puppies are submissive until they reach maturity. Young animals that have congenital urinary problems such as ectopic ureters can also present as having incontinence issues. If only one ureter is abnormal, the dog will dribble urine but can also urinate normally. If both ureters are affected then the puppy will only dribble and cannot pass urine normally. A urinalysis and sometimes an xray may be needed to diagnosis this condition.
Natural treatments for urinary incontinence include Chinese Herbal formulae (such as Suo Quan Wan), acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathic remedies and laser therapy. PPA is the most common conventional therapy for this problem, however at one time DES ( diethyl stilbesterol), was used extensively for this problem. Although DES usually works well, it has other side effects. Specific treatment of the underlying disease is important in this case.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan