As your dog ages, he faces a higher risk of developing canine urinary incontinence.
The condition occurs when your senior dog loses full control over his bladder. Your dog suddenly leaks while resting or sleeping and is unaware this is happening.
Although urinary incontinence is the most common among dogs, your senior dog may also suffer from bowel incontinence, which keeps him from controlling his pooping.
Finding out what causes canine urinary incontinence
Unfortunately, either condition can cause a lot of mess for both of you. But don’t worry. There are already a lot of options for treating and managing canine urinary incontinence.
The first step? Finding the cause of the problem. These common reasons may be behind the condition:
Fluctuating hormone levels: Female dogs who have been spayed can suffer from low levels of estrogen. Male dogs can suffer from testosterone-related incontinence.
Neurological problems: If your senior dog has health issues concerning his vertebrae, disc, or spine, then he’s most likely to lose control of his bladder.
Infection: A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) can cause your senior dog to be incontinent because of his strong urge to pee. This infection also makes your dog pee more than usual.
Other diseases: Other conditions that can cause canine urinary incontinence include diabetes, kidney/liver diseases, and cancer in the urinary and excretory systems.
Treating your senior dog’s canine urinary incontinence
Since there are many different underlying causes of incontinence, treatment can vary. Sometimes your vet may prescribe a medication that prevents everyday accidents.
Other treatments may focus on hormone therapy, while still others will attempt to strengthen the urethral sphincter.
Collagen injections are a newer treatment that has shown promising results. However, if the incontinence results from bladder stones, a protruding disc, or congenital abnormality, surgery may be recommended.
Managing canine urinary incontinence
The first thing you should do if you suspect your dog may struggle with incontinence is to consult with your veterinarian, who can confirm the diagnosis and determine a cause.
The vet will want to rule out a bladder infection, which would require antibiotics.
Your vet also may want to perform other tests that may include a urine culture, blood work, radiographs, or ultrasound.
Should your furry baby be diagnosed with incontinence, here are some things to help manage the potential messes.
- Look for great brands that offer high-quality incontinence products that are super absorbent and have no “crinkly” or uncomfortable texture that your dog might dislike.
- Place waterproof pee pads or clean towels on your dog’s bed or in their favorite spot to absorb any leakage.
- Provide proper hygiene to prevent skin infections.
- Take your dog for more frequent walks or let them out into the backyard more often for potty breaks. If you have a fenced yard, consider installing a doggie door so your dog can go in and out as often as needed while you’re at work.
- Use washable doggie diapers that can help keep your house dry and clean. Pet Parents washable dog diapers and dog belly bands fit all sizes and breeds and can be reused.
You must never limit your dog’s water intake, as this can lead to dehydration and serious complications. Always monitor your pet’s condition since canine urinary incontinence can quickly accelerate infection, especially in elderly dogs.
And most importantly, understand that your dog doesn’t enjoy what’s going on either.
They are not trying to make you angry; the dogs have a medical condition over which they have no control. The situation is different than when the dog was a puppy and was being potty trained.
Always, always love your dog no matter what. You’ll never find a better friend.
– By Micka Virtudazo