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Urinary Incontinence in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Is your dog dribbling urine while sleeping or climbing stairs? If you answered ‘yes,’ the pet may be suffering from urinary incontinence. The bladder infection commonly affects middle-aged dogs.

Urinary incontinence, characterized by frequent urination by dogs, which can be from mild to severe, occurs when the voluntary muscles of the bladder fail to perform their duty as desired. The leakage or drainage of urine causes gradual or abrupt loss of water and salt along with vital minerals and, if left untreated, can cause skin infection as well.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence in Dogs?

  1. Hormonal imbalance
  2. A major cause of urinary incontinence in the middle-aged and older canines is the deficiency of testosterone (males) or estrogen (in females). Both are responsible for maintaining the muscle tone of the urinary tract.

  3. Weak bladder sphincter
  4. Failure to store urine in the bladder causes dogs to feel the urge to urinate frequently. Appropriate dog meds can help with the issue by strengthening the sphincter valve.

  5. Urinary tract infection
  6. Urinary tract infection causes dogs to discharge urine frequently and with difficulty. This triggers anxiety and stress too. Suitable prescription drugs for dogs taken on time can make a difference to their health.

  7. Urinary stones
  8. Some dogs develop urinary stones that obstruct the flow of urine, thereby making the discharge process painful. Sometimes, the urine color changes too. When left untreated, the condition translates into urinary incontinence.

  9. Spinal injury or degeneration (frequently seen in German shepherds)
  10. Spine-related problems like arthritis and deficient alignment of the vertebrae can create neurological difficulties. These problems can interfere with the functions of the urinary tract that ultimately cause urinary incontinence.

  11. Protruding intervertebral disc
  12. If the intervertebral disc in a dog is protruded, it might compress nearby nerves causing loss of bowel control and urinary incontinence.

  13. Prostate disorders
  14. In male dogs, urinary incontinence is also triggered by prostrate disorder. The animal experiences difficulty in discharging urine and loss of appetite. In severe condition, blood might also come with the urine.

  15. Prevailing diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, hyperadrenocorticism
  16. Diabetes, kidney disease, and hyperadrenocorticism can also cause urinary incontinence and must be treated with prescribed dog medications. Generally, animals suffering from these diseases consume more water.

  17. Congenital abnormalities
  18. Congenital abnormalities in the urinary tract, bladder or sphincter also lead to urinary incontinence in pets. Consult your pet doctor immediately to help your pet overcome it and live a healthy life.

  19. Anatomic disorders
  20. The anatomical structure naturally allows dogs to control the muscles of the tract and bladder. However, sometimes, anatomical defects cause them to lose the control, thereby resulting in urinary incontinence.

  21. Certain medications
  22. Some dogs are allergic to specific medicines that might cause them to suffer from urinary incontinence. Pay a visit to your vet immediately if such a situation arises.

What are the Common Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs?

If the bladder or urinary tract infection is mild or at an initial stage it might not be readily noticeable. Keep a watch on the behavior of your dog. If your dog frequently licks of the vulva or penis area, then you should pay attention to the surrounding skin area. Repetitive licking turns the skin red. Also, watch the area where the dog sleeps, if it’s wet or contaminated with urine, your doubt holds some ground. If left untreated for long, it might cause skin infection.

Severe urinary incontinence can lead to weakness to lethargy. Your pet may show reluctance towards physical activities.

How to Treat Urinary Incontinence in Dogs?

Don’t administer any antibiotics for dogs on your own. Instead, consult with a veterinarian to seek the right remedy for the bladder infection. Help the vet to understand the thorough history of the disease. The vet will physically examine the pet. At times, the vet might suggest a urinalysis, blood work, radiographs, etc., to verify whether your dog is suffering from a bladder infection, or it’s something else. The treatment is done accordingly.

You can buy prescription (Rx) pet medications for your dog if recommended by the vet from Aapex Pet Pharmacy. We also provide compounded medicines for dogs formulated by experienced pet chemists.

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