Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urination, a common problem in ageing dogs. You may notice drops of urine on the floor, a wet dog bed, urine smell on your dog or wet inflamed skin around your dogs’ genitals.
Urinary incontinence can be frustrating but please do not punish your dog. This is a medical – not a behavioural – condition. No matter how well your dog has been potty trained, he may have an accident in the house if he is suffering from a bladder or urinary tract infection.
Frequent and painful attempts at urination can be due to:
- hormonal imbalance
- weak bladder sphincter
- polyps or cancerous growths in the urinary tract or prostate
- bladder infection
- urinary tract infection
- bladder stones
- spinal injury or degeneration
- diseases that cause excessive water consumption (e.g. diabetes, kidney disease)
Signs of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs
- dribbling urine when walking around
- leaking urine when resting
- urinating in large amounts
- excessive licking of the genitals
What Should I Do If My Dog Is Incontinent?
Consult your veterinarian to confirm a diagnosis. A urinalysis can be performed to check if your dog is suffering from a bladder infection. Other tests may include a urine culture, blood work, radiographs and ultrasound.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated?
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Medications can often manage the problem effectively. In cases of incontinence due to bladder stones or a protruding disc, surgery may be recommended.
How Can I Manage Urinary Incontinence in my dogs?
- Take your dogs for more frequent walks: first thing in the morning and shortly after they wake up from naps.
- Place clean towels or pee pads in your dog’s favourite sleeping areas.
- Clean and dry the skin around your dog’s genital area, abdomen and legs more often to prevent skin infection.
- Consider using doggie diapers.
OTHER WAYS TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR OUR SENIOR dogs
- Provide a quiet space with a comfortable but firm bed.
- Divide a meal into smaller portions throughout the day.
- Provide easy access to the garden for elimination (e.g. gently-sloped ramp).
- Provide non-slip floor surfaces to help your senior dog get up and walk more easily.
- Raise food and water bowls to a comfortable level.
preventive health care can add good years to our best friend’s life
Our dogs age much faster than us and also tend to hide their pain. Most of the time, we do not realise they are in discomfort or fighting an illness until it is too late. Some common age-related health problems are osteoarthritis, kidney/liver/heart diseases, tumours or cancers, hormonal disorders like diabetes or thyroid imbalance. Yearly health screening can help detect diseases in the early stages, giving our best friends the best chances of a full recovery.
We always welcome medical stories of your animal friends which can educate and inspire others. Email us at email@example.com if you have a story to share. Meanwhile, be part of Mount Pleasant community over at our Website and Facebook.