Canine Urinary Incontinence

What is Canine Urinary Incontinence?

Canine urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control in dogs and is quite a common problem. The loss of control may occur sporadically, or be an ongoing dysfunction.

dog lying down facing forward

When a normally clean dog starts leaking urine in his sleep, or starts having accidents around the house without being aware of it, dog incontinence is usually the cause. Incontinence in dogs is not normal so it is important to identify the underlying cause.

Facts About Dog Incontinence

Although any breed can be affected by incontinence, it has been reported that it happens more often in the following breeds:

  • Irish Setter
  • Springer Spaniel
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Miniature Poodle and
  • Rough Collie.

That being said, another statistic about dog incontinence is that spayed females account for about 20% of the cases.

It is also common among middle aged to older dogs and dogs that are overweight, but it can occur in dogs of all ages, both male and female - even puppies.

So, if your pet is having a leakage problem, the cause needs to be determined before you set about finding  a solution.


Causes Of Canine Urinary Incontinence

Loss of bladder control can occur for various reasons including the following:

  • Middle-aged to older pets, either male or female, may occasionally forget their training. At the same time, they may be starting to lose tone in the muscle that controls closure of the urethra, resulting in leakage.
  • In older female dogs or ones that have been spayed, the reduction in estrogen levels is considered the most likely reason for their loss of urinary muscle tone which may lead to future bladder control problems.
  • Urinary tract infections commonly referred to as bladder infections, are one of the frequent causes of canine incontinence. Conversely, incontinence in dogs caused by some other physical problem, can also lead to urinary tract infections, vaginitis and skin irritations.
  • Cognitive aging syndrome which can affect bladder control in dogs can also, unfortunately, cause increased thirst.
  • Anatomical defects.
  • Excessive consumption of water.
  • Spinal damage which may be causing pressure on the nerves connected with urination.
  • Kidney stones or polyps in the bladder.
  • Advanced Lyme disease.

black and white dog

Other Signs May Cause Confusion

Behavioral issues, resulting from fear, excitement, stress or anxiety, may cause submissive urination, but this is not the same as incontinence resulting from a medical basis.

It is also worthwhile to note that dog incontinence should not be confused with frequent urination which is often symptomatic of a disease such as diabetes, Cushing's, as well as liver or kidney related diseases.

Treatment Of Canine Urinary Incontinence

When the basis of incontinence is hormonal, the mainsteam medical approach is to treat it with a synthetic form of estrogen as a means of restoring stronger function to the sphincter muscle - the muscle involved in urination.

When the cause of canine urinary incontinence stems from a urinary tract infection, the common treatment is to administer antibiotics. Pet owners can also encourage a dog suffering from UTI to drink more water which is helpful in flushing out harmful bacteria.

If your dog's incontinence is caused by overweight which can put pressure on the bladder, review his dietary needs and make sure he gets sufficient exercise.

Natural Options

Natural means of increasing estrogen can also be tried such as the use of supplements which contain raw extracts from ovarian, thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands. Similarly, herbs such a Wild Yam and Oatstraw can be administered to increase estrogen as well as provide other benefits helpful in treating the condition.

Other natural approaches to strengthen the bladder and also stimulate estrogen production may include acupressure or the use of homeopathic remedies to re-balance the body.

Anytime your dog is showing signs of incontinence, it is wise to pay a visit to the vet for a diagnosis. At the same time, provide frequent opportunities for him/her to urinate outside, to cut down on accidents in the home.

Don't scold your pet as this will increase his anxiety and make things worse, plus he/she is unaware of the unintentional leaking problem.

Dog Incontinence Products

NaturVet Cranberry Relief  An alternative to antibiotics for treating recurrent urinary tract infections in dogs and cats. Contains botanical extracts and herbs including cranberry extract, marshmallow root, blueberry extract, vitamin C and Olive leaf.

These ingredients are designed to support a healthy urinary tract and help prevent the factors that are symptomatic of urinary tract infections.

Be sure to read the reviews of pet owners who have used this product.

VetriScience Bladder Strength  A natural bladder control product to help pets overcome leaking problems and the stress for pets and their owners that is associated with frequent accidents.

Contains a combination of herbs and vitamins that help to: strengthen the bladder, normalize hormones, maintain bladder muscle tone and function, support the immune system and general bladder health.

Ideal for female dogs that have been spayed and senior dogs of either gender.

Become Informed

Canine urinary incontinence is just one of the common health issues that can crop up during your pet's lifetime.

Becoming informed about dog illnesses helps owners recognize and respond to a pet's needs quickly. Dr. Pitcairn's Natural Dog Health book, written by this well-respected vet, is an invaluable resource written containing information about numerous dog health issues, useful home remedies, plus advice about which dog illnesses need a consultation with a pet professional.

Meanwhile, try this reliable product to help clean up these accidental urine spills.

Read Next

  1. Home
  2. Common Dog Diseases
  3. Canine Incontinence

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