If you notice your poor pooch leaking urine, then there's a strong chance that she's dealing with a frustrating case of urinary incontinence. When dogs have urinary incontinence, they no longer have command over their bladders, hence the leakage. Veterinary care is a must for all dogs living with this medical problem.
Various Management Options
A veterinarian can validate whether or not your pooch indeed has urinary incontinence. Once she figures out exactly what's causing your pet's urinary woes, she can decide which mode of management to pursue. Management options for urinary incontinence differ based on their specific triggers. Not all dogs with urine leakage call for the same medication or management plans. Never offer your pet any form of medicine without the prior permission of your veterinarian. The goal of medicines for urine leakage generally is to keep the situation under control -- and keep messes to a minimum.
Many dogs have hormone-responsive incontinence and therefore benefit from hormone therapy. Insufficient levels of reproductive hormones lead to this problem in dogs. When dogs have hormone-responsive incontinence, the muscles that are in charge of the movement of urine via the bladder become markedly more feeble. This leads to issues such as urine leakage. If your pooch has this hormone-responsive ailment, management with hormones -- think estrogen -- might be helpful for her. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is an oft-seen hormonal therapy for female dogs with hormone-responsive incontinence, according to Etienne Cote, author of the "Clinical Veterinary Advisor." Diethylstilbestrol, however, is associated with bone marrow suppression dangers, which is why it's crucial to discuss use of the medication extensively with your veterinarian. Fixed female canines are particularly susceptible to hormone-responsive incontinence, especially when they're at least of middle age. Hormone-responsive incontinence isn't as prevalent in male pooches. When male dogs do experience it, however, they are sometimes offered testosterone via injection.
Phenylpropanolamine is another medication that is frequently used for the management of urinary incontinence in dogs, including in cases of hormone-responsive incontinence in females. This is a non-hormonal drug and is commonly administered to canines of both sexes, however. The function of phenylpropanolamine in urinary incontinence treatment is to give a boost to the tone of the urethral sphincter and as a result curb the dripping of urine that is so characteristic of the condition. When medicine is ineffective for dogs with urinary incontinence, surgical management sometimes becomes necessary.
Some dogs with urine leakage are prescribed anticholinergics. Anticholinergic medicines concentrate on the bladder, the location of urine. Unlike other urinary incontinence medications, anticholinergic medicines don't zero in on the bladder's sphincter. Their aim is to loosen up the bladder muscles in general. By doing this, they can help make urine "stay put" a lot easier. Imipramine is a specific anticholinergic medication that is sometimes used for incontinence in pets, although not as often as the aforementioned drug choices. Veterinarians occasionally suggest it when other medicines don't work. Remember, only a veterinarian can tell you what kind of medication is appropriate and safe for your dog's leakage issue. As soon as you notice any leakage in little Bitsy, take her in for a veterinary appointment.
- Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats; Shawn Messonnier, DVM
- Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Hormone-Responsive Urinary Incontinence
- Mar Vista Animal Medical Center: Urinary Incontinence
- ASPCA: Urinary Incontinence
- Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook; Debra M. Eldredge, DVM, Liisa D. Carlson, DVM and Delbert G. Carlson, DVM et al.