Does Your Dog Suffer From Bladder Control Issues?
Lack of bladder control, also known as urinary incontinence, is a condition that mostly affects larger breeds of dogs, and dogs that are middle-age to elderly. If your dog has suddenly started urinating in the house or is having difficulty urinating, then she may be suffering from urinary incontinence. This guide will help you understand the condition better so you can get your pet the treatment she needs.
Urinary incontinence can be caused by a very wide range of factors, some more serious than others. One of the most common reasons is obesity. Neutering can also sometimes cause a dog to suffer incontinence but this is usually a temporary condition that improves during the recovery process. Other, more serious causes of urinary incontinence can include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Injury to or disruption of the nerves around the bladder
- Overactive bladder syndrome
- Lesions in the brain or on the spinal cord
- Chronic inflammatory disease
- Tumor or other mass putting pressure on the bladder
- Birth defect, underdevelopment of the bladder
- Fluctuating hormone levels
- Psychological or emotional issues
Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Control Issues in Dogs
If you think your dog might be suffering from lack of bladder control, you may start to notice several tell-tale signs. Here is a checklist that you can use to monitor your dog so your veterinarian will have the most comprehensive information at their disposal when treating her.
Simply check the box beside the symptom if you have observed it in your dog:
- Involuntary urination
- Wet spots in bedding or sleeping area
- Wet hair on lower abdomen or between the legs
- Skin inflammation around the genitals
- Frequent urinary tract infections
Discussing Bladder Control Issues With Your Dog’s Vet
Once you’ve completed the above checklist, print it out and take it to your veterinarian so you can discuss your dog’s health with the vet. Inform your veterinarian of any information you have about your pet’s condition, such as when it started, what her behavior has been like and when it changed, any recent changes to her diet or lifestyle, etc.
After performing a thorough physical examination and review of the pet’s medical history, the vet will order a urinalysis and a complete chemical blood profile to help determine what is causing the pet’s bladder issues. X-rays may also be ordered to rule out any obstruction in the urinary tract.
Treating a Bladder Control Issue in Your Dog
Treatment will be determined based on what is causing the urinary incontinence. For instance, if the cause is fluctuating hormone levels, then the vet will usually prescribe hormone supplements or the drug Phenylpropanolamine. If an infection is causing the dog’s problem, then an antibiotic will usually help improve her functions.
Or, if the nerves in the spine are being compressed due to inflammation, an anti-inflammatory medication will be prescribed to help reduce the pressure on the nerves. Once the underlying cause of the lack of bladder control is properly treated, your dog should regain her ability to urinate normally again.
If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with urinary incontinence, you can receive a free quote for your pet’s medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on all of your pet medications.
As always, be sure to inform your veterinarian about any medications or supplements your dog is currently taking so your vet can make the best treatment decision for your pet’s unique case and help reduce the risk of a potential drug interaction.
Author: Giano Panzarella