Dog Incontinence Causes

It's important to know about the dog incontinence causes and symptoms so as to provide your dog with relief from pain. Read on to know more about it.
DogAppy Staff
Dog or canine incontinence is a condition wherein the dog loses the ability to control urination. It is a serious medical condition that mostly affects older dogs and is equally prevalent in both male and female dogs. Involuntary urine leakage is different to behavioral urinary issues such as submissive urination, neurogenic incontinence and others. To know when is your dog suffering from incontinence, you must know the symptoms of it. The first typical symptom is dribbling or leaking of urine. You'd notice this when the dog is sleeping or relaxing. Dribbling and leaking then leads to the next sign which is a prominent wet spot under the dog's sleeping area. The dogs with this condition also experience skin infection or skin irritation around the genitals and you'd find your dog excessively cleaning or licking the area and also the fur down there will seem to be stained or discolored due to the regular wetting of that area. Unlike other conditions, this condition or disease cannot be prevented, it can only be treated once it's identified.

Causes of Dog Incontinence
There are several causative factors but, mostly this ailment is caused due to the following factors:
  • Urinary Tract Infection: This sort of an infection can affect any breed of dog and is not gender specific. Dogs affected with urinary tract infection strain to urinate or with a lot of difficulty and discomfort they manage to urinate a few drops.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes is a typical cause of this problem as hormones affect a dog's ability to control the urethral sphincter which is a band of muscular tissues located at the base of the bladder. The urethral sphincter or muscular tissues act as a control device that either allows to retain the urine or allow it to flow out through the urethra.
  • Aging: You might think that aging anyway causes a lot of problems, which I don't deny but, mentioning it as one of the dog incontinence causes is really significant here as aging causes hormone deficiency and in the previous cause it is clearly stated what kind of a role do hormones play in controlling incontinence.
  • Spayed or Neutered Dogs: A spayed or a neutered dog is more susceptible to this condition as its reproductive organs are responsible for the production of hormones. It has been observed that spayed female dogs between the ages of three and five are more prone to this condition.
  • Bladder Over-Distension: In this case, a part of dog's bladder is blocked either due to a bladder stone, stricture or a tumor and only a little dribble of urine can pass through the partially blocked passage.
  • Excessive Consumption of Water: Another common cause of urinary incontinence in dogs is excessive consumption of water and it often occurs due to bladder infection, diabetes, Cushing's disease in dogs or kidney failure.
Dog Incontinence Treatment
Canine incontinence can indeed be treated and treatment involves the following:
  • To control the urine leakage the bladder sphincter muscle needs to be tightened. Medication that contains phenylpropanolamine has been proved to be very effective for the same.
  • In addition to incontinence if your dog has a urinary tract infection, then your vet might prescribe antibiotics.
  • A hormone replacement drug or a Diethylstilbestrol (DES) RX which is an estrogen supplement is what is usually prescribed for a female-spayed dog with this condition
  • For neutered male dogs who are affected by incontinence due to hormonal changes, vets prescribe testosterone injections.
  • Proper diet containing raw and home cooked food mixed with certain nutritional supplements also helps in controlling the condition to a certain extent
  • A cream or a solution such as zymox topical cream is helpful to treat the skin irritation surrounding the genitals.
  • Besides the regular medication and antibiotics, you could also try some natural remedies that include herbs such as saw palmetto, corn silk, oatstraw, plantain and wild yam.
You might wonder why are 'dog incontinence causes' being emphasized so much, why would one want to know them? Let me tell you something we often fail to realize; we assume that the dog has a behavioral issue or might be showing reluctance to pass urine either purposely or out of laziness. But sadly, it is not the case, it has nothing to do with dog behavior or dog obedience! While you are blaming them for being a bad dog, they are suffering. If you don't watch out for it, it might turn out be a chronic problem. So, please... if you see any of the symptoms such as wet bed, dribbling of urine or a puddle of urine after the dog gets up from a place, then hurry up and consult a vet.

Note: Although the above mentioned treatments have proven to be successful in treating canine incontinence, it is advisable that you don't resort to any of those treatments without a veterinarian's advise. Even if you wish to go the natural way, consult your vet.