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Dog urinary incontinence

Dog urinary incontinence, causes, diagnosis, symptoms  and treatment

Dog urinary incontinence can be a worrisome problem for pet owners.

Urinary incontinence is often associated with senior dogs and therefore many pet owners ignore it, assuming it to be natural. Some people, whose pets are young and have developed urinary incontinence, believe that the problem is irreparable.

Urinary incontinence is a condition in which a dog involuntarily passes urine due to poor bladder control. Most of the times, people find it difficult to differentiate this problem from other behavioral issues and end up punishing the dog without realizing the actual problem.

Here are some of the common causes of urinary incontinence in dogs.
When suffering from a urinary tract infection, dogs may not be able to retain their control on the bladder, even if they are toilet trained. Such an infection usually affects their bladder.
Some dogs have a habit of consuming large quantities of water.

Such dogs may develop urine incontinence over a period of time.

If suffering from urinary incontinence female dogs may have a weak bladder sphincter. Though the condition is also possible in male dogs, it is more often seen in females.
If the dog is suffering from any kind of diseases of the spinal cord, urinary incontinence may be induced.

If suffering from urinary incontinence, male dogs often exhibit different symptoms from female dogs. The diagnosis also depends to a large extent on the breed, age and the medical history of the dog. A urine sample is usually taken for lab assessment and bacterial culture may give the exact causes.

If the urinary tests are inconclusive, blood tests may also be performed. Kidney damage from infections could also be a cause for such a problem. To ascertain a urinary tract infection, an x ray or an ultrasound may be required.

When the underlying cause is found out, relevant corrective measures are taken. If there is an ectopic ureter, surgery is the only possible method to correct it. If the problem is more behavioral in nature, a professional trainer may be able to provide a solution.

Proper exercises to tone the muscles in the abdomen are often recommended. There are some drugs which may help to strengthen the bladder muscles and therefore treat the root cause of incontinence. For female dogs, estrogen based drugs might be used. Usually when medication is involved, there is a trial therapy which involves the trial of several medications. The one that suits the dog best and appears to treat the underlying cause is used as a long term treatment measure.

  Submitted on June 1, 2010  

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