Hormonal incontinence, also known as spay incontinence or urethral incontinence, is a condition in which spayed female dogs have difficulties controlling their bladder. There have been lots of questions about whether early spaying dogs increases bladder control issues than later spaying. However, our main goal is not to answer this question but to tell you all you need to know about hormonal incontinence in female dogs.
Generally speaking, when a housetrained dog loses total control of its bladder, then this condition is said to be urinary incontinence. This condition ranges from little urine leaks to inadvertent large amount of urine by the dog. More importantly, it’s a condition that affects the female dogs, especially spayed dogs.
You need to understand that Urinary Incontinence is never intentional. Also, it is not something the dog can control; therefore, it’s not something that can be corrected with behavioural training. This condition isn’t harmful in itself, it’s better if it is treated early, as left untreated can lead to skin conditions. In extreme cases, it could also lead to serious bladder or kidney infections.
What are the causal agents of Hormonal Incontinence in female dogs?
Some of the things that cause urinary incontinence in female dogs include:
- Weak bladder sphincter.
- Bladder tumours or Urinary tract infection – either of the two or any external condition that is capable of compressing the bladder.
- Prostate disorders.
- Hormonal imbalance.
- Anatomic disorders.
- Certain medications.
- Congenital abnormalities.
- A protruding intervertebral disc.
- It could be as a result of some certain medications.
- Urethral disorders – this is the condition in which the muscles responsible for closing the urethra start to malfunction.
When these muscles fail to contract, urine leakage will then occur.
- Degeneration or Spinal injury
- Urinary stones.
- Urine retention – speaking of urine, when the dog finds it difficult to urinate as a result of stress, behavioural abnormality, or fear. As a result, urine leakage occurs when the bladder can’t hold up the urine any longer.
- It could also be as a result of the presence of other diseases that are known to cause excessive water consumption, such as hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes, as well as kidney disease.
- Bladder storage dysfunction – this also includes hypercontractility. This is when the bladders contracts frequently. It then results in small amounts of urine leakage.
How Urinary incontinence is diagnosed.
The condition is diagnosed based on medical history, clinical signs, as well as blood and urine tests. Ultrasonography and X-rays (bladder radiographs) are performed to look for any abnormalities such as bladder stones affecting the dog’s urine storage and its outflow.
If and when a neurological disorder is suspected, a neurological test is then carried out to examine the tail tone, anal, various spinal reflexes, and perineal sensation. However, if urine retention is observed, urethral catheterization will then be carried out.
Thanks to cystoscopy, your vet will be able to see the abnormality within your dog’s urethra or bladder. Sometimes, unique test such as taking a measurement of the pressure within the bladder is carried out.
How to treat urinary incontinence in female dogs.
- See a veterinarian as soon as possible.
It goes without saying that you need to take your dog to a vet. When it comes to conditions that affect the bladder, only a vet can help deal with it. Bladder leakage could be a symptom of another health issue. This is why it’s very important to take your dog to a vet.
- The elimination method.
One of the ways to properly diagnose and treat urinary incontinence is by ruling out causes of incontinence. You need to properly rule out the causes of bladder leakage in your dog. How do your dog about it? first, identify the main causes, then, use imaging such as ultrasound technology and x-rays. In a situation where no cause is detected, the urethra is then medically tested to rule out the physical factors.
- Consider proper medications.
When you give your dog proper medication, it could be an effective way of getting rid of the condition. In this case, make sure you follow your vet’s suggestions and prescriptions. Most times, if urinary incontinence is diagnosed, the first thing the vet will do is to prescribe drugs such as alpha-agonist phenylpropanolamine or estrogen. If one of the two drugs aren’t effective, then your vet may prescribe the combination of both.
- Opt-in for surgery.
If medications aren’t effective, you should consider surgery. There are different surgical options available out there. The surgical options are meant to reposition the urethra either with implantations, tacking, or implantation surgeries.
How to prevent urinary incontinence in female dogs.
- The causal agents of hormonal incontinence are quite multifactorial. Most professionals agree that spayed dogs are able to deal with the risks of mammary cancer, pregnancy, pyometra, and so many other conditions. Not paying your dog is not really recommended.
- Preventing urinary incontinence has to do with keeping a close look at the problem and addressing as soon as possible. Taking care of the problem at an earlier stage will help deal with it. Like we said earlier, this could be a sign of something more serious.
- How can I manage the urinary incontinence?
- Pile clean towels and blankets in your dog sleeping spot.
- You should also put waterproof pads beneath the dog’s bedding to help absorb the moisture.
- Always provide proper hygiene for your dog to help it fight off infections.
- Don’t limit your dog’s water intake until you see a veterinary.
- Always watch your dog’s condition closely.
- Consider using doggie diapers.
Are certain dogs prone to this condition?
Even though it’s a condition that can affect all dogs, it is most common in female dogs, such as springer spaniels, old English sheepdogs, Doberman pinschers, cocker spaniels are some of the breeds often affected by this condition.
Remember, before taking any step, you need to first consult your veterinary doctor to put you through the necessary steps and prescription. If you’ve got any question, feel free to drop it in the comment section below.