Incontinence in female dogs is a phrase used to refer to involuntary urination, night or day. The issue can have many causes which influence the body’s ability to shut off the flow of urine, or when the bladder overflows. These may include urethra muscle control issues, and issues common to all dogs including infection and stone formation.
It is a complex process where the brain transmits the sensation that the bladder is full with the knowledge to give your dog the sensation that it need to urinate by coordinating the muscles that controls urination in the brain (PMC center).
Female Dog Incontinence occurs when the urinary systems isn’t regulating the flow of urine properly.
In younger female dogs (and some males) a condition called ectopic ureters is the most common cause. This is a condition where there is a problem where the tube that leads from the kidney – the ureters – doesn’t attach correctly to the bladder.
Female dog incontinence may be inherited or triggered by spaying. After spaying the illness usually occurs 3 years after being neutered, but can occur up to ten decades.
Dog Breeds Affected by Urinary Incontinence:
While this could be a problem in all breeds, it is most often seen in:
- English Bulldog
- Siberian Husky
- Retrievers (Labrador and Golden)
Many times, the problem is diagnosed after other causes of incontinence like disease, cystitis (bladder inflammation) and canine cognitive dysfunction are ruled out.
Other causes are less common. These include thickening of the bladder wall, structural problem where the ureters ( lead from the kidneys to the bladder), enters the bladder (ectopic ureters), neoplasia (tumour or unusual cell growth) and some form of paralysis in the urinary system.
Medical direction is widely used and is suitable for nearly all affected animals. Surgical remedies are also described: operation is used for patients that are refractory to medical management or for young animals where the health effects or cost of long-term medication is of concern to the owners.
Treatment options include the use of prescription drugs and surgery. There’s also a homeopathic natural approach which may provide temporary relief as stated below.
Prescription medications include oestrogen treatment and a class of drugs called sympathomimetic agents (Phenylpropanololamine). Medications can work by helping the muscle that closes off urine in the urethra increase the amount of pressure it uses when shutting off the flow of urine. Most dogs won’t experience side effects, and if they do, they include restlessness, anxiety, aggressive behaviour and diarrhoea.
Surgery is used if a dog does not respond well to medications or if you prefer this option. The objective of surgery is to move the bladder into a better position. There are numerous surgical techniques available which can be discussed with your vet (colposuspension, urethropexy, urethral sling suspension, and injection of collagen). There’s a high rate of success with this approach (80% increase, 50% treated).
There are natural homeopathic remedies know to ease incontinence and strengthen the bladder. 1 product that’s a fantastic source of further research is PetAlive Better-Bladder Control. It contains components such as:
Bacterial infection is the most common type of disease and is usually found in female puppies as they have a brief urethra (tube that carries urine from bladder to outside of body). If not treated the bacteria can colonise up the urethra, to the bladder, and then go from the bladder to urethra into the kidneys (pyelonephritis).
Urine is your body’s natural means of keeping a disease from forming and thus preventing female dog rash. Urea, the principal ingredient in pee, kills germs in the bladder and the whole tract. When your dog does not drink enough or if there is an obstruction, the stream of urine is not able to perform its job. Even walking your dog once every day will encourage an extra chance for your dog to urinate.
To deal with infection your vet will prescribe antibiotics. As a homeopathic addition to antibiotics or as a preventative you may try UTI-Free Formula for pet urinary tract infections. Certain organic ingredients are related to urinary support. Cranberry juice tablets may also be of help for incontinence in female dogs because it functions to keep bacteria from clinging to the walls of the bladder.
Stones tend to form when there’s a buildup of minerals which attach together in the urine.
As stones become bigger, they can start to block the flow of urine. Other symptoms may include blood on your dog’s urine and pain when urinating. In severe cases like if the ureter is obstructed (tube that leads from the kidney to bladder), your dog may vomit and act lethargic.
Diagnosis is accomplished by assessing the urine, x-rays and by feeling your dog during the trip to the vet. Ultrasound could also be beneficial. In puppies, struvite formation is related to bacterial infection.
Urate stones can be dissolved with the drug allopurinol. Your vet may also indicate a change to a low protein Diet that could help prevent these kinds of stones from forming. The other kind of stone, struvite is connected with dogs which also have a fungal infection. These kinds of stones can be dissolved by changing to a special diet such as Hill’s Prescription Diet s/d. This diet will have to be the only thing that your dog eats for a period of 3 to 6 weeks.
Other Reasons For Female Dog Incontinence
In elderly dog’s a condition known as canine cognitive dysfunction may be the cause for female dog rash. It’s a neurological condition where you dog can’t effectively control the bladder.
In young dogs, a birth defect exists that leads to rash called ectopic ureters. The ureters in puppies are what moves urine from the kidneys to the bladder. One or both may by-pass the bladder and link to some other place like the vagina or urethra. If that is true a young puppy may undergo urinary problems like dripping urine. There are several breeds where there is an above average incidence of the problem including:
Female dog incontinence due to dog ectopic ureters is diagnosed with a bladder dye research. The problem is treated with surgery to move the ureters to their proper location.