Dogs who have canine urinary incontinence dribble or wet themselves for no apparent reason. Although this can be inconvenient for you, it is a warning sign: take your pet to the vet. In this article, you’ll learn the difference between incontinence and intentional wetting (which is what many pet owners initially assume) and how you can help your dog.
First, you need to separate incontinence from voluntary wetting. Urinary problems in dogs can be intentional, but obviously, those that are health-related are not. Voluntary wetting includes submissive urination-the dog pees to show submission-marking territory and improper or incomplete house training. Involuntary wetting is always health-related and can be the result of incontinence, trauma to the nervous system or age-related decline.
To determine whether your pet’s behavior is voluntary or not, simply observe your dog. For instance, a dog who marks his territory by peeing on the couch is doing so intentionally, while a dog who wets herself while sleeping in her doggie bed is not. The first dog should be reprimanded, the second one should not. Instead, take your dog to the vet for testing and a conclusive diagnosis.
What Causes Canine Urinary Incontinence
The most common cause of incontinence is a bladder infection. Bladder infections create an overwhelming desire to urinate. The dog cannot help herself.
Other causes include a weak sphincter muscle, nerve damage to the brain or spinal cord and drinking too much water. No matter what you think the cause may be, confirm it by taking your pet to the vet. Prolonged urinary incontinence can lead to scars, ulcers and other more serious problems.
Since bladder infections are treatable without surgery, this is what we will focus on.
While urinary problems in dogs can be treated with antibiotics, be aware that drugs can have serious side effects. You may think your dog is getting better when the side-effects are actually making her worse. Also, since antibiotics suppress symptoms, rather than heal the cause, you might want to consider alternatives.
When my dog, Kira, was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and I witnessed how much pain she was in and how humiliating it was for her to wet herself, I asked my vet about alternatives that would heal the symptoms without side effects.
As luck would have it, my vet was studying homeopathy and recommended a natural remedy for bladder health. She told me that the ingredients would work like natural antibiotics to keep the bladder infection free and heal inflammation. Since bladder problems in dogs are common, especially in females, I decided then and there that once Kira was well, I would continue to use them for prevention. Happily, she hasn’t had a bladder infection since.
It’s essential to remember that canine urinary incontinence is involuntary. Since your dog can’t stop the urine flow or dribbling, she is not at fault. Rather than getting irritated, tend your furry friend with loving care. Once your pet is well, focus on prevention. Above all, before giving your dog a remedy, natural or otherwise, be sure to do your research.