Dog incontinence is when your dog unknowingly loses control of its bladder, resulting in small leaks or even large amounts of urine. This often occurs when your dog is sleeping or resting due to the relaxation of its sphincter muscle, which allows urine to leak out of the bladder.
There are many reasons why this could happen, and although it isn’t initially preventable, there are many ways in which it can be treated.
Why does dog incontinence happen?
Most of the time, your dog is probably unaware of what is happening, which can be a good thing as they won’t appear to be in pain or any discomfort. There are many reasons why this incontinence could be occurring, including:
- Dogs has a weak bladder
- Urinary tract infection
- A spinal injury or degeneration
- Diseases that can cause excessive drinking of water such as diabetes or kidney disease
- Urinary stones
- Anatomic abnormalities
Some of these underlying causes are more serious than others and can have further implications for your dog’s health, so it’s always best to take your dog to a vet if they do show signs of incontinence.
How to tell if your dog has urinary incontinence
The main symptom of incontinence is noticing dripping urine from your dog. There may also be redness or irritation around the skin from the dripping. If your dog is licking their penis or vulva more often then this can also be a sign of urinary incontinence.
It is important to take note of where the urine is located and how much urine there is. This can help with finding the underlying cause of the problem. Urinary incontinence is actually more likely to occur in female dogs which is caused by lower estrogen levels, leading to a loss of muscle tone in the urethra.
If your dog is peeing blood, then this may be something much more serious. As such, you should follow this guide to make sure your dog gets the treatment it needs if it starts to pee blood.
If these urinary symptoms aren’t caught early on, then the lack of detection and treatment can lead to other infections in the bladder or kidneys. That’s why it is always best to take your dog to the vet as soon as any of these symptoms start to occur.
For handicapped dogs, you may find urinal leaks are perhaps more frequent and not just occurring at night. If this is the case, you should consider seeking advice on bowel management for incontinent and handicapped pets.
Why does dog incontinence happen during the night?
During the evening when your dog is asleep is when the incontinence is most likely to occur. This is because they are completely relaxed, unconscious, and unaware of what is happening with their bladder. When asleep, all of your dog’s muscles are totally relaxed, including the urethra – which is the muscle that keeps urine inside their bladder.
Although there may not be a large amount of urine, female dogs often urinate just a few drops in their sleep, which is still enough to make your dog prone to urinary infections. A small wet patch on your dog’s bedding is often the main indicator that your dog is having nighttime incontinence issues.
How to treat incontinence in your dog
The right incontinence treatment will depend on the specific diagnosis given to your dog. However, it is always best to take your dog to the vet upon the first signs of incontinence to discuss the problems you have discovered. They will usually carry out a urinary test and blood work which should help them to understand the problem.
Before you consider giving your dogs any drugs or medication, always get a vet’s perspective and go ahead first. There are some solutions that can resolve your dog’s incontinence, depending on the specific medical condition:
Urinary tract infection – A UTI can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
Bladder stones – a change in diet can help with some bladder stones. However, surgery can also be an option.
Weak bladder – a weak bladder is treated through medication or possible surgery.
Diabetes – Diabetic dogs can experience excessive thirst which can lead to excessive peeing and loss of bladder control. Once the dog’s diabetes is properly managed, the frequent peeing should be resolved.
Help your incontinent dog by encouraging them to go outside more or by providing them with bedding which helps to draw moisture away from the skin. In some cases, dog diapers are an easy solution to accidents and incontinence.
Where to get a dog’s incontinence treated
There is the option to treat your dog through a vet or via a vet home service, which is proving to be advantageous for pet owners. Home vet services provide a home visit experience which helps to keep pets more relaxed in their home environment, which saves time, reduces unnecessary stress, and allows them to effectively provide the care your pet needs.
Although there are many means of canine incontinence treatments. It is always best to get a veterinarian to check them out for further urinal infections or bladder problems.