Senior Dog Incontinence – Causes & Treatments

Are you noticing dribble spots on the carpet or a soaked dog bed? As dogs age, they often lose their ability to completely control their bladders.  Dog incontinence can often create a problem in households – but don’t worry; there are steps you can take to improve the problem. 

Hormone deficiencies are essentially the cause of senior dog incontinence. When testosterone and estrogen in their bodies decreases, they lose their ability to control the urethral sphincter, a band of muscle located near the base of the bladder. Spayed or neutered dog are more likely to develop the condition because their reproductive organs have been removed, therefore they have fewer hormones. Older female dogs are more likely to be affected by incontinence because they have shorter, wider urethras.

Although urinary incontinence is usually harmless, there are some underlying problems that may be the cause of it, including:

•   Cystitis
•   Kidney stones
•   Bladder stones 
•   Bladder tumor
•   Bladder infection
•   Urinary tract infection
•   Liver disease
   •   Kidney infection
   •   Kidney failure
   •   Diabetes
   •   Cushing’s Disease
   •   Steroids and other medications
   •   Neurological disorders

Because there are so many possible causes for old dog incontinence, the condition requires veterinary attention.  Your vet will need to do some investigation to determine any underlying cause. Initially, your dog will need a full physical exam, a urinalysis and a urine culture to determine if there is a urinary tract infection.  Further tests (blood work and X-rays) may be necessary.

Treatment for dog incontinence depends on the cause.  Your vet may prescribe medication and provide you with advice as to how to manage the incontinence. Supplements such as Pet Naturals Bladder Support for Dogs are recommended for senior dog bladder control management.  

There are several steps you can take to make the incontinence more manageable.  Keep your dog as clean and dry as possible to avoid skin irritation.  Take your dog outside often to try and avoid accidents.  Keep her well groomed, with her fur trimmed short.  Make sure to provide her with plenty of water to avoid dehydration.  Areas in the house where the dog has urinated should be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner.

If you notice that you dog’s urinary habits have changed, it is advisable to bring him/her to the veterinarian right away to treat or cure the problem as soon as possible.

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