Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs and Treatment Methods

Dog Health

Urinary incontinence, characterized by the involuntary loss of bladder control, is a common condition in dogs. Urinary incontinence in dogs can occur in the form of small leaks or large amounts of urine. Incontinence, which can have both physical and behavioral causes, often indicates a medical problem. In this article, you can find information about the causes of urinary incontinence in dogs and the treatment of urinary incontinence in dogs.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs: Why Do Dogs Leak Urine?

It can be stated that there are many different conditions that can cause urinary incontinence in dogs. Urinary incontinence can be seen as a result of a number of health problems such as neurological diseases, bladder storage dysfunction, urinary tract infection, bladder tumors, bladder muscle weakness, prostate diseases, use of drugs such as corticosteroids, congenital anomalies and hormone imbalance. For this reason, the possibility that dogs with urinary incontinence may present this condition as a symptom should not be ignored and veterinarians should be consulted.

Urinary incontinence in dogs does not always indicate a serious physical problem. As a matter of fact, urinary incontinence is frequently seen in puppies, and it disappears with the strengthening of the bladder muscles as time progresses. When the bladder muscles are strengthened, it is possible to encounter urinary incontinence due to excitement in some dogs. A sudden feeling of fear, such as excitement, can lead to a similar situation. Exposure of some dogs to harsh behaviors during toilet training may pave the way for urinary incontinence in the coming years. By using toilet/pee pads during toilet training, both a comfortable process can be passed and the learning acceleration of dogs can be increased. From time to time, the reason for urinary incontinence may be not being able to go out for a long time. For this reason, it will be useful to know the urine retention times of dogs.

house peeing puppy

How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Urine?

The answer to this question may vary depending on the general health status and age of the dogs. When puppies are 2 months old, they can hold their urine for about 2 hours. Each month in their development lengthens their urinary retention. In general, it can be said that the duration of urinary retention becomes longer as we approach adulthood. Depending on the strengthening of the bladder muscles during adulthood, dogs can hold their urine for 6 to 8 hours. But these times are general expressions. Dogs should meet their needs every 6 hours at most. Urinary retention times begin to decrease in old age. It can be generalized that old dogs can hold their urine for 2-6 hours depending on the change in their hormonal balance, regression of their general health and weakening of their muscles.

Urinary Incontinence Symptoms in Dogs

Urinary incontinence in dogs as just mentioned; It may appear as leakage or large volumes of urine. Therefore, it may not always be possible to clearly detect urinary incontinence. For this reason, signs of urinary incontinence should be observed closely. The symptoms of urinary incontinence in dogs can be listed as follows; frequent licking of the genital areas, redness of the skin, increased desire to go out, consumption of water more than usual, pain during urination, changes in behavior. These symptoms are general in nature, it is important to consult veterinarians in the early period as similar symptoms can be seen as a result of different problems. If the problem is noticed late, diseases that can cause urinary incontinence may progress and infection may occur in the bladder, kidney or skin.

Dogs More Likely to Incontinence

Urinary incontinence in dogs can occur at any age, and all breeds can experience the same problem. However, it is also known that some dogs are more likely to experience urinary incontinence.

Female Dogs: Female dogs are at higher risk of urinary incontinence. In middle-aged or older spayed female dogs, muscle weakness may occur in the urethra due to decreased estrogen levels. In some cases, urinary incontinence, which is seen as a result of weakening of the muscles in the bladder, is called “sphincter incontinence”. This is the most common cause of urinary incontinence in female dogs.

Older Dogs: Urinary incontinence is not uncommon in older dogs. The urethral muscles begin to lose their strength with age and this can make it difficult for dogs to control their urine. As a matter of fact, this problem mostly occurs in our middle-aged friends. Urinary incontinence in middle-aged and old dogs can also occur due to changes in hormone balance and obesity.

Racial Characteristics: Urinary incontinence is more common in some breeds. It is known that the frequency of urinary incontinence is higher in German shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Weimaraner, Dalmatian and Boxer dogs compared to other breeds.

dog peeing outside the toilet

Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Before the treatment of urinary incontinence in dogs is planned, its causes must be determined correctly. For this reason, veterinarians should be given detailed information about the health problems experienced by dogs. Additional tests such as urinalysis, blood tests, ultrasound, urine culture and radiography may be necessary during diagnosis. These tests will provide important information when determining the root cause of urinary incontinence in dogs and shaping the most accurate treatments.

Urinalysis in dogs gives information about whether there is a bladder infection. Diabetes and Cushing’s disease can be diagnosed through blood tests. While radiographs reveal whether there are urinary stones, ultrasound imaging can reveal whether there is a tumor in the bladder.

Antibiotic treatment is started when the cause of urinary incontinence in dogs is a bacterial infection. If there is a hormonal imbalance, hormone therapy can be started. In this context, drugs containing estrogen for female dogs and testosterone hormone can be applied for male dogs. If the cause of urinary incontinence is bladder stones or congenital anomalies, surgical options may also need to be evaluated. The alternative to surgery may also come to the fore in cases where drugs do not work.

Rate author
Add a comment