Incontinence: Help Your Pup Gain Control of their Bladder

You work hard to feel and take care of your pets, and it can be really frustrating when you come home to a warm puddle of… yep, you guessed it: pee. As frustrating as it is for you as their owner, it can frustrate the animal to not have control of their bladder, only furthering the problem. On top of that, you cannot be 100% certain that you’ll find the problem and a productive solution. There’s where a trusted professional comes into the picture; if the problem is beyond potty-training, then you’ll want to chat with an expert to find the right solution. There can be a few reasons why your pup refuses to go where you want them to, including: medical complications, lack of training, and anxiety. The first step to solving incontinence is to rule out any medical issues, especially before they get worse. For the purpose of education and peace of mind, let’s talk about the medicinal problems.

What Is Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is not a conscious choice your pup is making, especially not to frustrate you. In fact, your pet might not even know that they’re leaking. If that’s the case, no amount of training will stop accidents in the house. Instead, determine the underlying cause of their lack of bladder control. Going to a professional is your best bet to determine what exactly needs to change to help your pet regain some of their independence. When you do talk to your vet, they will likely ask questions relating to the following:

  • The frequency of your animal’s urination
  • Where and when you noticed your dog’s incontinence
  • Changes to water-drinking habits 
  • The first day you noticed the incontinence problem, and if it has been getting better or worse
  • If your animal has been grooming their genitals more frequently 
  • If there is any dripping 
  • If the area seems irritated
  • If your animal seems to be experiencing painful urination

Before going in, we recommend taking some mental notes about the above topics, even if you notice a small change. The more information you give, the easier it will be to narrow down the problems and find a solution. On top of that, begin treatment as soon as possible as it is crucial to prevent any long-term complications.

What Are the Causes?

Unfortunately, there is no single cause that can be blamed for incontinence, which definitely makes treatment harder. That’s where bloodwork and tests come into play. With the tests, your vet can eliminate diabetes, bladder infections, kidney infections, and much more. In addition, your vet might need to perform an ultrasound to detect tumors or growths that may be preventing your pet from controlling their bladder. It can be difficult to determine the cause of the incontinence, so please be patient with your professional as finding the cause may take more time and effort than anticipated.

That being said, let’s go over some of the reasons why your furry friend might be having issues relieving themselves:

  • UTIs: Urinary Tract Infections are one of the biggest causes of incontinence. When your pet is exposed to bacteria, it can travel up the urethral opening into the bladder. When in the bladder, it can cause irritation and swelling, which can cause urine to leak out. 
  • Nerve Damage: If your senior dog suffers from nerve damage, especially in their lower half, there is a high possibility that they will not be able to empty their bladder voluntarily. Because of the nerve damage, your animal’s brain will not be able to control when their bladder gets full and needs to be emptied. 
  • Ectopic Ureters: Ureters carry urine from the kidney to the bladder. Ectopic tubes do not attach correctly to the organs, which can cause problems. 

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Incontinence Plan of Action

Once you and your vet have determined a treatment plan to remedy the cause of your pet’s incontinence, the next step is simply to monitor your pet and their behaviors. Looking for changes in behavior, drinking and bathroom breaks will allow you to know if the treatment is working or not. There are many treatment options, so discuss with your vet any possible routes to success.

If you have any questions at all, reach out! Our Cloud Peak team members would love to talk to you over the phone and discuss any concerns you may have. Our number is (307) 347-2781. For general information regarding our clinic, click here! We are here to discover solutions to your animal’s health and to soothe your worries, so if you want to stop by in person, feel free to head on over. Let’s get your furry family members happy and healthy.



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