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Posted on 05-17-2013

Many of us worry when our dog starts to leak urine. We often fear the worst. However, urinary incontinence (involuntary urine leaking) is usually one of the easiest problems to solve.

It is very important to know if your dog's issue is true incontinence or if there is something else. Knowing the history of your dog is essential to diagnosis since there can be many causes for the "puddle" on the floor. Simple tests can help us differentiate if it is behavioral: like marking, submissive urination, or lack of housetraining, or medical. (such as, an anatomical defect, infection, inflammation or prostatic disease)

To determine how we will treat your dog we need to know the cause. An easy way to do this is with a urinalysis. With a urinalysis, we can look to see if there is an infection or if signs of dilute urine meaning the dog is excessively drinking. If is it a urinary tract infection then a course of antibiotics is needed. If the urinary incontinence is caused by excessive drinking, it could be from other factors such as:

Diabetes mellitus
Cushing's syndrome
Diabetes insipidus
Kidney failure

This can be determined by a complete blood test.

Once other more serious conditions have been ruled out, the most likely cause is a weak bladder sphincter. This most commonly occurs in older, spayed female dogs who have urethral incompetence. This can be made stronger and thus treated with medication. The most common (and the one we use) is Phenylpropanolamine. It comes in liquid and chewable tables and is typically given two to three times a day.

While this only touches on the many causes and treatments of urinary incontinence, it is always best to make an appointment with one of our doctors so they can determine the exact cause and best treatment for your dog.  Eagle Animal Hospital serves Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore, and surrounding areas.

Written by Harriet Band, receptionist

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