When Fido Can’t Hold It: A Guide to Coping with Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

When Fido Can't Hold It: A Guide to Coping with Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Urinary incontinence, the involuntary leakage of urine, is a common condition that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. It can be caused by a variety of factors, from hormonal imbalances to neurological issues. While it can be frustrating and embarrassing for both dogs and their owners, there are many effective treatments available to manage this condition. 

In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for urinary incontinence in dogs, as well as provide tips for managing and preventing accidents at home.

Understanding Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence in dogs is the involuntary loss of urine, and it can occur during the day or while a dog is sleeping. This condition can affect dogs of any age or breed, but it is more common in spayed female dogs and older dogs. 

According to the American Kennel Club, there are several possible causes of urinary incontinence in dogs, including hormonal imbalances, bladder infections, UTI, Diabetes, neurological issues, and anatomical abnormalities. Common symptoms include frequent urination, dribbling of urine, and wetting the bed while sleeping. 

If your dog is exhibiting signs of urinary incontinence, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence

If you suspect your dog has urinary incontinence, the first step is to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet will likely perform a physical examination and ask about your dog’s medical history, including any previous instances of incontinence. They may also perform blood and urine tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing the incontinence.

According to VCA Animal Hospital, your vet may recommend further testing if needed, such as a urinalysis, neurological tests, cystoscopy, or imaging studies like an ultrasound or X-ray. These tests can help determine if there are any structural abnormalities in the urinary tract or if there are any other underlying conditions that need to be addressed.

Overall, the key to diagnosing urinary incontinence in dogs is to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Medications for Urinary Incontinence

There are several medications available to manage this condition, including Proin for dogs. Proin works by increasing the tone of the urethral sphincter muscle, which helps to prevent urine leakage. Other medications commonly used to treat urinary incontinence in dogs include estrogen, which can help strengthen the muscles that control urination, and imipramine, which can increase the tone of the bladder.

It’s important to note that these medications should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian, as they can have potential side effects and may not be appropriate for all dogs. You should also get your medication from a trusted pharmacy like PetRX, which is a family-owned pharmacy. A trusted pharmacy will always deliver you quality products and act as an additional adviser along with the vet.

It’s also important to remember that medication alone may not be enough to manage urinary incontinence in some cases. Your veterinarian may recommend additional treatments, such as surgery or behavior modification, to help manage your dog’s incontinence.

Surgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence 

In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to manage urinary incontinence in dogs. There are several surgical options available, depending on the underlying cause of the incontinence. 

According to North Downs Specialist Referrals, if incontinence is caused by a weak bladder sphincter, a surgical procedure called a colposuspension can be performed to provide support to the bladder neck. Another option is a urethropexy, which involves repositioning the urethra to help prevent urine leakage.

Surgical treatments for urinary incontinence are typically reserved for cases that do not respond to other treatments, such as medication or behavior modification. As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications, so it’s important to discuss all treatment options with your veterinarian and weigh the potential benefits and risks before making a decision.

Non-Medical Management of Urinary Incontinence

In addition to medications and surgical interventions, there are several non-medical management strategies that can help manage urinary incontinence in dogs. Behavior modification techniques can be effective, such as rewarding your dog for urinating outside or using a designated indoor area for accidents. 

According to WebMD, another approach is to use absorbent pads or diapers to manage urine leakage and prevent accidents in the house. Another option is to establish a routine for frequent walks so your dog is encouraged to urinate outside. You should also maintain proper hygiene for your dog so it doesn’t contract a skin infection. 

Overall, the most effective approach to managing urinary incontinence in dogs will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Your veterinarian can help develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include a combination of medication, surgical interventions, and non-medical management strategies.

Preventing Urinary Incontinence 

While some causes of urinary incontinence in dogs are beyond our control, there are steps we can take to help prevent this condition from occurring. Maintaining a healthy weight, providing regular exercise, and establishing a routine for frequent potty breaks can all help promote bladder health and prevent incontinence.

Spaying female dogs at an appropriate age can also help reduce the risk of urinary incontinence later in life, as this can help prevent the weakening of the bladder sphincter muscle. It’s important to discuss the appropriate age for spaying with your veterinarian, as timing may vary depending on your dog’s breed, size, and overall health.

Overall, urinary incontinence in dogs is a treatable condition that can significantly impact a dog’s quality of life. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available, pet owners can work with their veterinarian to manage this condition and help their furry companion live a comfortable and happy life.

About the author


I am a computer science graduate. Started blogging with a passion to help internet users the best I can. Contact Email:

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment