Canine Bladder Spasms: Urge Incontinence in Dogs

Bladder spasms are one of many different reasons for canine incontinence in either gender. Dogs that are older often develop weakened bladder muscles and consequently have a more difficult time retaining their urine. Their incontinence may be frequent or rare, and it may be as limited as a few drops of urine or as extensive as a full bladder. Recognizing the cause of your pet's incontinence will help you to better be able to both treat and deal with the issue.

Causes of Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is a form that specifically relates to a sudden and immediate need to urinate. This is generally not an issue when it arises in humans, as we have access to bathrooms at our disposal. However, when the same sensation comes up for a dog, he or she does not always have immediate access to an appropriate place to urinate. The result is that, if the dog is unable to control his or her bladder and also unable to get outside or to an appropriate place, incontinence may get the best of him or her.

Urge incontinence arises because of bladder spasms and other unusual workings of the bladder. These spasms often develop in older pets and are simply a result of the muscles weakening and changing. In other cases, bladder spasms may happen after a surgery such as spaying or neutering. If you notice your younger pet having urge incontinence issues, this may be the cause.

Identifying Incontinence in Your Pet

Typically, incontinence will be relatively easy to identify in your pet. However, most dogs will realize that they will be admonished for urinating inside of the house, and may go to efforts to hide their actions from any humans who are present. Therefore, it's more likely that you'll see spots of urine around the house than that you'll actually catch your dog in the act of urinating. Pay careful attention to your pet if he or she spends a lot of time standing by the door and asking to go outside. You may also notice a change in your pet's drinking habits. If you recognize any potential signs of incontinence in your dog, take him or her in to the vet immediately for a physical examination.

Dealing with Incontinence

The two primary ways of dealing with incontinence are medical treatments and behavioral adjustments. Drugs like Prion are designed to strengthen bladder muscles and allow your pet additional control over his urinary function. Making the backyard or other area where your pet goes to urinate more easliy accessible to him, when the situation is appropriate, is a good way of providing your pet with an alternative to urinating on the floor of your home.

Ask your vet for additional advice and information on how to identify, diagnose and treat your pet's bladder spasms through other means as well. Other treatment options may be available.