Symptoms and Causes of Dog Bladder Control Problems
A dog with bladder control problems will likely have multiple accidents in the home even though he's housebroken. A dog may also dribble urine or have accidents at night.
Most cases of bladder control problems, up to 64%, stem from a urinary tract infection. Most dogs that are incontinent are older females of large and medium-sized breeds.
Other causes of dog bladder control problems include:
- Birth defects
- Canine cognitive dysfunction: often seen in older dogs. A senile loss of house training can cause incontinence
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Excessive water consumption: a thirsty dog could mean there is an underlying disease. Diseases that can cause excessive thirst in dogs include diabetes mellitus and insipidus, Cushing's syndrome, hyperthyroidism, and kidney failure.
A weak bladder sphincter: could be due to aging, being overweight, or the neurological receptors in the bladder sphincter lack sensitivity Spinal cord disease: damage to a dog's spinal cord may lead to incontinence because of trauma to the nerves that run from the cord to the muscles that control urination
Diagnosing Dog Bladder Control Problems
A veterinarian should be sought if a dog is losing control of their bladder to see if this is a symptom of a serious underlying problem. The vet may take x-rays. An endoscopy, a device with a small video camera, may be used to see if there are any problems within the structure of the bladder. If the bladder is not structured correctly, surgery may be required.
A urinalysis can test for kidney or bladder infections by looking for bacteria and an abnormal amount of white blood cells present.
Medications for Dog Bladder Control Problems
- Ephedrine: a lower-cost treatment with a high success rate. Phenylpropanolamine (PPA): given to dogs in the form of a syrup or chewable tablet. PPA enhances the release of the neurotransmitter chemicals that act on the receptors if the bladder sphincter.
- Estriol: a form of estrogen that is safe for long-term use.
- Imipramine: a known anti-depressant. Given to dogs who are hyperactive or display anxiety.
- Gonadotropins: a hormone that has been effective for female dogs.
Any dog displaying bladder control problems should be treated as soon as possible. If not, the results can be deadly or result in other behavioral problems, skin irritation, odor, or other illnesses.