Improving Bladder Control in Dogs

If you want to improve bladder control in dogs your pet should be treated properly and promptly. The underlying factor for the loss of bladder control needs to be addressed in order to resolve the problem. A bladder control problem arises when the nerves and muscles of the bladder cease to work properly. Loss of canine bladder control results in involuntary passing of urine and shouldn’t be confused with submissive urination. Submissive urination is common in young dogs when they are acting submissive to another animal or to a human.

Causes of Loss of Bladder Control

Loss of bladder control is also known as urinary incontinence and can occur as a result of both neurogenic and non-neurogenic problems. Neurogenic problems are problems caused due to abnormalities in the nervous system, namely the brain and spinal cord. Non-neurogenic problems are due to problems with the bladder, the urethra, the liver and the kidney. Birth or congenital defects can also cause this condition.

If the puppy has an ectopic ureter, the puppy may tend to drip urine. Females of breeds such as The Siberian Husky, Labrador retriever, Collie and Miniature Poodle have a high occurrence of this type of birth defect. Males and females born to medium and large breeds are more affected by urinary incontinence and the incidence is higher in spayed females. Loss of bladder control is often confused with other diseases that cause frequent urination in dogs. While older dogs are more prone to this condition, behavioral problems may result in urinary incontinence. Apart from this, hormonal imbalances, arthritis, bladder stones, obesity, tumors, diabetes, Cushing’s disease and stress can cause loss of bladder control.

Symptoms of Loss of Bladder Control

  • Constant or intermittent leakage of urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Wet spots in areas where the dog sleeps
  • Redness of skin around the genital area due to contact with urine
  • Discoloration of fur around the genital area
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Strong urine odor

Treatment for Bladder Control Problems

You should conduct a vet check on your pet if you notice the above symptoms as they’re indicative of a problem with your pet’s health. The vet will perform a physical exam, ask for your pet’s medical history and also recommend blood tests, urine tests, X-rays and an ultrasound exam to determine the cause of the problem.

Treatment will be prescribed according to the underlying cause of the problem. Surgery might be required to correct a structural problem such as an ectopic ureter. Surgery is also indicated if the cause of the urinary incontinence is the presence of stones in the bladder. These stones can cause an obstruction and result in urine leaking around the blockage.

Although loss of bladder control isn’t caused by bladder infections, such a loss of control can cause secondary bladder infections that need to be treated with oral antibiotics. Although weakened urinary sphincters in older animals can be treated with medication such as phenylpropanolamine, incontinence caused by behavioral problems can be treated with proper training. Hormone therapy is also prescribed for bladder problems associated with spayed females. Such dogs are administered estrogens like diethylstilbestrol.

It’s important that you administer the medicines as prescribed by the veterinarian and provide your dog with plenty of water and a nutritious diet. With proper care and medication, incontinent dogs can live comfortable and long lives.