Urinary Urgency in Dogs

Urinary urgency is generally associated with urinary incontinence in dogs. Pet owners have to carefully distinguish urinary urgency from behavioral problems since the symptoms are common to both conditions. Pets that experience urinary urgency tend to urinate in unusual places around the house, ask to be taken out frequently and often pass urine in their sleep or soon after they wake up. If your pet shows any of these signs or symptoms, you need to conduct a vet check at the earliest to identify the true cause and severity of urinary urgency.

Cause of Urinary Urgency

Most pets ask to be taken out frequently when they’re suffering from urinary incontinence. Pets that suffer from urinary incontinence don’t have the ability to control their bladder muscles. They can’t hold urine until they go out outdoors and mostly end up urinating in the house. Although both male and female dogs are at risk of developing urinary incontinence, female dogs that have been spayed are at greatest risk. Female pets that have low levels of estrogen in the body also show signs of incontinence. Apart from urinary incontinence, dogs that suffer from disorders of the nervous system also show signs of urinary urgency or loss of bladder control.

What to Watch for

Signs of blood in the urine or straining while urinating are strong indicators of bacterial infections and cystitis. Such pets require prompt diagnosis and treatment because bladder stones or uroliths can often give rise to a life threatening condition known as urethral blockage. If this condition develops, the urine accumulates in the pet’s body and leads to an electrolyte imbalance and even death. You should thus watch for any of these signs and seek medical help as soon as possible.

Diagnosis of Urinary Urgency in Dogs

The vet will perform a physical examination of the dog and make note of any visible symptoms. The vet will then perform several tests to rule out the presence of bacterial infections in the urinary passage, urinary stones and kidney disorders. Urine culture tests and serum biochemistry tests will also be performed along with abdominal x-rays and ultrasounds.

Treatment of Urinary Urgency in Dogs

If the cause of urinary urgency is associated with urinary incontinence, the vet may perform a surgery to improve muscle or bladder control. Medication like phenylpropanolamine also promotes bladder control. On the other hand, if urinary urgency is associated with bacterial infections, the vet will prescribe antibiotic medications that treat gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Since bacterial infections are known to recur, it’s important to take precautionary measures to prevent relapses.

Tips for Pet Owners

  • If your dog is suffering from urinary incontinence, make sure you take him outdoors frequently.
  • Consider using diapers to control accidents in the house.
  • Give your pet access to plenty of fresh water.
  • Use herbal remedies to control chronic urinary infections.
  • Purchase water tight beds for dogs that suffer from urinary urgency.

Since your pet relies on you for help, you need to ascertain that you administer all prescribed medication on time and conduct routine vet checks to rule out any other diseases.