Incontinence in Dogs and Cats
What is Urinary Incontinence in Dogs and Cats?
Urinary incontinence in dogs and cats is when they lose control of their bladder and have involuntary leaking or dribbling of urine. It is widespread in spayed female dogs (bitches) and is also referred to as spay incontinence. It is also seen in neutered males and animals with injuries to the bladder, nerves or sphincter muscles.
What causes Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is mainly due to the inability of the urethral sphincter to close, which is the ring of muscle that contracts to close the bladder's opening, letting urine leak through. Causes can be:
- Weak bladder sphincter muscles are more common in females and are usually the cause of one in five urinary incontinence animals.
- Urinary tract infection can sometimes show as incontinence. The animal may find urination too painful, so hold on and then leak. There will be signs of your animal not wanting to urinate or taking a long time, blood in the urine, or it could be white and cloudy, which can easily be diagnosed by your vet with urine cultures.
- Excess water consumption, some animals drink a lot of water, but this could be due to other health issues such as Diabetes, Cushing's disease, Kidney disease and Hyperthyroidism. So if your pet has become incontinent and is drinking excessive amounts of water, you should get them checked out by your veterinarian.
- Injuries to the spine or back can damage the supply of nerves down to the bladder.
- Hormonal imbalances
- An inherited predisposition
- Prostate problems
- Some medications, such as steroids
What are the signs and symptoms?
Your pet may have all or some of the following signs:
- Urine leakage while awake or asleep
- Puddles may be left where your pet is sitting
- Wet bedding
- Licking the area around the leakage
- Inflamed or burned/scalded skin around the genitals caused by urine
- A strong urine smell from your pet or where they sleep
What pets are more likely to get incontinence?
While urinary incontinence can develop in any animal, male or female of any age, it is more commonly seen in middle age to older spayed female dogs. It can be from a weakening of the bladder muscles causing leakage called Weak Bladder Sphincter Incontinence. Or a drop in estrogen levels which reduces muscle tone of the urethra referred to as 'Spay Incontinence'. Obesity can also contribute to the weakening of the bladder muscles, causing incontinence.
Are certain breeds more susceptible?
While any dog of any breed can develop incontinence, certain species tend to be more prone to developing incontinence, such as Boxers, Collies, Dalmations, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Springer Spaniels and Weimaraners.
What can you do naturally to help?
While a vet can prescribe a hormone replacement or medication that helps the sphincter muscle to retract, natural alternatives are cheaper and don't come with side effects.
Here at Natural Pet, in our Tagiwig range, we have many remedies that can help with incontinence and other health issues associated with this problem.
BladderTone is a homeopathic blend that helps balance estrogen levels and strengthens the sphincter muscles to stop leaking.
Uri-Tone is our remedy for urinary tract infections, a problem that can develop from incontinence and animals licking the area, introducing bacteria.
If the problem is a secondary cause of other health diseases, we have many remedies to help.
Cush Rx for Cushing's Disease
Hyper T for hyperthyroidism
Kidney Tonic for kidney disease and renal failure
We also offer a full consultation service, where we can develop a health plan individualised for your animal. In addition, if your pet has other health issues, such as diabetes, we can help. Go to our consultation page to find out more.
Posted: Thursday 12 January 2023