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Urinary incontinence in dogs: how to solve the problem?

It is important to first distinguish between uncleanliness and urinary incontinence. The cause of the incontinence in the dog must then be identified by the veterinarian so that the problem can be solved with the most appropriate solution. It is therefore essential that the owner of an incontinent dog contacts the veterinarian as soon as possible and informs him of the possible symptoms that accompany this involuntary loss of urine.

How to identify incontinence in a dog (or female dog)?

Incontinence is when an adult dog (or female dog) cannot control its urination. It can be seen that the dog loses urine at any time. The urination is totally involuntary and the animal does not put itself in position to urinate just before peeing. In addition, he may lose only a few drops of urine at a time.

Urinary incontinence in dogs is sometimes accompanied by symptoms such as blood in the urine, pain when urinating, difficulty in urinating (voluntarily), neurological disorders.

The different types of incontinence in dogs

Before a solution can be found to the problem of involuntary peeing in dogs, it is necessary to know what type of incontinence the dog suffers from. It can be :
  • Incontinence due to a problem of anatomy: in this case the cause can be congenital (urethral ectopia) or acquired (stones, fistulas, tumors).
  • A functional incontinence following the castration of the dog or the sterilization of the female dog. Note that this involuntary loss of urine can also be called post-castration sphincter incompetence. Often, it is the decrease in sex hormones that causes a weakening of the tone of the sphincter (muscle) of the urethra. It is somewhat less common in males, but affects about 2 out of 10 female dogs that have had an ovariectomy.
  • Neurological incontinence: trauma, nerve damage, tumors, congenital anomalies, herniated discs, etc., can be the cause.
  • Pseudo-incontinence: the causes can be Cushing's disease, urinary infections, strong emotion (fear, stress, joy...), urinary calculus, kidney failure, aging, excessive water consumption, diabetes, etc.
It is essential to submit the animal to complementary examinations in order to identify the exact origin of the problem (radio, scanner, ultrasound, urine analysis, blood analysis, etc.).

Don't confuse incontinence with uncleanliness

We can talk about uncleanliness when the dog voluntarily pees inside the house. This is a conscious act. The state of consciousness is easily identifiable since the female dog is in position before urinating. This is an important indication to differentiate between uncleanliness and incontinence. In the latter case, the animal does not have the time to adopt this specific posture as, generally, squatting for the female and lifting the leg for the male. Also, in the case of uncleanliness, the owner finds real puddles of urine in different places in the house or apartment.

Incontinence in dogs: solutions

Depending on its origin, this problem can be treated with medication prescribed on a case-by-case basis or sometimes with surgery. Behavioral therapy is recommended for dogs with emotional urinary incontinence. When it is not related to a pathology, homeopathy can be tried, but only on the advice of the veterinarian.

The owner of an incontinent female dog should not scold or even punish his or her pet. We have made it clear earlier that this is involuntary urination. The animal does not pee everywhere on purpose. Finally, it is important to know that a dog that urinates from time to time on the living room carpet is not incontinent or unclean. It is a simple accident, and there is no need to worry if he forgets to pee on an exceptional basis.