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Incontinence In Dogs -- Four Reasons Why Your Elderly Dog Is Incontinent

Updated on May 13, 2009
Darlene Norris profile image

Darlene Norris loves cats and dogs. She has worked as a vet assistant, and draws on this experience when she writes her hubs.

Your old friend may develop incontinence in dogs as she ages.
Your old friend may develop incontinence in dogs as she ages.

If your canine companion is getting up in years, you may have noticed that incontinence in dogs is becoming a problem. Your aging dog is starting to leak urine, and she's leaving wet spots behind when she gets up from a nap. Unfortunately, dog incontinence sometimes goes with the territory as your pet gets older.
There are usually four reasons why an elderly dog may become incontinent.  

1. Declining Estrogen Levels

As female dogs get older, their estrogen levels go down. This leads to a loss of muscle tone, including in the muscles that control her urinary sphincter. If you notice dog incontinence only when she's relaxed or sleeping, this is probably why. Hormone therapy is usually very effective in reversing this problem.

Testosterone levels decline in older male dogs, but this usually doesn't cause incontinence in dogs in males. Your vet will want to rule out any physical problems before assuming that lower testosterone levels are the cause of the problem.

2. Canine Urinary Tract Infections

Canine cystitis, or a plain, old-fashioned bladder infection, is a very common cause of incontinence in aging pets. The irritation of the infection will cause your pet to need to urinate more often. She just may not be able to hold it long enough to get outside.  

She may be drinking more water than normal, and you may see blood in her urine. Fortunately, most bladder infections are cleared up quickly with antibiotics.

3. Canine Bladder Stones

Bladder stones in dogs can cause canine urinary tract infections. These stones often have sharp edges that irritate the bladder walls, allowing an infection to get started. If stones are large enough, they can cause a urinary blockage, which is a veterinary emergency.  

Stones can sometimes be dissolved with a special diet, but sometimes surgery is necessary to remove them.

4. Diabetes In Dogs

Three important symptoms of canine diabetes are excessive thirst, frequent urination, and recurring urinary tract infections, all of which can cause canine incontinence. You should have your pet checked for diabetes in dogs if these problems persist.

How Natural Remedies For Dogs Support Dog Urinary Health

If your vet has ruled out any problems like diabetes or Cushing's disease, you may want to consider boosting your pet's urinary health by giving her natural remedies for dogs. The herb berberis is known to have a restorative effect on the bladder in people, and it works just as well in dogs. Plus it helps to stimulate the immune system, helping her to fight off infections.

Uva ursi is an herb that helps to maintain normal ph levels in the bladder, which prevents bacterial growth. People have been using it for centuries, and it's now available in a remedy for pets, along with the homeopathic remedies Cantharis and Staphysagris, which also support bladder health.

Why don't you try an herbal pet remedy to help your old friend with incontinence in dogs? It may be the answer you've been looking for.


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