At Warren House Vets we have created a detailed guide offering potential solutions if your dog begins to experience incontinence in their later years.
Incontinence in older dogs – Key facts
Incontinence can affect older dogs of all ages and either sex, but it is particularly prevalent among females. As female dogs get older, their ability to regulate the bladder's opening often reduces. As a result, it becomes easier for urine to seep out when the bladder's exit isn't securely closed.
The medical term for this condition is "sphincter mechanism incontinence," and it is believed to account for nearly 80% of incontinence cases. Your older pet might exhibit signs of senility, and it's also feasible that geriatric dogs might momentarily forget their house training. This could lead to them leaving damp spots where they rest.
Incontinence can also stem from varying hormone levels, spinal and neurological disorders, infections, diseases and severe stress and anxiety.
If you are worried about your dog please get in touch with your local Warren House Vets in Kent to book an appointment for a check-up.
Indications of incontinence in older dogs
The presence of damp spots on your dog's bed is one of many symptoms to be aware of. Any of the following signs could suggest that your dog is beginning to face incontinence issues:
- Wet legs – especially noticeable if your dog has long hair
- A consistent urine odour, either on your dog or around their sleeping area
- Skin irritation or burns from continuous exposure to urine
- An increased tendency to groom or lick the rear end
Incontinence issues may sporadically appear and disappear before becoming a persistent problem. The issue could amplify if another medical condition related to the urinary tract is present. However, remember that incontinent dogs do not feel any discomfort while urinating, so don't anticipate any signs of pain during urination. Additionally, despite the incontinence, dogs will continue to urinate as usual during walks and when out in the garden.
Noticing any of these signs with your dog? Get in touch with Warren House Vets in Kent today!
Medical examination in Kent for dogs with incontinence
Several medical strategies exist to help dogs with incontinence. The encouraging news is that these treatments yield a 100% success rate in most instances. If you suspect that your senior dog is beginning to struggle with incontinence, please get in touch with us to discuss more.
We will conduct a comprehensive health examination and may collect a urine and blood sample for testing. This helps us determine whether any underlying conditions, such as urinary tract infections, are exacerbating the issue. Once we have eliminated infections, kidney disease, diabetes and other conditions that induce excessive water drinking, we can determine the exact strategy to pursue. It's crucial to address the correct underlying cause when treating any dog for incontinence.
Surgical procedures in Kent for canine incontinence
In some instances, surgical procedures may be the only viable treatment option. There may be a need for multiple treatments to comprehensively address the issue, but most surgical interventions aim to fortify the bladder neck muscles.
Surgical options may include methods to fix or alter the position of the urethra surgically or administering collagen injections into the bladder neck. Often these procedures will require referral to a veterinary specialist.
Additional methods to assist your incontinent dog
Treatment can be a lengthy process, and there's no guarantee that the issue will be entirely resolved. Consequently, many dog owners accept incontinence as an intermittent concern that they will need to manage.
There are various products available designed to improve the lives of incontinent dogs and their owners. For instance, absorbent bedding is more sanitary, easier to clean, and helps keep your dog's skin dry by quickly wicking away urine. Incontinence pads for dogs are also available for purchase. Additionally, certain behavioural adaptations can make a difference.
Make a habit of cleaning and drying your dog's hind legs each morning to eliminate any urine and alleviate discomfort. Also, give your dog plenty of opportunities to empty their bladder by frequently allowing them outdoor time.
Please do not attempt to treat your dog's incontinence by limiting their water intake, unless there is an underlying medical condition. It’s highly likely that excessive drinking is causing your dog's incontinence. They require ample water intake and depriving them of it can lead to dehydration and a host of severe health complications, which could affect their health.
For more details about managing your senior dog's incontinence, please contact us at Warren House Vets in Kent.