Health & Wellness

Incontinence in Older Dogs

Whether we’re talking about our parents or our pets, one of the most common aspects of aging is the deterioration of muscle/strength. This can affect walking, balance and the ability to hold our pee.  Yes, it is lack of muscle strength that causes incontinence in older dogs. So don’t punish your senior dog when he starts piddling on the carpet; something he hasn’t done since he was a pup.  But do take him to the vet to rule out kidney failure or an infection as the cause.

Incontinence in Older Dogs

 “Many older dogs suffer from incontinence, the inability to hold their urine. If your dog starts to leak a little urine while she is sleeping or if she can’t seem to make it through your workday without having an accident, a visit to the veterinarian is in order. Be sure to bring a urine sample collected first thing in the morning.

Some of the causes of incontinence can be cured; some just have to be managed. In older dogs, kidney failure and urinary tract infections are the main reasons for incontinence. If your dog begins to drink and urinate more frequently, a veterinary exam should reveal the reason. If kidney failure is the cause, a low-protein diet may help slow the kidney’s degeneration. Your veterinarian also will have other recommendations specific to your dog’s needs.”  Read the original source of this of advice. 

Dogtime offers further suggestions on caring for your older dogs incontinence.

“Incontinence can affect dogs of either gender, but it typically doesn’t occur until the middle or later years of the dog’s life. Fortunately, treatment for incontinence usually yields good results.

There are several causes of incontinence. The most typical is known as hormone-responsive incontinence, which is caused by a hormone deficiency. The hormones (testosterone in males and estrogen in females) impact a dog’s ability to control the urethral sphincter, a band of muscular tissues near the base of the bladder. These tissues act as a reservoir or control device, either retaining urine or permitting it to flow out through the urethra.

Anything that negatively affects the production of hormones ups your dog’s risk of developing incontinence. For instance, the production of these hormones naturally decreases in an aging dog. Age-related hormone-responsive incontinence usually shows itself when the dog reaches eight or nine years old.

Spayed or neutered dogs are more susceptible to developing the condition because their reproductive organs (which are responsible for the production of hormones) have been removed.”  Read more at Dogtime.

If you’re unable to be home with your senior dog all day you might consider doggie-diapers as a solution to incontinence in older dogs.   Another option is to hire a doggie daycare worker to stay with Buddy while you’re at work. That way Buddy can be let outdoors whenever he feels the urge.  Above all, Buddy needs to know that you understand and aren’t mad at him.

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