dog question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Fran, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    One of our dogs seems to have unintentional incontinence. Vet says it can happen with female dogs who have been spayed. Even more so in big dogs. Vet said if I could live with occasional incontinence to just go with it but if not we go to hormone replacement.

    She is 104lbs. She will wimper and I find her in a lake of urine while lying on the kitchen floor. She would be asleep in the sun one minute and then wham.
    Everything I read seems to indicate a work up for abnormalities before hormones.

    Anyone with experience?
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Fran - I've never heard of this happening after a spay, but I guess it's possible. Did this just start suddenly? Have they checked to make sure she doesn't have a urinary tract infection? My dogs are smaller (20-35 lbs.) but none of my girls did this after they were spayed.

    Was she checked for diabetes? Is she drinking more water than usual? My cousin has a large male dog that suddenly started doing the same thing. After years of being housebroken, he'd run to the back door and make a big puddle by the door before they could even get there to let him out. He turned out to be diabetic, and he gets insulin shots every day now, just like a person. If they DIDN'T check your dog for diabetes, they need to do it ASAP. Don't want to scare you, but my cousins dog was diagnosed and treated almost as soon as they noticed the symptoms but it still caused him to get cataracts that developed so fast, he lost his vision within a few months. He had (expensive!) cataract surgery, ran round with a cone on his head for several weeks, and he's fine now - back to chasing squirrels through their back yard.

    I hope they can figure out what is causing her problem and that she's back to normal soon.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I've never heard of this happening after a spay either. Did this just start happening recently? I'm sure it is frustrating for you and sounds like, because of the wimper, it's not good for her either.

    I think I would take her to the vet and get some additional tests done to rule out an infection first.

    Hope everything turns out ok with her.

  4. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    We have only owned HoneySue for close to 4 months. She was spayed a while back. She was tested for diabetes and just about every blood test imaginable when I got her from rescue and took her to my vet.
    The new vet in NC did check for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Nothing.

    Hormones evidently help. I just want to make sure that's the best way to go. She is just as sweet as any dog could be and I know she gets upset.

    Her brother has a great bladder and a sensitive stomach. Go figure!
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Any chance shes a bulldog?
  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner


    She is a pyrenees mtn dog. Does it make a difference?
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Fran -

    I'm not sure. I work with rescue dogs and we see a lot of this in larger breeds like bulldogs. I do not know if it makes a difference (breed specific). My first thought was larger breed, hip problems that would cause pressure on the bladder and kidneys (which are right above the tail). Always hate to see anyone pat a dog on the rear above the kidneys. Here's an article I found on line. First I got information by typing in incontinence in spayed female dogs, and then I typed in incontinence in dogs.

    I am so sorry for your beautiful girl - I love Pyrenees Mountain Dogs - those extra dew claws are so cool. And a more protective and loving breed? Hard to top.

    Here is the article:

    The inappropriate urination often occurs when the animal is sleeping or in an extremely relaxed state. Owners commonly report that nighttime is when most of the problems are seen. When the dog gets up from a nap there is a puddle in that spot or a wet spot on the carpet.

    "Dogs with urinary incontinence can release a small or large amount of urine. Owners often notice that their dogs seem to be dripping or dribbling urine. In addition dogs with incontinence may lick or clean their genital area excessively," explains Dr. Merle.

    The exact cause of urinary incontinence in dogs remains unknown. At the bottom of the bladder is a urinary sphincter. Muscles around the sphincter are squeezed tight to keep urine in the bladder where it belongs until the signal is given to relax and allow urine to flow out of the body. Urinary incontinence may be the result of urine pooling on the wrong side of the sphincter, outside the bladder, or it may be due to loss of sphincter muscle tone.

    "Dogs with incontinence tend to have problems with secondary irritation in the genital area. They lick and clean the area more often, leading to raw skin. Often the skin in the area is stained with the urine and the hair is discolored and matted," comments Dr. Merle.

    If your dog is urinating inappropriately in the house, it needs to be examined by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can determine whether the issue is behavioral or there are underlying physiological or medical causes. The first step in most cases is a urinalysis.

    A urinalysis can detect a urinary tract infection, which may be the cause of the problem. Female dogs, due to the anatomy of their urinary tracts, are prone to low-grade urinary tract infections. Inappropriate urination caused by an infection will resolve with antibiotics.

    If the urinalysis is normal, the next step may be to do blood work and perhaps other diagnostic tests, such as radiographs (X rays) and ultrasound examinations. These tests will rule out other medical conditions, an important precaution before administering any medications.

    "There are several drugs on the market now labeled for use in treating urinary incontinence in dogs. Until a few years ago dogs were treated with off-label use of human medications. Phenylpropalanine (PPA) is the most commonly prescribed drug to treat dogs with incontinence. It works by tightening the urinary sphincter," states Dr. Merle.

    The dose is entirely dependant upon the dog and the severity of the problem. Some dogs may need to be treated for life. Other dogs may experience an occasional bout with incontinence. Dogs with incontinence often are more likely to have urinary tract infections, both because of the bacteria from saliva when the dog licks the area and because pooled urine is prime ground for bacterial colonies.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Thanks star.
    It's pretty much what I have read too. It is not behavioral. You couldn't find a sweeter pup.
    Both have the extra dew claw. :doctor: I will have to see if the vet wants to check it out farther. Fortunately, it doesn't happen all the time.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Our basset had adhesions after an emergency spay and had this trouble. I think it upset her more than me since I knew what was going on.

    Vet told us it would probably improve with time. It seemed to after several months. But as soon as she indicated she had to go out, you had to get her out immediately or she just couldn't hold it.

    So we gave her to another family who could give her their full attention and care. With all the chaos around here it was really hard to get her out in time.

  10. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Wow, we experienced the same with our Husky many years back. We were told by our Vet (and good friend) that it was because she was fixed/spayed late, along with being a larger breed & some have the problem, some don't. She did take medication for a long time & it worked pretty well. We quit giving it to her when she was an "old lady" & I just did her laundry for her every day :smile: I know we had her checked for infection but didn't go through major tests for her.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Fran, the next time you have her in to the vet, you may want to have them re-check her for diabetes, just in case. It can come on fairly suddenly.

    Better to be on the safe side since it can cause so many problems.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I'm late to this.
    I have a female border collie mix with-that problem, but she's getting old. She started dribbling when she was 7.
    She is on DES, the drug that caused problems for so many humans in the 50s and 60s... but it works well if you are have hormonally caused incontinence and cannot get pregnant. It works well for my dog. Not perfect, but a nice diff., ie only cleaing the carpet every cpls mo's instead of weekly.
    Good luck!
  13. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Donna, I will ask about diabetes.
    Both of them have gained weight. (14 lbs each) but I thought they were underfed and under weight before.
    The DES is what our vet suggested but said that the medication sometimes causes hyperness. I don't think it's a problemn since this breed is pretty mellow.

    I just feel bad for her.
  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    DES is the medication my dear Brandy was given when she became incontinent. It worked wonderfully for her.

  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Spaying is a complete hysterectomy, so you are throwing the dog into sudden menopause.

    Just as happens with humans, urinary incontinence can be part of that. It is due to lack of hormones causing laxness of bladder and pelvic floor muscles.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to get a dog to do Kegel exercise to tone up that part of the body.

    The problem seems to be more common in large dogs due to increased pressure on the abdominal contents.

    DES (Stilbestrol) is perfectly safe for spayed b*tches and works very well for this problem.

    You do want to have a complete workup done before choosing hormone therapy as a tx.

    If you do decide to go with DES and your vet will write a rx, you can find it online in various forms. It is not an expensive medication and is not associated with the risks of HRT in humans.
  16. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Thanks guys. It does seem hormones may be the way to go. I hope it works as well for HoneySue as it did for you guys.

    Well, not you guys but your puppies. You know what I mean. :slap:
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well Fran =

    Truth be told if I thought taking DOG hormones would help me cope with difficult child? I'd get spayed.
  18. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    I'm with you TLR....I'm up for anything :thumbsup: