How to Identify and Treat Incontinence in Older Dogs

Dogs undergo many changes as they age. These changes can often include health problems related to adulthood. Among these is incontinence, which is the inability to regulate the elimination of urine and/or stool. this is often a frustrating problem for both dogs and their owners, especially if the dog was previously house-trained.

How to Identify and Treat Incontinence in Older Dogs
How to Identify and Treat Incontinence in Older Dogs

What Is Incontinence?
Incontinence is the inability to completely control the bladder and/or bowels. A dog that appears at you and squats to eliminate is perhaps not incontinent. When a dog is actually incontinent, the urination and/or defecation can happen without the dog realizing it until it's too late. this will make the dog feel shame and even worry about being disciplined. True incontinence isn't your dog's fault. Common findings in incontinent dogs include:

  • Leaking urine while sleeping
  • Having a movement while sleeping
  • Dribbling urine while standing or walking (not squatting first)
  • Dropping stool while standing or walking (not posturing to defecate)
  • Finding wet spots on bedding
  • Smelling urine and/or feces on your dog

In the early stages of incontinence, it's going to just appear to be your dog cannot hold it. it is a good idea to start out letting your older dog bent go potty more often than usual.

Diagnosing Incontinence in Dogs

If your older dog begins to possess accidents within the house, try first to work out the cause. Is your dog knowingly peeing or pooping within the house? this might be associated with a medical condition or a behavior problem.

The first thing to rule out maybe a health issue. Contact your vet for a checkup. Senior dogs should see the vet more often than younger dogs; twice per annum exams are often recommended. Your vet will probably want to check your dog's urine and blood.

Urinary Tract Infections

The most common health-related explanation for urinary accidents may be a tract infection. If this is often the cause, your vet will put your dog on antibiotics. Urinary issues also can result from bladder stones or tumors. These might require surgery.

Kidney Disease

Urinary tract infections and other urinary issues could also be associated with the renal disorder, especially in older dogs. the renal disorder causes the body to drink more water and urinate more. All of this will be difficult for a senior dog to handle, causing inappropriate urination.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

GI problems can cause diarrhea and other stool issues which will appear as if incontinence. If your dog's stools seem abnormal, your vet might want to try to x-rays or an ultrasound to seem at the abdomen.

Spinal Problems

Problems with the spine can cause nerve issues that cause incontinence. Dogs with intervertebral disk disease or traumatic spinal injuries can develop incontinence. Medical or surgery might not fix the matter if the nerve damage is bad enough.


Arthritis may be a common problem in older dogs that affects mobility. Your dog could also be stiff and achy, making it difficult for him to urge within the right position to urinate and/or defecate. He could be holding it due to this. Then, when he can't hold it anymore, he has an accident.

Brain Disease

Problems within the brain can affect a dog's ability to regulate his bladder and/or bowels. this might be a brain tumor or infection that has damaged a neighborhood of the brain. Or, more commonly, it's going to be dementia. Also called canine cognitive dysfunction or senility, dementia causes a dog to lose his memory, have trouble concentrating or focusing, and knowledge personality changes. Dogs with dementia often become anxious and act disoriented. one of the sooner signs of dementia is "forgetting" training, like house training.

There is no cure for dementia, but there are ways you'll help your dog cope. There also are some medications and supplements which will ease symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Some dogs will enjoy medications and supplements for enuresis. However, incontinence thanks to dementia can't be treated in an equivalent way. If your dog is incontinent and there's no treatment to prevent it, you'll make some adjustments to enhance your dog's quality of life and preserve your sanity.

  • Increase the frequency of walks and potty breaks. Take your dog out immediately after eating, drinking, and awakening. It's almost like how you treat a puppy.
  • Put waterproof covers on dog beds and other places where your dog sleeps.
  • Clean soiled areas well with an enzymatic cleaner to stay your dog from being interested in that area for elimination within the future.
  • Place puppy pads in easy-to-access areas so your dog can get relief faster.
  • Use doggie diapers for severe cases. Just make certain to vary them frequently to avoid skin irritation and infections.
  • Bath your dog's genital area often to stop odor, irritation, and infections. you furthermore may want to stay long hair trimmed short within the genital area to form cleaning up easier.

It is often hard to affect these issues as your dog ages, but your dog deserves to measure out his time of life as comfortably as possible.

If you think your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they need to be examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and may make the simplest recommendations for your pet.

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