Incontinence in Dogs: Causes and Treatments

Incontinence in dogs is characterized by the fact that it no longer voluntarily controls the elimination of its urine or stools, not to be confused with uncleanliness. We talk about urinary or fecal incontinence. The two types of incontinence may or may not be associated. In this article, we explain the causes of incontinence as well as the existing treatments.

Incontinence in Dogs: Causes and Treatments

What causes incontinence in dogs?

The incontinent dog does not realize when he is urinating or defecating. It can even happen to him to relieve himself while walking without necessarily putting himself in the physiologically normal position. This involuntary behavior can also occur when sleeping. In dogs, incontinence can occur in many situations:


– An incontinent dog as it ages:

It is common for the dog to become incontinent with age. His sphincters may become increasingly lazy or even stop working at all.

– The young dog:

A puppy can only be physiologically clean from its two-three months, and sometimes it does not become definitively clean until six months. Before that, he is able to hold himself back only for a short time. It is for this reason that it is necessary to leave a puppy very regularly. This delay in acquiring the ability to hold back is due to the fact that his sphincters have not finished developing. Additionally, some puppies and even some adults may do what is known as "joy pees." These urinary leaks are involuntary and are only related to the emotional state of the dog. “Happy pees” are present exclusively in overly emotional or sensitive dogs.


– Sterilization:

Urinary incontinence in dogs can occur as a result of neutering in female dogs and castration in males. Certain breeds, such as the Boxer, the Newfoundland, or the Doberman, may be more affected by this drawback. This type of incontinence occurs in 8 to 20% of spayed females and will occur within 3 years of sterilization. The occurrence of incontinence following castration in males is much less frequent.


- Disease :

There are many diseases that can cause the dog to be incontinent: bladder cancer, a herniated disc, or even a “congenital” malformation. There is also a urinary tract infection or taking certain medications that can cause transient incontinence.

How to treat urinary incontinence in dogs?

The first thing to do when the dog is incontinent is to consult the veterinarian. It can help you find the source of your dog's incontinence. Depending on the result, treatment or surgery may be considered. Osteopathy sessions can also be beneficial to reduce or eliminate incontinence. In the event that no solution is possible, there are diapers or panties for the dog or even mattress pads that can be put on its cushion.


Last word :

Either way, life with an incontinent dog is often difficult as it requires a lot of maintenance around the house. A park limiting the movements of the dog in a small space can be considered to prevent the dog from doing its business everywhere.

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