Why is my dog wetting the bed and what can I do?
As a dog ages they may start to have wee accidents such as wetting the bed or dripping pee when they walk.
You may even start to notice a reddish tinge to the fur around their inside of their back legs. Sometimes they may start licking near the penis or vulva.
These signs could be the beginning of urinary incontinence but don’t be alarmed. In many cases your veterinarian can help manage the signs!
Urinary incontinence in dogs
Urinary incontinence commonly affects old dogs, in particular desexed female dogs but it can affect males and some younger dogs too. If left untreated, the symptoms of urinary incontinence usually get worse as time goes along and can lead to secondary issues like urinary tract infections (UTIs).
If you suspect your dog may be suffering from urinary incontinence, get in touch with us today and book an appointment with a vet.
What happens in a consultation for urinary incontinence?
When examining a pet suspected of urinary incontinence, we preform a full physical exam including checking your dog’s penis or vulva for any discharge or redness which could be an indication of infection.
It is common for us to collect a urine sample which we test in house to ensure there is no signs of a UTI. You might even want to prepare a sample for us by catching the urine mid-stream in a container. The best samples are caught within 4 hours of testing and are best kept in the fridge before coming to your appointment.
We run several tests on the urine. Tests include dipstick which looks for the presence of blood, glucose, protein and bilirubin (a by-product of the liver). We check urine concentration using a special tool known as a refractometer. Urine concentration can help identify underlying diseases such as kidney disease. With the help of a centrifuge and microscope we check the urine for any abnormal cells, crystals or bacteria.
If abnormalities are found, a blood test might also be required to check for underlying issues like kidney disease, diabetes or liver disease.
We also feel the bladder through the wall of the tummy, checking to make sure we can’t feel any lumps or bumps that could indicate other urinary issues such as bladder tumours or bladder stones.
If we are concerned about something else happening in your pet’s bladder, we may even suggest doing an ultrasound. Ultrasounds help us visualise the bladder through the wall of the tummy. They can also help us to collect a sample by guiding a needle directly into the bladder to extract urine. This is method is known as cystocentesis and is helpful in patients who can’t produce a free catch sample.
Once we have the answers we need we can help determine the best treatment plan for your pet.
Other causes for leaking urine
Some dogs can suffer from a condition where lose strength in the muscle that helps to hold urine in. Hormone medications or medications that work on the nerves that supply these muscles can sometimes help this condition. When it comes to hormone treatments include some medications given daily or others given as infrequently as once a week!
Sometimes puppies may show similar issues to those mentioned above. Most puppies who present for these reasons are often still learning toilet training. However, its important to voice any concerns you notice in case your puppy could have a UTI or other issue.
If you have any concerns about your pet please get in touch with our team today on (03) 8373 0301.