JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Never EVER Punish Your Pet for This ‘Accident’…

Download Video Transcript

In this video, Dr. Karen Becker talks about the problem of urine dribbling in pets – the involuntary passage of urine. Listen as she discusses the most common causes of the condition, as well as the treatment options she recommends.

Please note this video addresses involuntary passage of urine only, and isn’t intended to cover other urination-related problems like too-frequent urination or behavioral-related problems like submissive urination.

Involuntary Passage of Urine

Involuntary passage of urine normally occurs while your pet is asleep or resting. When she stands up, you notice urine leakage. It can be just a small wet spot or a good sized puddle, depending on how much urine is being unintentionally passed.

Other times you might notice a problem, for example, when your pet jumps up on the couch and spills a bit of urine, or she dribbles while walking through the house or as she’s running during play.

It’s important to understand your pet isn’t intentionally leaking urine. She has no control over what’s happening. This is not a behavioral problem, it’s a medical problem – so trying to correct or punish your pet is a bad idea on multiple levels.

In fact, many pets become very distressed to realize they are passing urine in places other than a designated potty spot. A housebroken dog or any kitty accustomed to using a litter box will be confused and even ashamed to know they are leaving urine in inappropriate spots.

So it’s very important you treat urine dribbling as a medical problem requiring a medical diagnosis rather than a behavioral problem requiring behavior correction or worse, punishment. Your pet isn’t aware she’s leaking urine until after the fact, and she’s probably as upset with the situation as you are.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

There are a lot of causes for involuntary passage of urine, especially in dogs.

  • Central nervous system trauma. If your pet’s brain or spinal cord isn’t signaling correctly to the bladder, this miscommunication can cause urine dribbling.
  • Damage to the pudendal nerve. This is a problem of the lower back in dogs – I see it often in my practice in older dogs with arthritis, degenerative joint disease or trauma to the lower back. If the pudendal nerve, which works the neck of your pet’s bladder, is impinged, the bladder neck can remain slightly open, allowing urine leakage.
  • Disease of the bladder, kidneys or adrenals, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism and diabetes can all cause dribbling of urine.
  • Bladder stones. A dog with a bladder stone will often strain while trying to urinate. He’ll appear to successfully empty his bladder, but when he’s back inside he’ll continue to leak urine. If you’ve noticed this behavior with your pet, you need to consider the possibility of bladder stones.
  • Birth defects. Birth defects – structural abnormalities existing from birth – can cause incontinence. If your puppy has been difficult or impossible to housetrain, there could be a birth defect present. An example: the ureter – a tube that collects urine from the kidneys and passes it into the bladder – can bypass the bladder entirely and go directly to the urethra.

    This plumbing problem, known as an ectopic ureter, will cause urine, as it’s produced, to dribble right out of your pet’s body.

    Some dog breeds have more of these types of from-birth plumbing problems than others. Siberian Huskies, Miniature Poodles, Labradors, Collies, Westies, Wirehaired Fox Terriers and Corgis are more commonly diagnosed with ectopic ureters than other breeds. So if your puppy is leaking urine, you should investigate the possibility of a birth defect.

  • Urethral obstruction. Obstruction of the urethra can also cause involuntary passage of urine. A tumor, for example, can obstruct urine flow and cause dribbling. So can urethral stones.

    A stone in your pet’s urethra is a medical emergency. You may notice along with urine leakage that your pet is in pain, seems stressed, and might even act panicked. This can be because she needs to empty her bladder and she can’t. The bladder is filling up with urine and there’s no way for her to relieve the mounting pressure.

    You should seek veterinary care immediately if your pet seems to have pain along with incontinence, and especially if she’s not able to pass any urine at all.

  • Age-related urinary incontinence. Older pets can develop weak pelvic floors or poor bladder tone which can result in urine dribbling. If your dog has signs of canine senility or dementia, he can also simply forget to signal you when he needs to potty outside. His bladder can overfill, and there can be leakage.
  • Feline leukemia. For reasons not well understood, some kitties positive for feline leukemia have urine leakage. If your cat starts dribbling urine, it is more than likely a medical issue requiring veterinary care.

Hormone-Induced Urinary Incontinence

Hands down, the most common reason for involuntary urine leakage, especially in dogs, is hormone-induced urinary incontinence.

After a pet is spayed or neutered, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, which are necessary to help close the external urethral sphincter, are no longer available. This often results in urine dribbling.

Hormone-induced urinary incontinence is extremely common in spayed female dogs, and somewhat less common in neutered males. These are typically healthy, vibrant pets that just happen to dribble urine anywhere from multiple times a day to just once or twice a year.

Treatment for Urinary Incontinence

The cause of your pet’s urinary incontinence will dictate what treatment she receives.

If there’s an underlying disease process or structural abnormality causing the problem, and it can be corrected through medical management and/or surgery, that’s obviously the way to go.

If your pet is diagnosed with hormone-induced urinary incontinence, I strongly recommend you consider attempting to treat the problem naturally.

At my Natural Pet Animal Hospital, we successfully treat cases of hormone-induced urinary incontinence with Standard Process glandular therapy, as well as natural, biologically appropriate (non-synthetic) hormone replacement therapy and a few excellent herbal remedies

We also frequently use acupuncture to improve function of the pudendal nerve and control or stimulate sufficient closure of the external urethral sphincter. Chiropractic care can also keep the CNS working properly, aiding in normal bladder and neurologic function.

I urge you to start with natural remedies, because some of the traditional drugs used to treat urinary incontinence, specifically DES (diethylstilbestrol), are potentially toxic with side effects that can create more problems for your precious pet than the problem you set out to correct.

Synthetic hormone replacement drugs can cause some of the same problems in female dogs as they do in women who take them. If your pet is dribbling urine, you should work with your vet to determine what’s causing the problem.

As always, I recommend you have a holistic vet on your pet’s treatment team.

Dogs with incontinence that can’t be completely resolved can be fitted with dog bloomers or panties with absorbent pads — you can even use human disposable diapers and cut a hole for the tail. Just remember that urine is caustic and should not remain on your pet’s skin for long periods, so if you use diapers, be sure to change them frequently or remove them during times when your pet isn’t apt to be incontinent.

March 6, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , | 3 Comments

Reasons Dogs Urinate In The House

dog_training-cartoonTreat your dog just as you would a puppy – establish a regular schedule, take him or her outside frequently, reward her for eliminating outside, and supervise her activity while inside.  However, your pet could have a medical condition or phobea.

Housetraining Problems – If you have consistently followed basic housetraining procedures and your dog continues to eliminate in the house, then the cause of the behavior must be determined before it can be changed. There are other reasons why dogs housesoil other than a lack of housetraining.  Some examples of causes of housesoiling are:

Medical Problems – Housesoiling can often be caused by physical problems such as a urinary tract infection or an irritated bowel.  Check with your veterinarian to rule out any possibility of disease or illness.  Incontinence can be a side effect of having your dog pet fixed, especially females and is also a condition that develops in some older pets… like in oder humans.  Just as for senior humans there are piddle pants available for your pets.

Territorial Urine-Marking – Dogs will deposit urine, usually in small amounts, to scentmark territory. Both male and female dogs may do this. This most often occurs when the dog believes its territory has been invaded.

Separation Anxiety – It is not uncommon for dogs to become anxious when left alone and housesoil as a result. If the soiling is occurring only, and consistently, when your dog is left alone, separation anxiety may be the cause.

Fears Or Phobias – When animals become frightened, they often lose control of their bladder and/or bowels. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, thunderstorms, or other things, it may housesoil when exposed to these environmental events.


Submissive/Excitement – Some dogs, especially young ones, temporarily lose control of their bladder when they become excited or threatened. This usually occurs during greetings, intense play, or when they are about to be punished (another good reason for not punishing after the fact or using physical types of punishment).

Invisible Urine Odors – Invisible urine odors in carpet attract dogs to repeatedly re-urinate on affected areas. This makes housebreaking very difficult, if not impossible.

If there is no way to show where the urine odor sources are, you don’t know where to treat the urine stains. Consequently, the pets are repeatedly attracted to those areas to re-urinate on them. The best solution is to locate the invisible urine odors with a urine detector blacklight. 

Source:  Denver Dumb Friends League

Related Articles:  

Father Arrested for Allegedly Killing Family Dog in Front of Children

Adopting A Senior Pet Has Many Advantage For Families and Seniors

Checkout:  Dogwise, All Things Dog! – 2000+ Dog Books

Monthly Feature: BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS IN DOGS

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cushing’s Syndrome in Dogs

An sharing this info from another dog group that I belong to….

Question from fellow dog owner:  

My dog Tucker, 12 yr old Lhasa Apso was just diagnosed with Cushings Disease.  Any one have experience with this?  My vet said a drug used for many years in Britain has just been approved by FDA and is available in U.S.  I think it may vetoryl.  Wonder about cost and side affects.  He is so precious and I don’t want him to suffer.  Any info would be appreciated.

Response:  We have had one dachshund with Cushings, know of some other people that have had their dogs for a few years after first signs, and on medical care good luck. Below is some general information on it.

 DOES YOUR DOG HAVE CUSHING’S SYNDROME?

There are many clinical signs associated with Cushing’s syndrome (also called “hyperadrenocorticism”) in the dog. These signs usually come on very gradually and, because of this slow onset, these changes are often written off as part of the normal aging process. The following is a list of common symptoms which an owner might observe in their pet at home.

DRINKING EXCESSIVELY/URINATING EXCESSIVELY/INCONTINENCE

Owners often notice that lately the water bowl must be filled more frequently than in the past.  Some dogs are unable to hold their  bladder all night and begin crying to go  outside during the night when previously this was unnecessary.
Also, urinary tract infections may also be detected and true urine leaking may be observed.

HOW MUCH WATER CONSUMPTION IS NORMAL?

Each day a dog should drink about one cup of water for each ten pounds of body weight.

INCREASED OR EVEN RAVENOUS APPETITE

This symptom often leads dogs to beg incessantly or steal food from the garbage.  It is important for an owner not to be fooled by the pet’s “good appetite;” eating well is not necessarily a sign of normal health.

 

 

POT-BELLIED APPEARANCE

This symptom, present in over 90% of Cushing’s syndrome dogs, results from hormonal redistribution of body fat plus a breakdown of abdominal musculature.

MUSCLE WEAKNESS

Muscle protein is broken down in Cushing’s syndrome. The result may be seen as exercise intolerance, lethargy, or reluctance to jump up on furniture or climb stairs.

SKIN DISEASE

The classical signs of endocrine (hormonal) skin diseases are:

  1. Hair loss on the main body sparing the head and legs
  2. Thin, wrinkled skin with poor wound healing
  3. Hair that does not grow back after clipping.
  4. Blackheads and darkening of the skin, especially on the abdomen.
  5. Persistent or recurring skin infections (especially if the dog is not itchy during times when the skin infection is cleared)

 

 

 

 

Another condition of the skin which may be observed is called Calcinosis Cutis, in which calcium deposits occur within the skin. These are raised, hard, almost rock-like areas which can occur almost anywhere on the body.

Some other notable findings might include: excessive panting and shortness of breath, infertility, extreme muscle stiffness (called “pseudomyotonia” – a very very rare symptom in Cushing’s disease), and high blood pressure.

 

 

January 28, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pet Sterilization Laws Raise Health Concerns

Spayed or neutered dogs more at risk for cancers, other ills, research shows

Studies have found that spayed or neutered dogs are at increased risks for problems including certain cancers, thyroid disorder, incontinence and some of the same behavior issues that the surgeries are said to prevent.

As legislators push for more mandatory spay and neuter laws for pets as young as 4 and 6 months in hopes of reducing the number of unwanted animals, critics are crying foul over research showing that such surgeries may raise certain health risks in dogs and therefore shouldn’t be required.

Studies have shown that dogs that undergo spaying (removal of the ovaries and uterus) or neutering (removal of the testicles) are at increased risks for certain cancers, thyroid disorder, incontinence and some of the same behavior issues, such as aggression, that the surgeries are said to prevent.

Most of these problems aren’t common to begin with, and the increased risks can depend on the type of dog and the age the surgery is performed. Still, the findings are leading some experts to say that, contrary to conventional wisdom, later spay/neuter surgery for dogs, and even vasectomies for male canines, may be better options for some animals, depending on such factors as breed and lifestyle.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has not taken a stand on spay/neuter legislation, but the American College of Theriogenologists, a group of veterinary reproduction specialists that advises the AVMA, is considering a position paper opposing the legislation at its meeting in St. Louis in August, says veterinarian John Hamil of Laguna Beach, Calif., a member of the group’s task force that looked at the issue.

“What they’re saying is that because there have been problems associated with spay/neuter surgery, they think it’s improper for it to be mandated, much less at an early age,” says Hamil. “They feel the decision should be made after discussion between the owner and veterinarian.”

Proponents of spay/neuter legislation say it’s a way to reduce the numbers of animals in shelters and cut down on euthanasia rates. They also cite the health and behavior benefits of the procedures, such as prevention of mammary cancer, spraying and marking territory, and roaming.

Patty Khuly, a veterinarian in Miami, says a better solution to control the animal population than mandatory spay/neutering by a certain age is to offer the surgeries at lower costs so more pet owners can afford them and get them done according to a veterinarian’s recommendations.

“I don’t believe that the fourth month is a reasonable window,” she says. “Most veterinarians would agree on that. I think low-cost spay/neuter, making it more available, is the solution, as opposed to mandating a time frame, especially when we don’t know the real impact of early spay/neuter.”

For more than a decade, the cities of San Mateo and Belmont in California have required sterilization of most cats and dogs more than 6 months old. But more attention is being paid to the pros and cons of pet sterilization now because of a recent spate of legislation that has been passed or introduced. Los Angeles, for instance, passed an ordinance requiring cats and dogs more than 4 months old to be neutered or spayed by October or risk fines up to $500. Palm Beach, Fla., and North Las Vegas also have approved such measures, and dozens more cities and counties, including Chicago and Dallas, are considering them. Rhode Island is the only state to have passed a mandatory spay/neuter law, and it applies just to cats.

No one-size-fits-all answer
The idea that pets should be spayed or neutered at approximately 6 months of age or earlier dates to studies in the 1960s and 1970s showing that spaying a female before her first estrus cycle almost eliminated mammary cancer — which is common in dogs — and that spayed and neutered dogs showed a decrease in behavior problems that can be fueled by sex hormones.

Spay/neuter surgery also has other benefits, including prevention of unwanted litters, no messy twice-yearly estrus cycles in females and a reduced rate of uterine infections later in life. Spayed and neutered dogs and cats also have longer lifespans.

Since the early studies were conducted, however, research has also shown downsides to the surgeries beyond acute side effects such as bleeding and inflammation.

Margaret V. Root Kustritz, a veterinary reproduction specialist at the University of Minnesota, reviewed 200 studies and found that while spay/neuter surgery has benefits, it is also linked to increases in the incidence of certain diseases and conditions such as bone cancer, heart tumors, hypothyroidism and canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries, as well as prostate cancer in male dogs and urinary incontinence in females. The extent of the risk can depend on the problem, as well as the size and sex of the dog, and the age the surgery is performed.

The risk of a type of cardiac tumor called hemangiosarcoma is five times higher in spayed female dogs than unspayed females, noted Kustritz. And neutered males have 2.4 times the risk of unneutered males. The risk was also higher for osteosarcoma (bone cancer): Dogs spayed or neutered before age 1 were up to two times as likely to develop the disease than those that hadn’t been altered.

Spaying and neutering may also heighten behavior problems such as aggression in some breeds and noise phobias in dogs altered at less than 5 months of age, she found.
While it’s long been believed that spaying and neutering can improve a dog’s behavior, one large study done at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine found that, with a few exceptions, spaying and neutering was associated with worse behavior, although those effects were often specific to certain breeds and depended on the age at which the dog was altered.

Cats seem to fare better, though. The main risk they face from sterilization is that they can become sedentary and obese, according to Kustritz’s review of studies. As a result, vets say sterilizing cats before 6 months of age is appropriate.

Reproductive choice
Still, some oppose the mandatory spay/neuter surgery for both cats and dogs based on the grounds that pet owners may not be able to afford the surgery if reduced-cost programs aren’t available. Plus, they argue, people should have a choice.

In San Mateo, Calif., Peninsula Humane Society president Ken White says such legislation provides a one-approach answer to a problem that is different from community to community.

White believes low-cost or free spay/neuter programs are a better way to reduce the number of unwanted animals, based on what’s worked in San Mateo. The numbers of animals requiring euthanasia dropped dramatically — a 93 percent reduction since 1970 — as the humane society added ways for people to take advantage of low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter programs.

Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for the Humane Society of the United States, says that in general the organization is in favor of spay/neuter laws but “we look at every piece of legislation individually. We generally recommend that those decisions are made with a veterinarian. If an individual pet owner feels they want to wait longer or their veterinarian feels they should wait longer, that’s their choice.”

Veterinarians should consider the age for spay/neuter surgery based on the individual animal rather than rely on the traditional 6-month standard, says Khuly.

For instance, giant dog breeds are more at risk for some types of cancer, and akitas, German shepherds, golden and Labrador retrievers, Newfoundlands, poodles and Saint Bernards are among the breeds at higher risk for CCL ruptures.

“It seems that the bigger the dog, the less desirable it is to spay them early,” says Hamil. In his practice, he recommends spaying or neutering large or giant-breed dogs later than small or medium-size dogs.

Some veterinarians suggest spaying females at 12 to 14 months of age, after the growth plates have closed and between estrus cycles. Hamil says that’s not unreasonable.

A kinder cut?
Vasectomy is an option, although a rather uncommon one, for dogs that participate in sports with their owners. The main advantage is better musculature, which can help with arthritis later in life, says Khuly. A vasectomy prevents procreation but keeps testosterone production.

“I think it makes a lot more sense to consider a vasectomy,” says Khuly. “Males with their testosterone really do have some advantages over those that don’t have their testosterone.”

While experts debate the timing of spay/neuter surgery, they generally agree that the benefits outweigh the risks.

“The disadvantages, although real, are not stark,” Hamil says. “It’s not like if you neuter them they’re going to get [bone cancer]. You would have a very slight increase in incidence, and it’s going to be breed-related … [Whatever the increase is] that’s not a very big reason not to spay or neuter your dog.”

By Kim Campbell Thornton, MSNBC contributor, is an award-winning author who has written many articles and more than a dozen books about dogs and cats. She belongs to the Dog Writers Association of America and is past president of the Cat Writers Association. She shares her home in California with three Cavalier King Charles spaniels and one African ringneck parakeet.

© 2008 MSNBC Interactive

Outtake:

As legislators push for more mandatory spay and neuter laws for pets, critics are crying foul over research showing that such surgeries may raise health risks in dogs.

September 2, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments