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Never Punish Your Pet for This Accident!

Video: Urinary Incontinence in Dogs and Cats

Dr. Karen BeckerBy Dr. Karen Becker – HuffPo

Please note this article 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.

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.

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. 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. 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. Some dog breeds have more of these types of from-birth plumbing problems than others.
• Urethral obstruction. Obstruction of the urethra can also cause involuntary passage of urine. A tumor can obstruct urine flow and cause dribbling. So can urethral stones.
• 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 treating the problem naturally.

I successfully treat cases of hormone-induced urinary incontinence with glandular therapy, as well as natural, biologically appropriate (non-synthetic) hormone replacement therapy and a few excellent herbal remedies.

I also 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 are potentially toxic with side effects that can create more problems than they solve.

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.

For more by Dr. Karen Becker, click here.

For more on pet health, click here.

Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. You can visit her site at: MercolaHealthyPets.com.

Her goal is to help you create wellness in order to prevent illness in the lives of your pets. This proactive approach seeks to save you and your pet from unnecessary stress and suffering by identifying and removing health obstacles even before disease occurs. Unfortunately, most veterinarians in the United States are trained to be reactive. They wait for symptoms to occur, and often treat those symptoms without addressing the root cause.

By reading Dr. Becker’s information, you’ll learn how to make impactful, consistent lifestyle choices to improve your pet’s quality of life.

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July 13, 2014 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Decide what type of pet is best suited for your family’s personality and lifestyle

 

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Choose the right pet for you and your family

1. Dogs require more attention, time and energy than cats do, so if you don’t enjoy walks or hikes in the outdoors, or can’t imagine getting up on cold winter mornings to take your pet out to potty, a cat may be more your style.

Breed characteristics differ, so if you’re looking for a lapdog, you should look into a less-active breed. If you or other members of your family are very active outdoors and plan to bring a pet along, a hardier, more active breed is a better fit.

Some pets require daily brushing and grooming, others don’t require nearly as much.

Your chances of having a long-lasting wonderful relationship with a pet increase dramatically when you give serious thought to the type of animal that best suits you, and choose accordingly.

Train your dog for a lifetime of obedience

2.  Behavior problems are the number one reason dogs are relinquished to animal shelters, the number one reason they don’t find new forever homes, and as a result, the number one reason dogs are euthanized.

From the day you bring your puppy or adult dog home, you should begin teaching her commands such as come, sit, stay, and down. A puppy should begin formal training at eight weeks, and if you adopt an adult dog that has received no obedience training, you should enroll her in a class right away.

It’s also good idea to take your dog through a refresher course every few years, or when you need help with the inevitable behavioral glitch that will pop up as she ages.

Apply house rules consistently

3. As I discussed in my video What You Need to Know Before Bringing Home a New Pet, it’s very important for each member of the family to be on the same page when it comes to what your pet is and isn’t allowed to do in your home.

If one family member lets the dog bark at outside noises, but another family member corrects the behavior, you confuse the dog. If you don’t mind the kitty drinking from the bathroom sink but your husband does, decide which way it’s going to be and stick with it.
When your pet knows what to expect from his behavior, he will be much more inclined to do more of what you approve of and less of what you don’t.

Limit treats to training rewards

4. This is an excellent way to make sure your dog views treats as special rather than expected. It’s also helpful in keeping your pet from becoming overweight or obese.

Feed a species-appropriate diet, and partner with a holistic or integrative vet to maintain your pet’s well-being.

Socialize your pet

5. This is especially important for puppies. Again — behavior problems are the number one reason dogs don’t stay with their families and don’t get adopted by new families.

Lack of proper socialization can result in inappropriate fears, aggressive behavior, general timidity, and a host of other behavior problems that are difficult to extinguish once a dog is mature.

The ideal time for socialization is between three and 12 weeks for dogs; between two and eight weeks for cats.

Help your pet be as active as nature intended

6. Exercise and play time are necessary for your pet’s mental and physical well-being. If you don’t give your dog opportunities to be physically active, or if you don’t encourage exercise for your kitty and find ways to make it happen, you may well end up with a bored, destructive, overweight pet whose health will spiral downward throughout her lifetime.

Find ways to enrich your pet’s environment

7. Your dog or cat needs your help to stay mentally stimulated. This is important not only to discourage destructive behavior in younger pets, but also to keep your older pet’s brain sharp.

Make sure your pet is in good company

8. Pets get lonely and depressed just like people do when they spend too much time alone. Cats are generally better on their own, but dogs and especially puppies don’t do well left to their own devices for extended periods of time.

If you’re regularly away from home 10 or 12 hours a day or you travel out of town weekly for work, a dog might not be the best choice for a pet. If you already have a dog and find yourself away from home for extended periods, make arrangements with a friendly neighbor, relative, dog-sitter or a pet daycare center to give your pup the time and attention you’re not able to.

Keep a pet-friendly home

9. Keep a pet-friendly home. Your dog or cat is a part of the family. If she’s a kitty, she needs her own litter box in a quiet, out-of-the way corner, a scratching post or tree, her own toys, and a nice cozy spot for napping.
Your dog needs his own cozy spot as well, preferably a crate, a comfy bed that’s his alone and a selection of appropriate toys.

Understand that in households with pets, accidents will happen. Have the right cleaning supplies on hand, and learn the best techniques for removing pet stains.

Help your pet be the best pet he can be

10. Train your pet by setting him up to succeed. There’s a reason for everything your dog or cat does, and the reason rarely if ever involves being deliberately disobedient.

You should never physically punish your pet. It brings the animal pain and fear, and it gains you nothing. It’s a lose-lose situation. Please don’t do it.

Your job as a mistake-proof pet parent is to figure out the reason behind the behavior, learn how to encourage what you want to see more of and how to discourage inappropriate behavior.

With dogs, this usually involves additional training or behavior modification. With kitties, it involves arranging your environment to discourage behavior you want to extinguish.

Dr. Becker

    June 27, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Getalife Petrescue: Vaccinations & Plenty of Good TIPS!

    Vaccinations & Plenty of Good TIPS!

    Vaccinations: What you Need to Know

    The most important thing for you to know is that annual revaccination of your pet is unnecessary! This information is based on scientific studies conducted by Dr. Ron Schultz, a very well respected veterinary immunologist. What continues to amaze me, is how few people know about this important information. The studies I am speaking of were done over 10 years ago. This is not new information. The truth is that the majority of veterinary practices continue to not only offer annual revaccination, they insist upon it.

    We have become a nation of over-vaccinated and over-medicated people and animals!!! Time to educate ourselves and to use common sense!!

    Over vaccination can be hazardous to your pets health. Vaccines have been linked to a number of autoimmune diseases: interstitial nephritis in cats, pancreatitis in both dogs and cats, Addisons, Cushings and thyroid disease. Other diseases that can be triggered or worsened by vaccines are: seizure disorder, allergies and cancer.

    To protect your pet:

    1. Vaccine selection should be based on risk assessment. There are a variety of vaccines on the market for dogs and cats and not all of them should be given to every pet. The AVMA has set guidelines for the core vaccines (what they feel every animal should have).
    a. Core vaccines in dogs are: Distemper, Parvo and Rabies.
    b. Core vaccines in Cats are: FVRCP and Rabies
    c. Core vaccines in both dogs and cats have been scientifically proven to provide immunity for 3-7 years.

    2. 3 year vaccines are readily available for the core vaccines in dogs.

    3. Non-adjuvanted vaccines (those that are supposed to be less likely to cause Feline Sarcomas in cats are currently only labeled for 1 year. This does not mean that they don’t provide immunity for a much longer period. It just means that the manufacturer has not done studies to prove duration of immunity.

    4. Titer tests are available for both dogs and cats. These tests will show if the pet has antibodies to the diseases tested for which is one indication that the pet remains protected. Titer testing costs more than vaccinating but is the safer alternative.

    5. Vaccines are labeled for use in healthy animals only. If your pet is sick with either an acute or chronic illness, he/she should not be vaccinated. This means that animals diagnosed with seizures, cancer, cushings, addisons, thyroid disease, allergies just to name a few should be deemed too sick to vaccinate. As we mentioned above, the fact is they probably don’t need to be revaccinated anyway!
    I have to say that this is probably the hill I will chose to die on. Why? My practice consists mainly of the treatment of chronically/terminally ill animals and I continue to see other veterinarians vaccinating these pets prior to their coming to me for treatment.

    If you are not my client, I want you to know that as the advocate for your pet’s health, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE VACCINATIONS, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR A 3 YEAR VACCINE OR TITER TESTING. Just learn to say NO! Your pet will thank you.
    The photo at right is a picture of an injection site sarcoma in a dog, that was taken by my good friend and colleague, Dr. Patricia Jordan, while researching her book, “Mark of the Beast”, on vaccine damage. To see more of her photos, click this link: http://www.jordanmarkofthebeast.com/gallery.htm

    Renal Disease in Cats linked to FVRCP Vaccination

    I have attached a research study that clearly shows a link between vaccination with FVRCP vaccination and interstitial nephritis in cats. Kidney disease is one of the most common problems facing our feline animal companions and vaccination with a common feline vaccine can cause or worsen that condition. I have been telling my clients about the dangers of over vaccination for years and I am still trying to spread the word that this routine procedure carries risks when done too frequently. Scientific studies are available that clearly show most vaccines given to small animals provide effective immunity for up to 7 years.

    Cats already suffering from renal disease should never be vaccinated.
    If you know someone who is still vaccinating their cat annually, please share this article and help save a life.

    This is a new program for me. If for some reason the attachment is not present and you would like a copy, email me directly at drmarcia@creatingwellbeings.com and I will send you one.

    Feline House Soiling: No Easy Solution

    One of the most difficult problems I face as a veterinarian is the issue of house soiling. I think this is probably the number one reason that people re-home or euthanise their companions.

    I would like to say there is an easy answer to the problem, but I would be lying. House soiling generally requires a multidisciplinary approach.

    1. Rule out physical causes of the condition: at minimum I would want to run a urinalysis, a urine culture and an abdominal radiograph. The few tests will rule out: bladder infection, diabetes, crystalluria and bladder stones as the underlying cause. In an older cat, I would want to add a CBC, chem profile and a T4, to rule out renal insufficiency or other metabolic illness and hyperthyroid disease.

    2. Address diet: cats fed a dry food diet are much more likely to have crystalluria and associated cystitis. A raw food diet is the most species appropriate diet for all cats. If this is not an option, then a high quality grain free canned would be the second choice. For more information on feeding cats: http://www.felinefuture.com/

    3. Address litter box issues: My friend and feline homeopathic vet, Andrea Tasi has addressed this very well, click the link to see the full article: http://kingstreetcats.org/Dr.%20Tasi’s%20General%20Litter%20Box%20Suggestions.pdf

    4. Emotional issues: House soiling is often triggered by emotional upset and stress. Try and identify any household stress: personality clashes between cats, new human household members, death of either an animal or human friend, move to a new home, construction. Bach flower remedies and felaway spray and plug ins can be helpful.

    5. Boredom: all animals need mental stimulation. Cats in the wild spend a great deal of time hunting. Toys and activities that simulate stalking and capturing prey can be very helpful in alleviating boredom.

    6. Treatment: The conventional veterinary treatment if the changes mentioned above fail to help, is the use of sedatives and other psychotropic drugs. Classical homeopathy can also be very effective in treating these animals.

    Homeopathy: The Best Treatment Choice for Your Entire Family!

    As most of you already know, I consider homeopathy to be the most amazing form of medicine available for the treatment of humans and animals.

    Dana Ullman is one of the world’s premier homeopaths and homeopathic educator. Follow this link to listen to him explain how homeopathy works: http://www.youtube.com/user/HomeopathicDana#p/a/u/2/xedLd9djgyg.
    Dana’s book “Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines”. Is an excellent reference for you to have for treating ACUTE illnesses in your family members. Remember that acute illnesses are those that are naturally self-limiting: the flu, food poisoning, minor injuries, etc. These are quite readily treated at home with a minimum of homeopathic knowledge. However, chronic illnesses such as: allergies, cancer, thyroid disease, etc., should only be treated by an experienced and well trained homeopath. In the near future, I plan to offer a course in homeopathic first aid to help you feel more confident in this treatment modality.

    If your pet has an acute illness, remember you can also call me for a phone consultation ($15/5min + 20/5 min case analysis and remedy selection) and I can prescribe for your pet over the phone and hopefully save you a trip to the veterinary emergency room. If I feel that your pet is too sick to be treated without diagnostics or hospital care, I will refer you to a veterinary clinic or emergency room. Avoiding ER visits is also the new wave in human medical care with telemedicine consults becoming more available.

    Homeopathy has always offered this service as it is a modality that lends itself easily to phone consultation.

    I also recommend that everyone read “Beyond Flat Earth Medicine” http://www.beyondflatearth.com/ which is available as a free online read. It is a fun book that does a great job of explaining homeopathic theory and will really help you become a true advocate for your family’s health.

    For More Information!
    Visit my website and my blog:
    http://www.creatingwellbeings.com
    http://www.drmarcia.wordpress.com

    Min-Pin LOVE @ GALPR♥

    Homeopathy Beyond Flat Earth Medicine, Second Edition

    February 12, 2010 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Winter Skin-Saving Tips For Your Pooch

    Know how your skin gets dry and itchy in winter? Your dog’s skin struggles with cold weather, overheated houses, and low humidity, too. Here’s how to keep your pooch itch-free:
    • Brush your pup(s) often. Even shorthaired dogs need help sloughing off dead skin cells. Brushing stimulates circulation and kicks up production of natural moisturizers from oil glands.
    • Shampoo less often. Experts warn that weekly baths remove much-needed lubricating oils.
    • Keep your own shampoo — even the gentle one — on the shelf, and use a moisturizing doggie-formulated one.
    • If dry skin persists, take Fluffy to the vet. Itching can be a sign of something more serious. 

    Source:  DogAge

    November 20, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment