How do I prevent my dog from leaking urine?

 |  Jan 18th 2007  |   1 Contribution

Dr. Barchas,

My dog is 11 years old, and she has been leaking urine. What can I do to
make her stop?

Thank You,

Campbell, California

Urinary incontinence (leaking urine) is a very common problem in dogs. Untreated, it can spell disaster for your carpets and furniture, and potentially for your relationship with your pet. Fortunately, most cases of incontinence respond well to treatment.

Urinary incontinence is most common in mature (middle-aged or older) female dogs. In these dogs, the problem is related to changes in body hormones. The changes impair the dog's ability to hold her bladder, and as a consequence urine leaks out.

Medications are available to treat this problem. The most commonly prescribed one is called PPA (short for Phenylpropanolamine), and is given one to three times daily as needed.

Before starting PPA or any other medication for incontinence, it is important to have a vet examine your pet and ensure that a different medical condition is not to blame for the incontinence. Bladder infections, kidney problems, diabetes, neurologic disorders, and several other syndromes can cause incontinence and require different types of treatment. However, if your veterinarian confirms that PPA is appropriate for your pet, then the odds are good that you will be able to control the problem.


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