There are two types of incontinence. The first one is urine while the second one is fecal. Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. Fecal incontinence, on the other hand, is the inability of a dog or cat to control his bowels.
When your pet is sleeping or resting, there is a possibility that involuntary passage of urine may occur. When your pet stands, you may notice a urine leakage. It can vary from a small wet spot, or it can be a good-sized puddle.
It is important that as a pet owner, you know that your pet is not intentionally leaking urine. Your pet has no control of what's happening. It is not a behavioral problem; it's a medical issue. You should not punish your dog for doing this. It is very important to treat urine dribbling as a medical condition which requires a medical diagnosis, rather than a behavioral problem.
Some of the causes of urine leaking may include trauma to the central nervous system, damage to the pudendal nerve, bladder diseases, kidney or adrenal glands (such as Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, or diabetes), bladder stones, birth defects, and urethral obstruction.
Other known causes of urine dribbling are hormonal imbalance, an age-related incontinence, and feline leukemia.
Hormone-Induced Urinary Incontinence
The most common reason for involuntary urine leakage is hormone-induced urinary incontinence.
If your pet has been spayed or neutered, the sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) are no longer available. This often leads to urine dribbling.
Hormone-induced urinary incontinence is very common in spayed female dogs and somewhat less common in neutered male dogs. These are typically very healthy and vibrant pets that just happen to continuously dribble urine anywhere from multiple times a day to just once or twice a year.
Treating Urinary Incontinence
Glandular therapy like Standard Process glandulars, Symplex-F for female dogs and Symplex-M for male dogs can be used as a treatment for hormone-induced urinary incontinence. Natural, biologically appropriate hormone replacement therapy can also be done.
Synthetic hormone replacement drugs can cause many problems in female dogs the same that happens to women who take them. Natural plant-based hormone therapy is compounded for your pet's specific hormone imbalances based on sex hormone blood test results.
There are also a few excellent herbal remedies such as corn silk, horse tail, and lemon balm. There are a lot of great nutraceuticals that are specifically formulated to help with incontinence.
Acupuncture can be done to stimulate the pudendal nerve. Chiropractic can also do a great job to keep the central nervous system work properly.
Fecal incontinence is almost always caused by the colon and brain not communicating properly and effectively. The nerves that control the colon should send a message to the brain when it's time to go outside. For example, there is a problem with the lower back, degenerative myelopathy, arthritis, peripheral myopathy, atrophy, muscle weakness, a spinal tumor, or a condition like myasthenia gravis - the communication pathway is compromised, and your pet isn't aware nature is calling.
Older pets' anal sphincter can lose its ability to hold their feces efficiently.
Another cause of fecal incontinence is parasites. If your pet has diarrhea for a long time, then there can be damage to the muscles of his rectum, which can also contribute to the problem as well.
Other causes of fecal incontinence may include an abscess or infection of the anal glands, medication, a dietary issue, or a perianal fistula.
Owners of pets who has fecal incontinence might find accidents around the house. The pets could inadvertently pass feces when he uses his abdominal muscles in standing from a lying position, or when jumping up on a couch, or in any similar situations that require using the abdominal muscles.
Your pet might also poop while walking without him knowing that he's doing it. It can also happen while your dog is sleeping. Excessive gas and abdomen swelling are common in cases of fecal incontinence.
As a pet owner, it is important that you find the underlying cause of your pet's fecal incontinence. You vet will want to do a complete blood profile which includes a chemistry profile, urinalysis, CBC, and a fecal analysis to check for the presence of an infection or parasites. Additional diagnostics such as X-rays may be done as well.
Chiropractic and acupuncture are also helpful in these cases. Aligning the vertebral bodies and stimulating the nerve fibers that communicate between the colon and brain can help reduce incidences of fecal incontinence.