U and I talking about UI (Urinary Inconsistency)

When your dog’s bladder has lost control, it is known as urinary incontinence. Pee leaks can be minor or significant, depending on their severity. There are numerous possibilities that your pet is suffering from urinary incontinence. Talk to your vet for the best diagnosis and treatment options.

(Dr Manjeet Singh, MVSc Medicine, Royal K9 Pet Care, Chandigarh)

It is common for pets to have urinary accidents around the house or on their bedding. Alternately, the fur surrounding their vulva may appear damp or discoloured (typically pink or brown), or they may lick the area even more or urinate while walking.Behavioural-related urination problems and incontinence are two separate issues. Dogs with incontinence are generally unaware that they have the problem, usually caused by a medical condition.

A dog may experience some level of urine incontinence at some point in life for various reasons. Although it can occur at any age, dogs in their middle to late years are most frequently affected. Urinary incontinence is more common in females, but it does happen in males as well.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

One of the most common signs of incontinence is dripping urine, which can irritate the skin and create redness and excessive licking of the vulva or penile region. You may also observe wet urine spots in the pet’s sleeping area. When your pet urinates, it’s vital to pay attention to whether he is dribbling or urinating on purpose, as well as if he is awake or sleepy.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Many circumstances can lead to development of urinary incontinence. Some of these circumstances may include –

  •  Bladder Stones – Although bladder stones in the urethra do not actually cause true incontinence, your pet may appear to be incontinent as the trapped urine dribbles around the stone. If your pet is dribbling urine along with vocalisations, blood in the urine, or a bloated or tight abdomen, this should be treated as an emergency.
  • Canine Cognitive Disorder – Although urethral bladder stones do not cause incontinence, the trapped pee that leaks around the stone can give the appearance of it. Consider it an emergency if your pet is vocalising while dribbling urine, has blood in the urine, or has a swollen or constricted abdomen.
  •  Hormonal issues – This is due to the smooth muscles of the urethra losing tone, which can happen up to several years after spaying or neutering.
  •  Urinary Tract Infection – Scarring of the bladder lining due to urinary tract infections is possible.

Importance of timely diagnosis

When you bring your pet to the veterinarian’s clinic, they will start by asking for some information from you about the history of the symptoms. This will include details about any additional symptoms that have been seen, if there has been a change in diet or medication, and whether the leaking occurs more frequently at night or during the day.

Standard diagnostic procedures include a biochemical profile, a complete blood count (CBC), and a urinalysis will be performed as part of a comprehensive physical.

The urinalysis is very helpful when treating urinary incontinence. It can assist in assessing whether the patient is consuming too much water by measuring its specific gravity and detecting chemical imbalances that may cause stones. The results of the blood tests will be used to evaluate how well the liver and kidneys are working, look for bacterial or viral infections, and may even show changes in hormone levels. Urine will be cultured if an infection is discovered in order to determine which specific sickness is causing the symptoms. Your pet’s spine, bladder, kidneys, and ureters may be more clearly seen with X-ray and ultrasound technology.

Trust the treatment

Different treatments will be used depending on the underlying cause of this illness. To control this condition and prevent daily accidents, medications are frequently helpful. The available medications for treatment can be discussed with your veterinarian. To help reduce the leaking of urine incontinence, some drugs can assist with complete bladder emptying, while others can directly or by hormone therapy constrict the urethral sphincter. Surgery may be advised in cases of incontinence brought on by bladder stones, a projecting disc, or a congenital anomaly.

Your veterinarian can help with incontinence diagnosis and treatment, so you and your pet don’t have to live with wet spots in the bed or around the house.

Nuances of nutrition management

A common concern for dogs is their urinary tract health. Your pet’s urine can become too concentrated if he doesn’t drink enough water. When cystine stones are present it is also a good idea to increase water intake to dilute the urine. However, a human study has shown that increasing dietary sodium intake corresponds to a higher elimination of cystine into the urine; it is advisable to avoid excessive use of table salt to induce thirst and increase the volume of urine.

With respect to dietary therapy, dogs with a predisposition to developing this type of urolith should avoid diets rich in purines; these tend to be found in large quantities if a foodstuff contains high levels of ingredients such as meat and organs. Protein sources such as eggs and cheese are therefore preferred, or a commercial low-purine diet is widely available. Diets that tend to acidify the urine should also be avoided, and if necessary, the diet should be slightly alkalized by the addition of potassium citrate.

Balanced food with high-quality nutrients that are calibrated for urinary comfort and a healthy urinary tract help to protect your pet’s wellbeing is best suited for all breeds. Royal Canin Urinary S/O dry is a complete dietetic feed for dogs, formulated for the dissolution of struvite stones and the reduction of struvite stone recurrence. Urine under saturating or metastabilising properties for struvite and/or Urine acidifying properties.

Feed Urinary S/O dry for 5 to 12 weeks for the dissolution of struvite stones and initially up to 6 months for the reduction of struvite stone recurrence as this helps lower the concentration of ions contributing to struvite and calcium oxalate crystal formation.