Urinary incontinence is another very common presentation in the veterinary clinic, especially in middle aged to older dogs, and much less commonly in cats. Urinary incontinence can have many potential causes in pets, ranging from simple urinary tract infections, bladder stones, inadequate hormonal levels in spayed or neutered animals, as well as tumors in older pets. Pets with urinary incontinence typically leak urine involuntarily, either while at rest, sleeping or even sometimes when walking.
Any pet who presents with urinary incontinence should have a veterinary evaluation, which should include at a minimum a urine analysis to look for infection, and/or the presence of crystals. Depending upon the results of initial urine testing, other diagnostic tests including blood work and x-rays may sometimes be indicated. If the urine testing comes back normal, then a pet may be diagnosed with true incontinence.
In these situations there are several options of treatment, including low dose hormone therapy with either testosterone or low dose estrogen (known as DES). Probably the most common prescription drug used for incontinence in pets is the drug Proin, whose main ingredient phenylpropanolamine increases the muscle tone around the urethra, thus lessening the chances of leaking urine. Because some veterinarians have concern over long term side-effects of these drugs, many holistic veterinarians will often try more natural treatment options, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and/or homeopathic remedies. The combination remedy Leaks No More (from HomeoPet) is a common choice of holistic veterinarians. Whole food supplements from companies such as Standard Process have also been helpful in some casers.