Involuntary passing of urine in dogs is called 'incontinence in dogs'. The reasons for such an act are many. It could be due to the abnormalities caused in the brain or abnormalities in the spinal cord. Such abnormalities might not help the dog to control the passing of urine. Infections in the bladder or the urethra might also lead to incontinence in dogs. There are also diseases that might cause the pet to urinate quite often and these are not incontinence. Sometimes submissive urination is also confused with incontinence.
It is found that females are more prone to incontinence; however both the genders are affected with incontinence. Among the affected the older dogs are more often affected by incontinence. In most of the cases of incontinence it is found that the root cause is the incompetent sphincter of the urethra. Sometimes a stone or a tumor in the path of the urethra might block the urine and this causes a pressure in the bladder and urine might leak. In this condition the bladder might be enlarged. The condition must be treated immediately if there is accumulation of urine as this might be fatal in some cases.
Birth defects in the pups could also be one of the reasons for incontinence. In the birth defects the ureter which carries the urine from the kidney bypasses the bladder and connects in some unusual location like the urethra. This causes the urine to leak without any control over it. Some of the breeds that have such birth defects include miniature poodle, Siberian huskies, collie, wire-haired fox terrier, Labrador retriever, Welsh corgi and West Highland white terrier.
While diagnosing incontinence in dogs factors like age of the pet, presence of bacteria in urine, and dilution of the urine are considered. While you take your dog for the diagnosis of incontinence you have to note down whether incontinence occurs while the pet is at rest or in action, at what age it happens, whether normal urination is possible, other medications taken by the dog, the amount of water taken by the pet daily, how often urination happens, and any other signs in your pet. These factors would help the veterinarian diagnose the condition quickly and effectively and start the treatment. Blood test and X-Rays might be needed for proper diagnosis. Blood tests are done to see if there are any other diseases or damage to the kidney. X-Rays help to identify any problem in the urinary tracts of the dog. Dye may be injected before taking an X-Ray if needed.
Improper urination due to behavior problems can be corrected with proper training of the pet. If the problem is with the ureters then surgery may be needed to correct that problem. If nothing is identified specifically the drugs for incontinence might be given to cure the condition. These drugs might strengthen the muscles in the urinary bladder to hold the urine. Drugs like Ephedrine, PPA, and estrogen might be used. The medication that is used mostly in the treatment of incontinence in dogs is Phenylpropanolamine which is called as the PPA.