Bladder Control

Possible diagnoses for dogs that suffer from frequent urination.


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Q. I have a Cocker Spaniel named Abbey. Her problem is that she urinates everywhere. We never actually catch her in the act, but there are pee spots all over the house. In fact, we have a doggie door and she uses it all the time when we are home, but she is an indoor dog because my husband and I work full time. Is there anything we can do? We did buy her a diaper, but that doesn't work when she has to go outside. Is there some kind of pill we can give her or do you think she is just marking her territory?

Dr. Jon GellerA. The first thing to do when a dog has unexpected urinary accidents is to take her to your veterinarian to have her checked out medically. There is a strong possibility that she has a urinary-tract infection, which can cause an urgency to urinate often.

Other diseases that cause frequent urination or loss of bladder control include diabetes, kidney disease and other hormonal imbalances.

In older female dogs, there is sometimes a loss of bladder control due to decreased estrogen in the bloodstream and decreased urinary sphincter tone. Cases like these can be treated successfully with phenylpropanolamine, which is only available to veterinarians.

Once medical causes have been ruled out, you should consider this a reversion to a housetraining problem, and retrain your Cocker.

Jon Geller, DVM

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