FAQ for Pet Owners

Q: What is urinary incontinence?
A: Simply put, urinary incontinence occurs when your pet loses control of its bladder. It can result in a few unexpected drips or considerably more inappropriate elimination.

Q: What is causing my pet’s urinary incontinence?
A: Unfortunately, that’s a question that simply can’t be answered by a website. Inappropriate elimination could be caused by medical or behavioral issues, or a combination of both. Talk to your veterinarian about it.

Q: Will it be obvious if my dog has urinary incontinence?
A: Not necessarily. You might find the obvious signs, like a puddle of urine on the floor. But it could also show up as nothing more than a damp spot in the dog’s bedding or a faint urine smell. Keep your eyes (and nose) open and talk to your veterinarian about any changes to your pet’s behavior.

Q: Are some dogs more likely to have urinary incontinence than others?
A: While any dog can experience urinary incontinence for a variety of reasons, as many as 20 percent of older spayed females suffer from it.

Q: My dog urinates when the family leaves the house. Isn’t that just separation anxiety?
A: Maybe. But separation anxiety is usually accompanied by other behavioral signs, such as acting anxious when people act like they’re about to leave, inappropriate chewing or scratching, etc. But even these signs aren’t enough for you to make a diagnosis at home. Talk to your veterinarian about it.

Q: What are the treatments for urinary incontinence?
A: Treatment depends on the cause. Possibilities range from surgery to estrogen therapy, to an FDA-approved formulation of phenylpropanolamine. Or, if the problem is caused by a urinary tract infection, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics. That’s why it’s vital that you talk to your veterinarian, so she/he can diagnose the problem and make the right call on treatment.