Dr. Corynn Johnson recently answered a San Francisco Chronicle reader’s Ask the Vet question on the topic of an older dog’s urinary accidents:
Q: My otherwise healthy 15-year-old male poodle mix is suddenly experiencing incontinence. He’s house-trained and has always used the doggy door, but is now having accidents (not just dribbles but full puddles) en route to the door. What shall I do?
A: There are many causes of urinary accidents such as the ones you describe in an older dog, most of which can be managed with medication or lifestyle changes. True incontinence typically involves voiding of urine while sleeping, or involuntary dribbling of urine while standing or walking. The large puddles you are observing do not sound like incontinence. Instead they suggest that your pet may be having a difficult time holding his urine either due to increased urine production or discomfort.
The list of possible reasons for this is long, but things to consider include a bacterial urinary tract infection, bladder stones, kidney disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, bladder tumors or a neurological condition.
Your pet should be seen by a veterinarian, who can perform a physical exam and discuss any other symptoms your poodle may be experiencing. Bring a fresh urine sample collected the morning of the appointment if possible. Your veterinarian may suggest blood work, urine analysis, abdominal ultrasound or other tests to determine the source of your dog’s urinary accidents and the best course of treatment.
- Source article: Poodle mix’s accidents likely an age issue, not incontinence (SFGate.com)
- More: Pet health information on the urinary system
- Ask the Vet archive (SFGate.com)