Incontinence in a male dog can be a serious medical condition; it can signify the beginning of a serious disease such as cancer. Consequently it is essential to recognize and react to the symptoms of male dog incontinence as soon as they arise.
Causes of Male Incontinence
Male dog incontinence can be caused by stress, blockages, infection, excessive thirst, spinal cord injuries or a weakened bladder. In certain cases it can be a sign of prostate disease or cancer. If your dog is suffering from incontinence, no matter how serious, it is always a good idea to take him to a vet. Elderly canines usually suffer from incontinence when their hormone levels drop; younger canines often suffer incontinence soon after they are neutered.
While the condition affects all breeds of dogs, certain breeds are more prone to developing incontinence than others. These include Siberian huskies, Welsh corgis, miniature Poodles, wire-haired fox terriers, Labrador retrievers and West Highland white terriers.
It’s important to understand the difference between your dog scenting or marking his territory and your dog suffering from incontinence. Basically when a dog leaves a scent by urinating, he is doing it voluntarily, but when he is suffering from incontinence he is unaware of what he is doing.
The following signs will be present if your male dog is experiencing incontinence: Urinating in sleep, involuntarily urinating during the day, excessive urination and frequent licking of the genitals.
Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence
As soon as you notice signs of urinary incontinence in your male dog, you should take him to a veterinarian. The veterinarian will test the urine for bacteria and for the underlying causes of urinary incontinence. From there he can diagnose the best method of treatment.
Treating Male Dog Incontinence
The type of treatment you provide your dog depends on whether the incontinence was caused by a bladder infection, a blockage or other conditions. In most cases the vet will prescribe your dog a course of medication.
Since it tightens the bladder muscles, phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is the most common medication prescribed for male dog incontinence. If your dog is suffering incontinence due to low hormone levels, the vet will give him hormone injections and replacement therapy.
If you prefer, there are herbs that can cure urinary incontinence in male canines. For example you can put corn silk in your pet's food, the dosage depending on your dog's age, size and weight. However, it will not have the more immediate of effect medication.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Simon Thomas has worked as a writer and journalist since 2004. He has contributed articles to several online publications, including Smashing Magazine, an art-and-design e-zine. Thomas holds a B.A. in film and media from Winchester University.