Dobermans are at a higher risk of incontinence than other dog breeds, and as frustrating as it is for both owner and dog, you must understand that it isn’t your dog’s fault. The sooner you identify what’s causing your Doberman to leak urine, the better so that you can promptly treat him and put an end to his discomfort.
Dobermans leak urine for several reasons, but a urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common. In addition, UTI and other urinary complications might be related to kidney disease, particularly with older dogs. Aside from UTIs, other issues such as arthritis, spinal and neurological problems can contribute to a leaky bladder.
If your Doberman is leaking urine, it’s natural to seek answers. So let’s explore possible reasons why your buddy is incontinent, and particularly the signs of a UTI.
Let’s also look at ways to treat your dog’s leaky bladder using tried-and-trusted home remedies.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has A Urinary Infection?
Not every Doberman with a urinary infection will show signs of the disease, but most will display specific signs of the illness like:
- Frequent urination and in small amounts
- House soiling
- Urine with a strong odor
- Incontinence, painful urination
- Pain in the abdomen
- Crying or whining when urinating
- Presence of blood in their urine
It’s unusual for young male dogs to have incontinence issues. Still, if you have a male dog leaking clear liquid, this is because he has a weak urethral sphincter, which bladder stones or a congenital anomaly could cause.
Bladder stones, among other conditions like tumors or polyps in the bladder, can cause cystitis, one of the main reasons your dog is peeing in small amounts or has pink-tinged urine.
If your dog is straining to pee or you see some pink coloration, you can almost be sure your Doberman has cystitis.
It’s more common for older male dogs to have a urinary infection; some of the signs include dribbling of urine when out for a walk, lying down, or even after urinating.
Female Dobermans are more likely to have incontinence than their male counterparts. If you have a female dog who leaks urine from time to time, it could be due to her age.
Middle-aged to senior spayed females are prone to a condition known as “spay incontinence.” This type of incontinence is due to lower estrogen levels, resulting in a loss of muscle tone in the urethra.
In certain other cases, the leakage could be caused by a weak bladder. The clinical signs of female canine urinary infection include:
- Urinary dribbling
- Behavioral changes
- Signs of discomfort
- Involuntary loss of urine
- Severe eczema
- Unpleasant odor
It’s less common for puppies to have urinary tract infections. However, House training a puppy takes time as they are only learning to control their bladders.
However, this indicates a possible UTI when your little buddy is not progressing as he should and continues to dribble, pee or pee when he lies down.
You could also have a puppy who leaks urine suddenly even after being completely house trained, which is also a cause for concern.
Dogs can get UTI from holding pee, so be mindful not to force your dog to hold his bladder for long periods regularly. The urination cycle helps dogs flush out bacteria and toxins that build up in the bladder, kidney, and urethra.
Suppose your dog is leaking urine and wobbly. In that case, this is an indication of a condition known as degenerative myelopathy, which affects the nerves in the lower spine and causes weakness throughout the body, including incontinence.
There is no known treatment for this condition, and the average lifespan after a diagnosis is between one to two years. All you can do is to make life as comfortable for your pal as possible.
Do Old Dogs Lose Bladder Control?
Old dogs, especially older females, are more prone to involuntarily losing control of their bladder: Leakages can range from small leaks to larger amounts of urine.
Many older dogs might need to be taken out to urinate as frequently as when they were puppies.
You can help your older dog with bladder control by first talking to your vet to confirm the diagnosis and determine a cause.
If your older Doberman is diagnosed with incontinence, there are some things you can do to manage it and make your dog’s life more comfortable:
- Place waterproof pads on your dog’s bed to absorb leakage
- Provide sufficient hygiene to prevent related skin infections
- Bring your dog out for more walks or let him out into the backyard more often for potty breaks
- Use doggie diapers
It’s frustrating when you find your senior dog peeing in the house, but if your dog has medical incontinence or is dealing with an emotional issue, it cannot be helped, and he may not even be aware of what he’s doing.
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You must bring your older dog to the vet to rule out any medical issue that is causing him to urinate indoors.
Older dogs tend to pee more often than younger dogs; they tend to get more UTIs and experience urinary issues related to kidney disease. Kidney disease makes dogs drink more water which in turn makes them urinate more.
If you’re accustomed to sharing your bed with your Doberman, your bed will be one of the places your dog urinates when he’s older and loses control of his bladder.
You mustn’t punish your dog or yell at him as this won’t stop the behavior. Instead, you must identify the reason for the inappropriate urination and take steps to address it properly.
Can Incontinence In Dogs Be Fixed?
Incontinence can often be cured if not controlled, but your vet must first look at your dog’s medical history and conduct a physical exam before making a diagnosis.
For example, if your vet diagnoses your Doberman with a bacterial infection, your dog will need antibiotics. If he has a hormone imbalance, your vet may recommend hormone therapy. Female dogs may require estrogen supplementation.
Estrogen-based medications provide enough estrogen to improve urethral tone and relieve incontinence.
Can I Treat My Dog’s UTI At Home?
You can treat your dog’s UTI at home using natural products in early cases of the disease. For more advanced cases of UTI, you must take your dog to the vet rather than treating it yourself.
The faster you act to treat your dog’s UTI, the better, as it can gradually become a kidney infection.
Water is the most natural way to help dogs deal with incontinence. When your dog drinks lots of water, it dilutes his urine and can help to cleanse the bladder as it carries the harmful bacteria, expelling it from the body.
Regardless of your dog’s condition, good hydration is essential for your Doberman’s health and can prevent many diseases.
You can encourage your Doberman to drink more water by offering him a lot of bowls of freshwater. You can also mix water in with his kibble. Dogs love ice cubes, so give those liberally to your dog.
Yogurt is also suitable for dogs with mild UTI, as the live cultures can help get rid of a UTI. Probiotics have antibacterial properties and can reduce the pH of your dog’s urine.
Cranberries are also helpful to treat dogs with a UTI as they too lower urine pH levels preventing bacteria from developing in the bladder. However, it’s best to provide your dog with a suitable cranberry treat for dogs as they are generally safer and not too sweet.
Many dog owners also swear by apple cider vinegar to help relieve a bacterial UTI by overriding the bad bacteria in the bladder. However, since many dogs dislike the tangy taste of apple cider vinegar, it’s best to provide water or food alongside it.
Dog Incontinence Surgery Cost
There are several surgical techniques to fix your dog’s incontinence issue, all of which are similarly successful. These techniques include:
- Urethropexy for male and female dogs where the urethra is fixed into position. The cost for this surgery can cost between $300 and $1,600. In most cases, the cost for the procedure includes anesthetic, medications during the procedure, and monitoring of vital signs, including the cost of aftercare post-surgery.
- Colposuspension only for female dogs. Here the urethra and bladder neck are held in position to improve continence. The cost can cost between $1,000 to $4,000. The total cost typically includes diagnostic imaging, blood work, and tests required before surgery. Many dogs need medication following surgery which is also included in the cost.
- Prostatopexy only for male dogs. Here the prostate gland helps to anchor the positioning of the urethra and bladder neck. The cost of this surgery is between $300 to $1,000.
- Minimally invasive collagen injections for the bladder neck using a camera positioned in the urethra. The cost for treatment is usually about $1,000 but may need to be repeated when they become less effective over time.
When you notice any signs of incontinence with your Doberman, you must consult your vet immediately to confirm a diagnosis and find out what is causing it. Make sure your dog is well-hydrated; otherwise, his condition can worsen.
Hopefully, you understand that lack of bladder control is common in older dogs and not enjoying what’s happening to them either. Love your dog no matter how frustrated you feel, and try to make him more comfortable while he’s dealing with this medical issue.
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