Urinary Incontinence

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Urinary Incontinence

Postby Hank » Sat Nov 22, 2003 3:20 pm

I was wondering if it is possible to induce sporadic urinary incontinence in a bitch following spay surgery? My 9 month old pup occasionally loses control of her bladder. This usually happens within two hours or so of exercising, after which she will consume massive quantities of water. I've always chalked it up to the water intake but, although she had this problem periodically before surgery, it has been worse since I had her spayed 2 months ago. Whenever she drinks a large quantity of water I know I will have to let her out frequently over the next several hours or she'll have an accident. In spite of this, she'll still wet herself occasionally and sometimes she'll even do it in her sleep. This is not a situation where she squats to pee either. It just starts coming out. The urge seems to come on extremely rapidly and she is obviously not in control of it. Yet, once those first 2 or 3 hours pass after a large intake of water, she will be fine again. I rountinely crate her during the night and she has no problem holding it for 8 or 9 hours. Is this just because of excessive water intake or has spaying caused a hormonal imbalance that makes it more difficult for her to control her bladder? It's getting to the point where I have to make her stay in the kennel for several hours after exercising or she wets on something.
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Postby hicntry » Sat Nov 22, 2003 3:54 pm

Hank, the vets tell you that it spaying greatly reduces the chance of a bitch getting cancer. It reduces it from the odds of about one out of thirty getting cancer. They make it sound much worse. Another thing they don't tell you is that about 30% will suffer problems with incontinece for life from the spaying. They have medication that you can give her...for the rest of her life to alleviate the problem. Spaying is a money making deal for vets and the things they do not disclose to peole is one reason that vets are not my favorite people. Most of them rate right up there with lawyers.
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Postby Hank » Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:52 am

Hycntry,

Like I said in my post, she's always had this problem to a certain degree, so I'm not convinced it's the spay surgery. She does drink WAY more water than she really needs after exercising. If I control the amount of water she drinks, then I don't have a problem with her. It just seems odd that when she does have a problem, it is virtually spontaneous. In all fairness to my Vet, he actually tried to talk me out of spaying her. That was my call because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of keeping her isolated whenever she went into heat.
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No Problem

Postby hicntry » Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:51 am

She has always been incontinent and your vet told you the possibilities up front. Can't ask for more than that. If this is the case...why are you asking??? Personally, I would rather deal with them being in heat once every six months rather than on a dailey basis forever.
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Postby Hank » Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:30 am

The Vet tried to talk me out of spaying her because he thought I should breed her. He never said anything about incontinence. I'm asking because I was wondering if spay surgery is known for aggravating such a condition. I've never discussed the incontinence issue with my Vet because I was always convinced it was a water intake problem. However, now that the dog is old enough to have better control over her bladder and seems to be even more senitive following her surgery, I guess I'll have to talk to him about it and put her on medicine if necessary.
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Postby Tony » Tue Nov 25, 2003 11:04 am

Hank,

Before the spay surgery, was she incontinant or was she just having trouble with house-breaking (did she pee in her bed or while sleeping?)?

I've always spayed my bitches if I didn't want to breed them and I've never had a problem with incontinence, but I know just as many spayed bitches with incontinence problems as 7-8 y/o intact bitches with cancer.

I'm not sure how old your dog is, but if she was incontinant before the surgery, I would talk to the breeder about replacing the pup. If she was just having trouble with house-breaking before the surgery, I would talk to the vet about estrogen supplements to help control her incontinence.
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Postby Hank » Tue Nov 25, 2003 12:58 pm

Tony,

She had sporadic accidents before the surgery but I'm not sure it is fair to call it incontinence or not. Like I said, water intake has always had a big influence on this. She was pretty easy to house break and knows when a bowl movement is coming on. For example, she would head for the door when I was about to let her out but sometimes would pee on the stoop if she had to go badly. Not squating to pee like she would if it was intentional. It just came out while she stood there waiting to be let out. I know others who've had problems like this with young dogs, especially if they got excited, but they eventually grew out of it. Now that she is 9 months old and physically about as big as she'll get, I had hoped she would too. Unfortunately, she still has accidents. Since her surgery, I've seen her drink a large amount of water after vigorous exercise and then pee on herself while sleeping an hour or two later (she did this up at hunting camp this year). When she was younger and I had a pet sitter come by to walk her at noon, she would occasionally have an accident in her crate if the sitter didn't listen to me and restrict her water intake. I have an old futton I allow her to use as a dog bed (it was used by my old dog). Several times in the last two weeks she has peed on it while lying there. Maybe the problem is no worse since I spayed her. It's hard to tell. However, it wasn't until after her spay surgery that she began having problems peeing on herself while she slept. When I crate her at night she never has a problem holding it until morning and I can't remember the last time she had an accident in there. That's because I won't let her drink any water at least an hour before bed time. On the plus side, it has been awhile since she's had any more "sudden" releases at the door while waiting to be let out. That would seem to suggest she has some control.

I hate to give her up because of something like this. The biggest problems always occur if I exercise her and then allow her to drink water unrestricted before letting her inside. In the mornings before I go to work I don't care how much water she drinks because she stays outside in the kennel (and I have never seen any evidence that she has peed on herself while inside the dog house). At night when I come home, however, I only allow her to drink a modest amount of water following exercise. Then I deny her any more water until she has cooled down and stopped panting. At that point, her water consumption resumes a more normal rate- aka occasional sipping. She seems to be in better control of herself when I regulate her water intake in this way. When she has really been worked hard and allowed to drink her fill, I've seen her just about drain a 2 quart bowl. That's alot of water for a 45 lb dog to absorb in one shot!
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Pros & Cons

Postby sherrie » Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:09 pm

I knew this family who would let their GSP swim until she'd about drop. Then she'd go to sleep and occasionally pee on herself. I think she was just exhausted and didn't wake up quick enough to go b/c she was fully potty trained, and spayed too boot. They started sending her outside before she was too deeply asleep and she quit. We spayed our 7 yr old girl, who was fine before & after. We've also spayed a 1 yr old who's been fine before & after. I think if you watch the water intake after her exercise and let her out right away she'll be fine. She shouldn't drink to get cool, she should drink b/c she's thirsty. And perhaps make her go again after an hour. As she gets older, I imagine she'll have more & more bladder control. GOOD LUCK!

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Postby MikeB » Wed Nov 26, 2003 1:01 am

Extreme thirst and frequent urination are classic signs of possible Diabetes. I would have her checked to make sure. Could be the cause and if it is then medication could get her back to normal and solve all the problems. Something to think about.
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Postby Hank » Wed Nov 26, 2003 8:26 am

Mike,

I don't think it is diabetes. She onlys displays "extreme thirst" after vigorous exercise. When she isn't being run, her thirst level is normal and she doesn't drink that much. I get the impression she drinks water after exercise because it makes her feel cooler. This morning it was pretty cold, so she seemed to drink less. I'm just going to monitor her water intake more closely when I know she'll be inside and see if she has any more accidents.

Sherrie,

Your GSP's problem sounds like a water intake problem too. Every dog I've had will swallow a significant amount of water when doing a lot of water retrieves. I had to watch my old dog after she swam alot because if I let her in too soon she'd have accident. Heck, I've known guys who would drink alot of beer really fast, then pass out and pee on themselves. The excessive intake just overwhelms thier ability to control their bladder. I'm hoping this is all it is with my dog.
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Moot point

Postby sherrie » Thu Nov 27, 2003 12:20 am

But it wasn't my dog. A family we knew from a dog we sold them out of a kennel in Canada. Poor thing, she looked like a roadster at the end. Ass was higher than her head. Although our male came in once and just let her rip when he was overtired and waterlogged. If they can be embarrassed, he was. Gotta watch them b/c they try to tell us what they can, when they can. I think your dog is just exhausted and drinking to get cool. Let us know that she is doing better.

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Postby MikeB » Thu Nov 27, 2003 1:13 pm

OK I will agree with you Hank and Sherrie too. I guess it is just like kids wetting the bed while sleeping. Something is not telling the brain to wake up. Watch the water intake and maybe get her to pee before she goes to sleep. Was she ever trained to pee on command during her housebreaking training? That might make it easier for you to control her urine if you can teach her to pee when you give her a command and then she will be empty for sure. Just a thought.
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Postby Hank » Sun Nov 30, 2003 2:55 pm

Yes, she will pee on command and that helps. I took her out of town this weekend and haven't had any problems since I began to watch her water intake more closely.
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Great!

Postby sherrie » Sun Nov 30, 2003 9:37 pm

"Yes, she will pee on command and that helps."

Is sure does! Glad she's doing better.

Good job.

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