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My Pet World: Urinary incontinence in dogs can be frustrating to manage

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

We have a seven-year-old Chihuahua mix. She has a problem leaking urine all of the time. We took her to the vet and she was checked out and had an X-ray, but they couldn't find anything wrong. They recommend a specialist, which costs thousands of dollars for testing. We do not have that kind of money. She is healthy, has a good appetite and drinks plenty of water. We have had her 1-1/2 years. Any ideas on what this might be or what we can do? She goes outside to the bathroom, but if she lays on the floor, we have puddles. -- Gaila, Las Vegas, NV

Dear Gaila,

I am glad you took your dog to a veterinarian for an examine since this is probably a health issue and not a behavior issue. I understand that expensive tests are not something most pet owners can afford, but it would be difficult to know what's causing her incontinence without them. I think at the very least, you should ask your veterinarian or the veterinary specialist what they suspect might be the problem or what they are looking for with the tests, so you know better how to proceed.

As mentioned above, there are medications that can help with bladder health. Some veterinarians, if they strongly suspect something, also might be willing to try a treatment to see if it will help the dog. If the treatment works, great. If not, then you and your veterinarian will know there is something more going on that needs to be checked out.

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If the puddles are too much to keep up with, reusable doggie diapers will work in this instance too.


(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)



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