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Urinary incontinence in dogs can take many forms, and is defined as involuntary urination that your dog simply has no control over. It may happen when your pet is sleeping, they may not make it outdoors fast enough, or they may continuously drip urine throughout the day. Incontinence is quite common in dogs. Experts estimate that up to 20% of dogs will experience this problem at some point in their life. Once you have ruled out any changes to your pet’s environment, it is correct to assume that the problem is either one of age or a medical condition.
Your veterinarian can offer you advice about your pet’s incontinence. There are some medications available to help tightening the urinary sphincter, surgeries to strengthen weak muscles, and hormone treatments to restore balance, but they are not for everyone. These treatments can be expensive, some have side effects, and they may not always work. In cases when incontinence does not require immediate medical treatment, natural remedies may prove helpful.
There are plant derived estrogens used to treat spay incontinence. They are a holistic remedy usually available with a prescription from your vet. Soy and ground flax seeds are another way to obtain phytoestrogens and can be purchased at your local grocery store.
Use corn silk both as a supportive treatment and as a remedy. Corn silk contains mucilage which has a thick gel-like texture that coats the sides of the bladder. If your pet has a urinary tract infection, corn silk can help to sooth the irritation. It also functions as a mild diuretic. Corn silk also contains phytoestrogens which can help with spay incontinence. Purchase corn silk as a pill or powder for convenience, or you can use whole corn silks to make your own.
This herb works as anti-inflammatory. Saw palmetto ‘s chief contribution, however, is support for bladder control and muscle tone. It also helps balance hormone levels.
Sang Piao Xiao San
This is a Chinese herbal remedy for urinary problems which holistic veterinarians sometimes prescribe for canine incontinence. It is made from the praying mantis egg case and can be purchased in pill form.
Grain Free Diet
Not an herb or treatment, but many vets and pet owners have found that they can resolve difficult to treat urinary incontinence simply by switching pets to a diet of all meat. Grain-free foods and homemade grain-free diets offer good results for some pets and their owners.
This is a popular natural treatment for difficult to treat urinary incontinence in dogs. It works to stimulate the nerves responsible for urinary control. Many dogs need only three to five treatments to restore normal function. If you are interested in this treatment, a holistic veterinarian can tell you more.
The effectiveness of natural, herbal, or alternative therapies for incontinence will depend on the underlying condition causing incontinence and the treatment method used. Your veterinarian’s guidance can help you choose the most appropriate at-home therapy or supplementation.
It may take some time to see the effects of herbal supplementation and dietary changes, but most treatment methods above do not require recovery time or special care specifically associated with the therapy.
A consultation with your vet and related lab testing to diagnose your dog’s condition could cost from $50 to $200-- even as much as $1,500 if imaging scans such as CT or MRI are required. The cost of herbal supplements can start at less than $10 per month, depending on their type, quality, and source, and each visit with a licensed acupuncturist may cost $30 to $150.
Many dog owners find that it can take weeks or months to find an effective treatment for their dog. In some cases, herbal and homeopathic remedies simply do not work. If that is the case, you may find it necessary to return to the vet, who can suggest medical treatments that may help.
Urinary incontinence in dogs is often the result of a medical condition or of aging. Taking steps to maintain your dog’s good health is key in preventing urinary tract issues, such as providing good nutrition and adequate hydration. Keep in mind that your pet’s urinary incontinence is not only difficult for you but it can be distressing and painful for your pet as well. During treatment it may help to keep doggy diapers and pads available to keep messes to a minimum, and have baby wipes on hand. Urine is very harsh on your dog’s skin; use wipes to clean skin that may be in prolonged contact with the urine. Most of all, be persistent and patient. There is very likely a cure for your dog’s incontinence. It is only a matter of finding the one that works best for both of you.
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