Q. My dog seems to have urinary incontinence. What should I do about it?

A. Common causes of urinary incontinence are:

- Hormonal imbalances (mostly affecting elderly female neutered dogs)
- Urinary stones
- Urinary tract infections
- Spinal injury or degeneration
- Prostate disorders (males)
- Congenital abnormalities
- Anatomic disorders

If your dog is incontinent you should consult your veterinarian so that a cause can be identified.

Thorough clinical history, physical exam, urinalysis and possibly further tests will help determining the cause.

The most common cause of urinary incontinence in first opinion practice is certainly the one affecting female neutered, elderly dogs and it can often be effectively managed through medications.

From a pet parent's perspective, it is important to keep your pet clean to prevent skin inflammation and infection. Clean blankets and towels can be piled where your dog likes to spend most of its time.

Consider using incontinence pads to help maintain hygienic conditions. Collecting a urine sample in a clean pot, 15 minutes prior to examination, might help your vet to formulate a diagnosis.

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