Dr. Hilary Slaven
We frequently see dogs that have been potty-trained for years and suddenly have a lapse – and now they are urinating inside the house. This is never a good thing and we can help!
The first thing we do in these situations is get a good history from you, the loving and observant owner. We will ask questions like: how long has this been a problem? Does it happen overnight as well as during the day? Is the dog straining to urinate? Does your dog act like he is very thirsty? Does your dog leave puddles when he sleeps? Are you finding big puddles or small puddles? Does your dog have a good appetite? Any vomiting or diarrhea?
The next thing to do is to get a good physical examination of the dog. We look in the eyes, listen to the heart and lungs, feel the belly, and take a body temperature. This will give us clues as to what the problem is, and help us to determine what tests we need to run.
If you can, try to keep your dog from urinating before coming in to see the veterinarian. We like to get samples of urine and test it for infection. Sometimes that urine sample can be caught as the dog is urinating, and sometimes it’s best to get a “clean” sample by inserting a needle directly into the bladder. If you are able to get a sample of your own, put it in a clean disposable container, seal it, and refrigerate until you can bring it in. Samples should be run within 24 hours for best results.
After we run tests for infection, sometimes it is necessary to get an x-ray of the belly, to check for kidney and bladder stones. Many stones show up in this way and tell us whether or not we need to address this problem. Some stones can be dissolved with a special diet, while others need surgery to remove them.
Bloodwork is sometimes necessary to rule in/out other diseases that can cause frequent urination, like diabetes and kidney disease. Sometimes dogs become incontinent or have cognitive problems as they age, which can result in inappropriate urination.
We can help with urinating problems, give us a call!