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Incontinence Ideas?

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  • Incontinence Ideas?

    I've posted here before about my Great Dane, who for about two years now has had an issue with incontinence. It primarily happens when she is sleeping, and/or relaxed. Unfortunately she mostly sleeps on the couch, so it's a bit of an issue . We discovered a few years ago that a combination of 7.5 mg Meloxicam daily, filtered water, and a chiropractic adjustment every 3 weeks 99% resolved the problem, and have stuck with that plan for a long time. She is also on Prozac and Xanax for anxiety, which is the reason we haven't gone the conventional med route in treating the incontinence - her primary vet feels there is too much risk of increasing her already severe anxiety.

    So, that's been all well and good for a long time, but my chiropractic vet was injured in a car accident last week (not seriously, but enough so that she will be unable to adjust the dog for a while because of the position she needs to be in to do so). I immediately called the other vet in my area that I would trust with this type of work, and have Ella scheduled for his first available appointment. On January 8th . I realize this is a long shot, but anyone have any brilliant suggestions on any temporary fixes we could try until she can be seen? I wouldn't so much mind the damage to my couch (have a cleaning system down pretty well by now), but she gets very distressed about it and often will lick at herself and the couch/bed/floor in an attempt to "clean up," which can't be good for her and drives me insane.

    She does have an appointment with her routine care vet as well, and I'm going to ask them for ideas and also about temporarily increasing the Meloxicam, but I thought I'd see if anyone has any suggestions here as well.

  • #2
    Have you ruled out other medical issues that could be causing the incontinence? There's a bevy of things (diabetes--both mellitus and insipidus, Cushing's disease, renal issues, etc.) that can cause incontinence. In addition, with my Cush pup, when his cortisol is too high, he shows signs of anxiety as well (though not severe--he's just not himself).

    I would do a full blood panel...all it takes is one sample of blood and it might help rule out (or pinpoint) something that could be the cause of the issue which could be easily resolved.

    How old is your dog? Does she also drink excessively?
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    • #3
      Have you ever tried phenylpropanolamine (ppa, prion, propalin)? Assuming everthing physically is ok with her, it may be worth asking the vet if it can be mixed with her current drug regime.

      Strange that chiropractor adjustments and metacam would fix the problem, does she have a sacral issue?

      Also, are you sure the chiropractor is doing anything for incontinence, and not the metacam alone? I do think chiropractics can be wonderful, I just have no idea how to tie it into an inflammed bladder, ectopic ureters, spay incontinence etc.


      • Original Poster

        Sorry, I should have included more detail - dog had a full workup when this problem began, and then routine bloodwork after that - absolutely everything was normal. Her primary care vet really can't find a cause for the incontinence at all, and it doesn't fit the pattern of spay incontinence. She did have a problem when I first got her with some resistant UTIs and crystals in her urine, but (knock on wood), those seem to have been completely resolved by changing her to filtered water a few years ago. BUT, you make an interesting point about Cushing's - I don't know if that was specifically tested for, and I will ask about that at her next visit. I have a Cushing's horse as well, and that observation about the correlation to anxiety is interesting!

        Ella is about 5 (she's a rescue, so that's a bit of a guess, but somewhere close). Actually, she has been drinking excessively in the last couple of weeks, which is on the list to ask my vet about at her appointment, but I think it is just because the radiators came on in my apartment, and it makes the air very dry. I seem to remember having the same panic attack about her last winter . But, since she's on the Meloxicam, I am a bit concerned about damage from that, so was planning on a full blood panel anyway to check. But, overall the incontinence was a problem for a long time without excessive drinking.

        We have not tried PPA - vet feels it is contraindicated for her because apparently it is known to increase anxiety levels in some dogs. Because this dog has I suspect more anxiety than the rest of the practice combined, they feel it's not worth the risk for her and advised against even trying it (evidently in rare cases the increased anxiety can be permanent). We've actually done quite a bit of research on why the chiropractic might be effective (long story, but we discovered it entirely by accident) and the general consensus is that something is pressing on a nerve, which gets resolved when she is adjusted (my vet could explain it far better, and I can't even remember what it is that is always out on her, but it is always the exact same thing). I'm very confident that it is the chiro making the difference - actually we initially were doing just the chiro, which resolved the problem about 85%, and then decided to try adding in the Meloxicam, which made the rest of the difference. For whatever reason, she can go exactly three weeks - almost to the day, it's really weird, and then if we have to reschedule an appointment, she more often than not starts having accidents again within a few days.

        Thanks for the ideas - she is definitely an odd bird, so new ideas are always helpful!


        • #5
          I used a homeopathic liquid called Leaks Away (or something like that) and it worked for my dog and my BO's elderly dog. When I stopped using it it started again but not as often. Acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments took care of it completely even though she wasn't being treated specifically for that. Her Kidney meridien was out of balance---makes sense.


          • #6
            I use PPM and it helped my very anxious dog. I turns out she had a UTI that was caused by constant licking. The UTI made her drink copious amounts of water, which would cause sleep-wetting, which would lead to more licking, A vicious cycle.
            Can your vet give your dog a pelvic exam, or send you to a vet who can?
            Your dog's symptoms ie.. anxiety, licking, drinking, are all consistant with UTI.


            • Original Poster

              Interesting!! I will definitely ask about both, thanks for all of the ideas!!


              • #8
                I had a Dobe who would poop in her sleep or awake. She had cancer and it caused inflammation on some nerves ...that the vet described to me...prevented her from realizing she was doing it. The anti- inflammatory the vet prescribed corrected the problem until we discovered the cancer.


                • #9
                  Hi there - have an older rescue Aussie (10 years young lady dog) that has incontinence issues. nothing major, just some dribbles when she sleeps. I have found that actually contributes to anxiety in her - the being incontinent makes her upset. For us, Proin at the lowest effective dose and a grain free diet have made a world of difference. As in, no problems whatsoever now. I was worried about the Proin, but we're at a half tablet (50 mg tablet so 25 mgs given each dose) AM and PM. The real change though seemed to be the grain free diet - when it was Proin alone it was not as effective. Found the tip on some of the dog message boards and it's been an easy change to make. Good luck!