Spay Incontinence

Some female dogs develop incontinence immediately or some time after being spayed; it can also happen at the end of a season in unspayed females.  The latter is not such a problem because the dog is typically wearing sanitary pants anyway and the problem subsides after a few days.  It’s best to check for diabetes and bladder stones first, and in male dogs, prostate problems, if you detect urinary difficulties. 

A dog that has been housebroken and suddenly begins urinating in the house probably has a medical problem that needs to be investigated. Also, be aware that submissive urination is normal for dogs; if you have a very submissive dog, try not to lean over or frighten the dog because acting in a dominant manner can trigger an instinctive response to squat and urinate. This is more common in young dogs; just as children typically have some bed-wetting incidents, a young dog will not have perfect bladder control.

In spay incontinence, the dog doesn’t seem to know when she needs to pee.  This can be frustrating and messy.  A number of medications have been used to control the problem, some with fewer side effects than others. As far as we know, no one has been successful in teaching their dog to do Kegels.  ];@})

German Shepherd Portrait
The most obvious med to use is a hormone replacement called stilbestrol.  This is a pink pill with a sugar coating that can be cut into sections if your dog becomes nauseated after swallowing a whole pill.  It’s usually effective, but if there’s been any nerve damage the results may vary.
Red & Rust Dobe pup

Another popular remedy is ephedrine.  This is the drug that makes you “pee like a racehorse”.  Athletes have used it to enhance their energy level, so of course it can make a dog hyper.  It can even cause hallucinations when used over time.  If you have a dog that is nervous during thunderstorms, ephedrine will make things worse and the dog may not be happy taking this medication. Moreover, the pill has a bitter taste that makes the dog want to spit it out.

Other options are Sudafed, a brand of pseudoephedrine. Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), has worked well for some; this is a drug found in some prescription decongestants sold in Europe. The product sold for dogs is called Proin, a brand name, and Propalin.

There are herbal remedies like cornsilk that have worked for some, and others find that eliminating grains from the diet works for some dogs.  You may have to experiment and take precautions in the meantime.  Diapers for dogs are available, and mattress pads with a plastic lining can be found.  Even something like a plastic table covering can be placed under the washable cover of a dog bed.

Probably the best course of action is to join a newsgroup for your breed and find out what others have tried and the dosage range for your breed and size of dog. Of course, consult your vet after doing your research.

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