Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
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I haven't posted here in a long time, and have become more of a lurker, but I haven't seen this topic discussed before so I thought I would start this thread to see if anyone here has ever dealt with this issue with any dog.
Salsa has been diagnosed with spay incontinence. It seems to be a mild case right now, but I guess she will have it her whole life. Spay incontinence results from estrogen levels that drop too low after a dog has been spayed. Due to the low estrogen levels the bladder sphincter muscle loses tone and this causes the dog to leak urine when sound asleep. It happens to about 10-20% of female dogs at some point in their life. Salsa is about 2.5 years old and was spayed when she was 6 months. I'm not sure whether early spay (before first heat) has anything to do with it. Studies have been done on that, but the conclusion seems to vary. Salsa is perfectly housetrained and hasn't had an accident in the house since she was a puppy. The problem so far is only occasional bedwetting (she sleeps in a crate) about once every 2 weeks. It has happened 4 times so far. She is sound asleep and gives no indication that she needs to go outside to potty. The only way I know is her tail and bedding is a little damp the next morning.
The vet prescribed Proin (PPA), decongestant that was in Sudafed. It was taken off the market for humans because it could cause strokes, but seems to be relatively safe for dogs. It helps tighten the bladder muscle, but can have a side effect of irritability in some dogs. The second choice drug for the vet to prescribe is DES (estrogen), but that can cause mammary cancer or anemia. There are a number of herbal remedies out there which seem to work for some dogs. I am trying one of those first and am hoping that since her case is mild that one of those will work. Too soon to tell though.
If anyone has had any experience with this I'd love to get some input. I read a bunch of reviews of the herbal remedies and only one was from a havanese owner. I think the problem is more common in larger breed dogs.
Debby & Salsa