Spay Incontinence - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Spay Incontinence

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
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 03:46 PM
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Oh, dear. I'm so sorry Salsa has this! I've not heard of it before. I hope the herbal remedy does the trick!!

No advice, just a hug.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 05:03 PM
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A couple of our spayed female farm dogs had incontinence problems as they aged. They slept on the screened porch with indoor/outdoor carpet so we needed to try to do something for them. The shots did them a lot of good and (it's been years ago so I may not be remembering exactly) it seems like they only needed the shots about every 2 or 3 years.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 05:40 PM
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So sorry to hear about little Salsa. My brother's doberman has this problem. I've never heard them call it "spay incontinence" but they described it to me as her bladder muscles being loose. She leaks urine when she sleeps, it only happens when she's laying in her bed/on the sofa etc. She takes medicine that my sister in law described as similar to sudafed. So it seems like the same condition you are describing. Since she's been on the medicine she is fine & no longer leaks. My sis in law was very upset when it first started happening b/c she is a big dog and would leave big stains on the furniture and her doggie bed. But, she's so much better now and doesn't have any leaking unless my sister in law forgets to give her the meds. I think she is about 6 yrs old now, this probably started 2 or 3 yrs ago. She has no other health issues and the medicine hasn't caused any visible side effects thus far.

Good luck with Salsa, I hope you find a good remedy. Maybe you could find a vet or a specialist that is into more alternative medicine who could give you some suggestions other than the two pills you mentioned.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 05:54 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this with Salsa. After I read your post in the other thread I did some reading on it and found someone mentioning they used a clicker to train the dog to wag their tail and that helped to excercise the muscles sorta like kegel excercises. ?? They claimed it worked for their dog, so you might want to try it to see if it could help. Also did your vet feel that acupunture could help?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 06:22 PM
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No advice. but hugs and belly rubs. she is such a sweet girl, I hope you can find a harmless solution for the both of you.

Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to post an update. The herbal remedy seems to be working! Salsa has not leaked any urine at night for over a month. I keep a white towel in her crate and check it every morning to look for any urine stains. I'm using Azmira's KidniKare which is formulated specifically for incontinence. She gets 3 drops twice a day in a teaspoon of yogurt or chicken broth. It's like a treat for her and she tolerates it well.

I tried the prescription Proin for 4 days and was not happy with that at all. I gave her only half the dosage the first day and then reduced it to one fourth. She threw up twice and was very lethargic and acted like she didn't feel well. I read tons of reviews and while it seemed to help most dogs with the incontinence, some dogs didn't tolerate it well and there were a few scary reviews of dogs that had seizures or a stroke after having just one or a few pills. I don't think it's worth the risk.

From what I've read so far, when giving herbal supplements you should give little breaks, like 5 days on 2 days off, and a week off after 6 weeks because the herbs tend to lose their effectiveness if continued nonstop. There's several different herbal formulas and I was thinking it might be a good idea to alternate between them every few months to avoid that buildup effect.

Debby & Salsa
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Salsa's Mom View Post
Just wanted to post an update. The herbal remedy seems to be working!
WONDERFUL NEWS!! I'm glad to hear you found something that is working for her!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 02:53 PM
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I know I already told you in person, but yay!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 03:31 PM
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Hope it continues to do the trick. My son's family is having this problem with their female Corgi. I will pass this information on to them so they can at least do some research.

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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