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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21437
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My mother in law has a 12 year old dog that has been diagnosed

Resolved Question:

My mother in law has a 12 year old dog that has been diagnosed with Cushings Disease. The dog seems happy in herself at the moment but is incontinent in the night and cannot be left alone for long periods without wetting, needing to be let out hourly. The treatment for Cushings is not affordable and they do not want to put the dog down while she does not appear to be in pain. Dog diapers have only limited success as she is a fairly large dog. Can the incontinence be treated another way, without the full Cushings treatment?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Now I am very sorry to say that there isn't really a way to overcome her incontinence without treating the underlying cause. The reason any other incontinence treatment would fail due to its not actually tackling the reason for her signs.

In regards ***** ***** reasons for her signs, was you may know she is overproducing her steroid hormones. This overproduction induces increased urinary output (so the urine tends to be more dilute as well) and when this happens, her bladder fills more quickly, she needs to go more often, and she can have accidents or leakage (since needing to go that much isn't something she has had to face all her life). As well, as her body pushes so much fluid out of her, she in turn needs to drink a lot to keep from becoming dangerously dehydrated. And I would just note that you do not to give into temptation of restricting water (as some people do) as this wouldn't solve the problem but instead risk harm in causing her to dehydrate.


Unfortunately, the side effects of Cushing's disease are difficult to treat without treating the disease itself. This is because there is no way to stop her body overproducing urine and pushing fluids from itself without stopping the overproduction of the steroids hormones (which is what that unfortunately expensive medicine does). Therefore, there are no real alternatives that we find success with. The only options would be to consider training her to use puppy pads (example) so that she at least only urinates in the house where she is allowed, restricting her to non-carpeted rooms when you are out for easy clean up, or seeing if you can afford the treatment via the cheaper online pharmacies (example 1, example 2).

Please take care & all the best in the new year,
Dr. B.
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