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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32834
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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We have an 11yearold irishsetter who is in no pain and

Customer Question

We have an 11yearold irishsetter bitch who is in no pain and seems healthy for her age who can no longer hold her urine for no longer a few hours we have to get up to let her out in the middle of the night is there a pill avalerble to help her hold herself
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dr. Kara and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about Molly's inability to hold her urine overnight.

It is possible that she has a urinary tract infection and the inflammation is causing her inability to hold her urine at night or for long periods. However I would expect her to have some symptoms when she is awake as well, such as frequent urinations, straining to urinate or licking at her vulva.

Another possibility is that she has some sort of early internal organ disease (diabetes, liver or kidney disease) that is causing her to drink more water such that she simply can't hold it overnight.

Other possibilities are some spinal arthritis that is affecting the nerves that control continence and causing her to feel that she has to urinate because of poor muscle control or if she is spayed then she may have hormone related incontinence. The lack of estrogen can weaken the urethral muscles causing urine to leak when they are deeply asleep and increasing urgency to urinate.

She needs to see her veterinarian for an examination, urinalysis with culture to look for infection and possibly some blood tests to look for abnormal organ function if her urine looks abnormal (very dilute or has protein or glucose in it).

If this is related to weak urethral muscle function due to lack of estrogen medication such as phenylpropanolamine (PPA) can help that, and if it is related to spinal arthritis then treating that with anti-inflammatories as well could help.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
No I could have gone straight to the vet and saved myself money I asked if there was apill to help I knew the rest
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry that you were unhappy with my response. I strive to give accurate answers and I understand that isn't always what you necessarily want to hear. Without knowing why she cannot hold her urine I don't believe that anyone can recommend a "pill" to help. It is possible that a medication can help, and I mentioned a few based upon her possible causes, but until we know why she is behaving the way she is we cannot help her.
I will opt out, perhaps someone else can give you the answer that you are looking for.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
My moderator has asked me to see if you still need help. Dr. Kara gave you an excellent synopsis of why Molly might not be able to hold her urine and discussed how you might address this. You commented that you already "knew the rest" and so I'm puzzled, then, that you didn't also know that there were medications ("pills") that could help Molly. To summarize for you...

If a urinalysis confirms that Molly has a urinary tract infection, an antibiotic will be prescribed for 10-14 days. Two days after the antibiotic course has been completed, another urinalysis or culture of her urine should be performed to ensure that her urinary tract has been sterilized.

If a urinalysis doesn't find evidence of infection, a urethral incompetence is diagnosed and either PPA as mentioned above or an estrogen compound such as DES or estradiol is prescribed.

If Molly's history includes her being polydipsic and polyuric (increased thirst/increased volume of urine), the etiology for those symptoms needs to be identified and treated before her incontinence abates.

A neurogenic etiology is less likely and is usually found comcomitant with spinal disorders which would cause problems in locomotion.

Please continue our conversation if you wish. If none of the above has been worthwhile, please contact [email protected] to have your deposit refunded.