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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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Canine incontinence after bladder stone surgery.

Resolved Question:

My dog recently had bladder stones and had surgery. She has been on antibiotics for 14 days for UTI and post-op surgery. Today, is the 16th day and she has been incontinent of urine x2 , which is very abnormal for her. I had started her on cranberry capsules to aide in urinary health and restarted oral steriods (after post-op period) for skin allergies that she has and has taken many times before. She is eating a Science Diet especially for canines with bladder problems and drinks only distilled water...what would have made her have these incontinence episodes?? She is usally sleeping when they occur and she wakes up with urine all in her fur and on area where she is lying. I am very worried since she has had surgery for bladder stones twice already, in July 2005 and again in July 2006....she is 7 years old and very well disciplined with her training prior to all of these happenings........Thank You......Glenna Little
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gen B. replied 10 years ago.

Hello and thanks for researching this important question!

Recovering from cystotomy (incising the bladder to remove stones) can take quite a bit of time...the muscles and nerves in the bladder and abdominal wall must heal in order for complete urinary control to resume. Loss of control during sleep can occur during this process. Complications from scar tissue can occur when multiple surgeries have been performed on the bladder, although this is a pretty "forgiving" muscle.

***Using the steroid treatment will increase her kidney output, thus filling her bladder more quickly...this can certainly contribute to the control problem that she is experiencing post-op. Please let your vet know that you are using this medication--steroids can interfere with healing of surgical incisions.***

***However, it is not uncommon for a female dog to have bladder sphincter control problems when her estrogen source (her ovaries) are surgically removed (humans also experience this!). This is also more often reported as a dog ages. Urinary accidents do occur in the sleep of pets affected in this way...if your dog has been spayed (has had her ovaries and uterus removed), this is something to consider discussing with your veterinarian.***

A medication called phenylpropanolamine (say it "fen-ill-pro-pan-ole-ameen") is often prescribed for simple urinary incontinence. Sometimes a dog will not be completely helped by the phenylpropanolamine (often abrev. PPA for short!), and a compounding pharmacy is contacted to make a dose of estrogen replacement therapy!! Just as in people, this is not always safe and should be considered by you and your vet with her size and health history in mind. What is commonly used is called "Diethylstilbesterol", or DES (say it: die-eth-ill-still-best-er-ol).

***Please contact your vet's office to report this slow recovery. A veterinary surgeon would certainly want to be made aware of any problems a patient is having after surgery.***

If you need additional support at this time, please click “Reply”.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Gen B.'s Post: Thanks so much for the did not comment on the use of cranberry capsules to help control urinary problems...this would be appreciated...Thanks again, Glenna Little
Expert:  Gen B. replied 10 years ago.

I would be happy to...a few questions related to that:

What stones were removed from the bladder?

What is the exact name of the food you are using?

Does she have any kidney problems that you are aware of?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Gen B.'s Post: The stones were analyzed as calcium based, the food the vet prescribed, Science Diet C/D and she had no problems until last year of July 2005 when the first surgery was done for bladder stones.. I feed her snacks based with either chicken, or lamb and rice....Thanks so much for your trouble.....Glenna Little
Expert:  Gen B. replied 10 years ago.

Ok...Hill's Canine C/D is used to control certain food ingredients that can contribute to stone development. It is also tailored to provide a more acidic urine.

Cranberry is used in homeopathic medicine to produce a more acidic environment in the bladder as well, so it does not counteract the diet therapy prescribed.

***Please verify with the vet if the stones removed were struvites (magnesium-based) or calcium oxalate. The therapies used with these two stone types are quite different.***

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