Is Female Incontinence a Sign of Canine Addison’s Disease?Posted: January 18, 2010
A couple months after adopting our border collie, Shakti, we noticed that she would leave pools of urine when she was lying down. Our veterinarian told us that female incontinence is common in spayed bitches (due to a lack of estrogen and a weak sphincter muscle), and prescribed her DES (diethylstilbestrol). What he didn’t tell us is that incontinence can also be a sign of canine Addison’s disease. A few short months after she started on DES, Shakti had a full blown Addisonian crisis.
While there are many reasons for incontinence (including bladder infections and the reason stated above), unbalanced electrolytes (one of the hallmarks of Addison’s) can lead to incontinence. This could be in combination with excessive drinking (polydipsia), so if your dog is incontinent and drinking a lot, it’s worth getting their electrolytes checked.
Excessive prednisone (one of the drugs used to treat Addison’s) can also cause polyuria/polydipsia. Prednisone can also cause other side effects in dogs too: skin problems, hair loss, depression and lethargy are just a few. Lowering the dose of prednisone may help alleviate these symptoms.
If your Addison’s dog is stabilized and incontinence is still a problem, ask your vet for DES. Holistic treatments include wild yam, corn silk, licorice, or bovine ovary, or a blends such as RESOURCES Canine Incontinence Support“>.
DVM News Magazine: The Proper Use of Oral and Topical Corticosteroids.
Washington State University: Addison’s Disease.