Perhaps the most important part of the title to note before continuing to read is that this article is about your dog’s peeing on its bed, not yours. Of course, if you let your dog occupy your bed then the problem will basically be the same but the potential health dangers are extended.
As for your furry friend, if they are suffering from a medical condition known as hormone-responsive urinary incontinence it is not anyone’s fault. Owners often jump to the conclusion that their best friend has a behavioral problem because they are peeing on the bed, and while this may be true it is not likely to be connected to the peeing problem. Anyone who has had a housebroken dog knows they would rather internally explode before doing a number 1 or 2 in the house.
An odd thing about this condition is that the dog is usually not aware he is leaving his DNA behind. They think everything is normal, and most dogs don’t check behind them. The peeing is an involuntary act, and usually happens when they are sleeping. People have to think about holding it in, and dogs who do not have this condition essentially do the same thing. But if you aren’t thinking about it then your body would likely respond in the same way. You may think of it as bedwetting but without any behavioral or housebreaking problems.
There are two basic states of hormone-responsive urinary incontinence. The first is the one that we have spent time discussing, where it is a little dribble here and a little dribble there. With this condition it is not something that happens every day, so it is easy to overlook and think that it is just a one-time thing. The second type is more severe and when your dog constantly dribbles to the point where there is a trail they leave behind them.
Without going into the medical details, it can be said that it is far more common than thought of because everyone may be looking the other way – literally – and not notice the problem. Being spayed seems to aggravate the condition since a study showed that about 20 percent of spayed dogs have the condition. This leads to another point, which is that if you think your dog is suffering in the common use of the word, they’re not. The reason is they are unaware of the problem and just go merrily along their way. Older dogs are more likely to have the condition because it is related to the urethral sphincter muscle, a muscle that wears down over time. (Some people can relate to this very well.)
Treatment of the condition primarily is based on giving your dog a drug called PPA or phenylpropanolamine. You may have heard of it under the name of Dextrim which was once used as a weight loss supplement. Its use was discontinued because studies showed there was an increased risk of stroke in people who regularly used the supplement. However, studies have been conducted on using PPA on dogs and there is no evidence it negatively affects your pooch, so you’re safe to go.
A problem with PPA is that it must be given to you by your veterinarian, as it can easily be used to create meth, the addictive and destructive human drug. PPA is closely related to adrenaline, not estrogen, as some people who write about. But the good news is that once you get the medication your dog will very likely stop their peeing in short order. Some articles written about hormone-responsive urinary incontinence treatments suggest that estrogen treatments are an alternative, but PPA is safer and more reliable because it interestingly is closely related to estrogen.
As a dog owner, when you notice the problem keep track of it for a short period of time to determine its severity. You may not even need to take them to the vet as the problem will resolve itself over time. But once you realize it is time to take action, get them to the vet and have the problem treated immediately. Remember, the best treatment for hormone-responsive urinary incontinence is PPA, and the only person who can legally dispense the medication is your veterinarian. But more importantly your dog may have another medical condition that requires a different or more urgent treatment. Only your veterinarian can make this diagnosis, so when you take the dog be sure to write down the problems they have been having over the past few weeks to help the vet with the diagnosis and treatment.