By Pamela Bouchard, DVM, DACVA
VCA Tender Care Animal Hospital
Urinary incontinence occurs most often in middle-aged, spayed female dogs. Often it starts with just a few drops of urine found on your dog’s bed or someplace else where it has been sleeping. Sometimes you just see the dog licking her vulva more often.
Unfortunately, urinary incontinence can evolve into a constant drip, and eventually you may notice large puddles of urine soaking the dog’s bed. It can be very difficult to manage this problem, and also embarrassing for the dog!
When you see your veterinarian to address this problem, she will first want to do tests to make sure there is not a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, or, less likely, a tumor.
While there are western medicines that can control the symptoms of incontinence, these drugs may also have negative side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine provide good alternative solutions for urinary incontinence without those side effects.
Traditional Chinese Medicine understands disease in terms of patterns of energy flow. There are several different energetic patterns underlying the weakness that results in incontinence. A holistic veterinarian will need to examine your dog, feel the pulses, and study her medical history to know which herbs to use.
Once the correct herb is found for an individual patient, it can control urinary incontinence very well. It can also strengthen the patient in deeper ways than just controlling symptoms, and strengthen the patient’s basic constitution.