Being the dog mom to a sweet princess (Sydney aka Princess Pretty Paws) it’s important for me to know about the health issues that she may encounter as she gets older. I’m excited to introduce Cheryl Major to you, who is familiar with incontinence in female dogs and shares great information…
As anyone who has visited Healthy Dogs World knows, I recently lost my 17 ½ year old shelter dog, Chloe. Although she was amazingly healthy up until about the last week of her life, she was pretty much a million years old for a dog, and had a number of health challenges we met and dealt with as time went by.
During one of our last visits at my vet, I told him again she was my baby, and with his wry sense of humor, he said…”Cheryl, she really is more like your grandmother at this point”. Setting age aside, she was my baby, and we combined traditional vet care with alternative methods and treatments to help her enjoy a long and very healthy life.
Finding an Integrative Vet –
I had switched Chloe to an Integrative Vet when she was about 13 because she had experienced an undiscoverable problem that began suddenly on a Saturday morning (at 5:30 am!). She woke up in extreme pain, and couldn’t stand or shake without flopping over.
We wisked her off to our closest veterinary ER at the time, and after extensive tests and a bill of $1,300, they had no idea what was the problem. The worst part of it was Chloe was still in excruciating pain. We kept her on the pain meds they had given us, and on Monday, I took her to a vet I had taken my other dogs to see years ago when he was a travelling veterinary chiropractor. He now had his own integrative veterinary practice.
Two chiropractic adjustments of Chloe’s pelvis, and she was on the mend. Who knows how that happened, but I was a convert and switched her that week to the integrative vet.
Incontinence in Older Female Dogs – a journey of discovery –
But I ramble…all this is to get to the point of handling incontinence in aging female dogs. Once this became an issue, we tried Proin which is the first go-to medication. Although it is effective in tightening up that little pee-pee, one of the side effects is that it makes some dogs hyperactive. It happened rather gradually; she was on a very small dose, and we didn’t realize what was going on. I thought maybe she was just getting older. Doggie “sundowners” syndrome maybe? Finally, Chloe would spend most of the evening panting and barking at us non-stop. Smart dog…took her humans a while to connect the dots…
Moving on, we were now faced with the decision to put Chloe on DES. DES helps control leaking, but it does have the potential to be the catalyst for a dog to develop mammary tumors. We considered our options and Chloe’s. The biggest concern we had was that Chloe was constantly trying to keep herself clean and not happy about it. We could deal with the cleaning and washing of bedding, etc., but she looked so unhappy. It’s hard to tell a dog you understand, and it’s not her fault (although we told her and reassured her repeatedly).
At the time we were faced with the DES decision, Chloe was approaching 16 years old. The expected time for the DES to affect any tumor growth (we were told) would be approximately 5 years. We weighed our options and because Chloe would then be approaching 21 years old at that point, we chose to try the DES. It worked; she was happier, and we continued down that road.
About a year later when Chloe was almost 17, the DES was no longer working. We introduced a small amount of the Proin, but it drove her nuts again, so that was not an option.
I’m always getting emails and information about dogs and animal care. One evening I got an email that talked about a homeopathic product called “Leaks No More” by a company named Homeo Pet.
I emailed my vet and ran the ingredients by him. He thought they sounded good, so I gave it a try. It was the best thing I could have done. Supplementing the DES with the “Leaks No More” kept Chloe comfortable and dry for the rest of her life. The product is in liquid form, so we dripped the dose of drops on a small piece of bread which absorbed it. Chloe loved bread…down the hatch…easy to give. She didn’t mind the taste, and as I said, the results were amazing! It’s made in the U.S.A., and once the symptoms (leaking) improve, you can find a lesser maintenance dose that will do the trick!
My vet has since recommended other clients try using it for their dogs. Give it a try; I think you’ll be really pleased with the results.
Cheryl Major is a life-long dog lover! She has been a volunteer at The Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA since 1999 and has been on their Board of Trustees since 2008. She was a regular guest on New England Cable News’ popular “Adopt A Pet Segment” for over ten years. Cheryl has been active in the Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets which is a non-funded, all volunteer organization that was instrumental in the passage of important state animal protection legislation: A bill banning the renting of pets in both the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts, and Logan’s Law which banned the devocalization of dogs and cats in the state of Massachusetts. Cheryl’s blog Healthy Dogs World is a labor of love and an ever evolving journey and learning adventure.