There’s not much more concerning than waking up in the morning and finding that your dog peed the bed. It’s embarrassing for dogs too. More than embarrassing, it’s important to discover the underlying cause and figure out what needs to be done – some causes of urine leakage can be painful.

Leakage tends to be a dog problem, but even cats can have issues with urinating in their sleep. It tends to be a female concern, but males can also have leakage problems. Nighttime leakage tends to be a problem of older animals as well.

Questions to ask when evaluating the offending spot:

  • Is there a red tinge or signs of blood?
  • Is it a large spot or small one?
  • Does it stink/have a strong odor?
  • Has your dog been licking her vulva (girl parts) frequently?
  • Has your dog or cat been drinking increasing amounts of water?
  • Are there any other changes in behavior?

If the urine spot has a red tinge or red blood clots, your pet very likely has a bladder infection, may have bladder stones, or may even have bladder cancer, all of which can be painful. When the discoloration is red, it’s a sign you should take your pet to your veterinarian for urinalysis and possibly radiographs (x-rays) and bloodwork ASAP. Often, a foul odor also suggests an infection and need to go to your veterinarian. If there is an odor present but your conventional veterinarian does not find infection, it is reason to seek help from an holistic veterinarian (there could be a pH or fungal/yeast issue).

Changes in behavior, such as drinking more water now than previously, also suggest the need to go the veterinarian – it could be diabetes, an infection, kidney disease, or many other issues – any of which can cause discomfort. Drinking excess amounts of water but having no “conventional“ reason for it, is another indication to go to a holistic practitioner to get to the bottom of the issue.

Once all of the above is ruled out and your dog or cat is still leaking urine, it’s time to consider holistic options. It can be frustrating to find “no underlying cause”, at least according to conventional medicine, because obviously something is wrong if your pet is leaking urine. Typically, the conventional recommendation is to start medication for leakage. Sometimes the medication doesn’t work, sometimes it has side effects, but ultimately, it’s important to find the underlying cause – which is often possible through alternative modalities.

The good news is there are many holistic methods to help with urine control. Any “body work” method that restores motion in joints and allows muscles to contract and relax fully will not only reduce body pain, but help with urine control. These methods include

  • chiropractic,
  • massage,
  • canine fitness,
  • acupuncture,
  • energy work
  • and more.

For many pets, any of these types of body work are enough to prevent urine leakage. Because we all move in this world and are at the mercy of gravity, and pot holes, it’s not uncommon to need “body work” sessions every 3-4 weeks. And, because there are no side effects as with conventional medications, it’s better for the overall health of your pet to pursue body work methods to help with urine leakage.

Next week, a discussion of urine control will help explain why conventional medicine might not find anything “wrong“ but your dog or cat may still leak urine; understanding the mechanisms of urine control help you prevent your pet’s discomfort, and possibly pain.

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