A fairly common reason for an animal to be brought out to the clinic is that it is having “accidents” in the house. There are several reasons that your pet may be having accidents, the most common being an infection in their bladder. Typically both dogs and cats with an infection will have to urinate frequently and often strain to urinate. Cats will make several trips to the litter box and spend extra time there trying to urinate. Owners may see blood in the urine. Other conditions causing these types of symptoms are crystals in the urine, uroliths or stones and in cats especially it can happen from stress, immune system dysfunction, or a growth in the bladder. A urine sample can help us differentiate these conditions. If stones are suspected we will want to take x-rays.
Pets will sometimes start having accidents the house if they start drinking large quantities of water, resulting in having to urinate more frequently. Conditions that cause pets to drink more water include diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or hormonal conditions like Cushings disease and uterine infections. Though we still often want to check a urine sample for a pet that is urinating more and drinking more – these conditions are often diagnosed by a blood work up.
Sometimes we get reports of dogs leaking urine in their sleep. Most often this occurs in middle age or older female dogs. The most common cause is relaxation of the urinary tract sphincter muscles. There is medication available to treat this issue.
Behavior can be the underlying cause of some “accidents” that are actually done on purpose. Cats especially can act out by urinating where they are not supposed to and this can sometimes be very difficult to treat. A thorough history is the best starting place. The smallest thing can trigger the misbehavior.
Don’t hesitate to call with any questions! We are here to help your pets stay healthy. 712.336.3709