Friday, April 12, 2013

A Trip to the Vet: Bladder Issues

On Wednesday morning we took Athena into the vet to get her checked for a possible UTI.  Occasionally she's been urinating in the house (something she's rarely done since the first week that we brought her home), peeing more frequently, and licking herself down there.  There have also been two instances where she wet her bed a little bit.

Under the weather Athena snuggled with me all day Wednesday!

The vet checked Athena's lady parts, conducted an ultrasound, and sent out a sample of urine to the lab for a urinalysis.  Besides a hint of green in Athena's urine (a sign of a UTI), the vet didn't notice any other problems that may be causing Athena's issues.  While waiting on the results of the urinalysis, Athena started on a 10-day antibiotic.

The results from the urinalysis came back on Wednesday afternoon and they ruled out a possible UTI.  However, the vet suspected that Athena has a case of vaginitis (a.k.a. doggie yeast infection).  She's fine to stay on the antibiotic for the remaining week, but if her symptoms continue afterward, we have been instructed to head back to the vet.

She seems to be back to her normal self now that she's on the antibiotics

Ever since we got Athena nine months ago, we've always known that her bladder isn't the strongest, but we manage by frequently taking her outside to relieve herself.  I recently read into female dog incontinence, specifically with dogs who have been spayed.  Did you know that 20% of dogs who have been spayed develop urinary incontinence?  I was shocked to read this.  I'm just hoping that Athena's current condition actually is a yeast infection and not something more serious like incontinence.

We've looked into a few different products for bladder strength and I'm wondering if anyone out there has tried any similar products.


This is a daily supplement powder containing cranberry extract to support the urinary tract as well as the kidneys.  Similar to humans, dog UTI's can be cured with cranberry.  We've never tried this product, but we've heard good things and are interested in testing it out in the future.

Photo via Cranimals

Easy Peesy Tea

A tea for dogs that supports normal function of the urinary tract.  We own this product and have given it to Athena only a couple of times.  She actually doesn't really like it.  I would hate for it to go to waste though, so I intend to make some tea cubes with it soon to stuff into Kongs.

Photo via Honest
Has your dog ever experienced any issues with their bladder?  What remedies have you used?


  1. I've actually been planning on writing a post on this! Without going into too much detail ( I'll save it for a post! ), Tess is incontinent. I was freaked out, but it's really no big deal. she takes a pull called Uriflex or Proin (depending on what they have). We have her at 1 oil every other day now. Funding the perfect dosage is an art, but it's important to get as low a dosage as possible and our very works with us to figure it out (his dog is incontinent too!). We do yearly blood checks to make sure her counts are good and the medicine isn't having any adverse effects.

    I've been putting off writing this post because... well, let's face it, it's weird. But I think I will next week!

  2. Luckily I have never had to deal with incontinence in my own dogs. Koira has had a UTI once though, and I am pretty sure it made her totally miserable until the meds started clearing it up. But, I have heard from a lot of people that Proin works wonders with incontinent dogs. I'm not sure about herbal and over the counter remedies though.

  3. Oh I hope she feels better quickly! I have the calming tea from Honest Kitchen and sometimes I'll mix it with a little canned food or veggie mix so that it's more palatable. Avery didn't like it but will take it without problems if I mix it with something. :)

  4. I hope it's just an infection too! And, I hope Athena is feeling better soon!

    Boomer is constantly getting UTI's, the last time was the worst though, it came on so fast we didn't even know it was happening. Usually it starts by him wanting to go out more and more and licking himself but this time my baby peed blood! Luckily it we got it under control really fast and he's OK now.

  5. The bacteria that occur in canine urinary tract infections thrive in an alkaline environment. Highly processed and dry diets promote this alkaline state. Raw food diets not only provide the necessary moisture required by dogs but they also promote a healthy pH level and thereby control the bacteria that live in their systems. Urinary incontinence can also be addressed via nutrition and specific herbs to support and strengthen muscle control. If you would like any assistance, please contact me at

  6. I hope it's just an infection but if not, I happen to be quite an expert on spay incontinence. Maggie's been incontinent since she was 9months old. If it isn't an infection, try Leaks No More or Tinkle Tonic. They are both herbal remedies designed to help strengthen the bladder. Tinkle tonic worked really well for Maggie for a while. The thing with incontinence is that it gets worse as dogs age so herbs and supplements would need to be increased or changed periodically throughout life. Maggie's now on Phyto B, which is a plant-based progesterone replacement therapy that women going through menopause take. It helps her body with the hormones she is not able to produce on her own, which in turn strengthens her bladder muscles. If your vet recommends Proin, please chat with me. I have strong feelings about that particular drug and behavior issues that Maggie had. In my experience with a dog that has severe incontinence, the herbs work just fine and are much gentler on her overall health.

    Cranberries are great for dogs with UTIs. They work by not allowing the bacteria to attach to the bladder wall and it gets flushed out when they pee. If Athena doesn't have an infection, the cranberry supplement isn't going to help, other than helping to boost immune system through antioxidant support.

    Make sure Athena is on probiotics throughout and for a week after her antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics destroy gut bacteria (good &bad) and since Athena has some allergy issues, the antibiotics can make that worse if her gut isn't functioning t tip top shape.

    1. Stupid ipad wouldn't let me finish my comment, which is to say, feel free to contact me if you've got any questions or just want to chat. While Maggie's incontinence does act up from time to time, we manage it quite well and her incontinence is so bad that she would constantly leak and release her full bladder while sleeping every day, all day long, if it weren't for the herbs she's on. I'm at nopopaws @

      Ps- I can't make it to the pet fair today :(. Super bummed I'm missing my chance to meet the Thean Bean!

  7. I agree with Sarah about not using Proin. Our Maggie had exorcist style vomiting after her first dose, so it's not an option.
    We thought Maggie might have spay incontinence, but it turned out to be a neurological reaction to topical flea and tick treatment. She would "leak" for a few days after an application, but we didn't make the connection until she couldn't walk and lost all bladder control the morning after we tried a new tick control product. We now use a cedar oil spray instead, it worked pretty well for all of last year.
    Good luck with Athena Bean, hope she feels better soon!

  8. Yep, lots of spayed female dogs will urinate in their sleep and have incontinence issues. I haven't heard of the cranberry product before, but we used to carry cranberry supplements. Most of the time, we prescribed something called Proin. It's for urninary incontinence.

  9. Hey - Amanda from RespectaBulls here.... our Sookie girl developed minor urinary incontinence about a year ago (she was around 4-5 at the time). She was having very similar symptoms to Athena expect wetting her bed at night. She went on a low does of a medication called Proin. This medication strengthens the inner badder muscle (which dogs can't control) so that fluid stops leaking out. The meds has completely solved the problem, no more "accidents". Sookie was just at the vet for her annual exam and her vet even said we could try reducing her daily dosage because she might not need as much medication now that the meds have had a years time to strengthen the inner bladder muscles. Hope this is helpful!

  10. Oh poor pretty pittie! I have some experience with both frequent UTI's and yeast infections. First I would like to mention that antibiotics actually kill the good bacteria that stabilize yeast, every time my last dog had an infection (which was a lot), she would have to go on antibiotics along with an anti fungal to help with the yeast overgrowth. This is also very common in humans. As for the cranimals, I have used it in the past (possibly a different brand but same concept) and it does work if you are very diligent when using it. It does NOT cure an infection but it helps to prevent future issues. The dog that I used it on had 3-4 UTI's a year and the vet and I had very extensive talks about how to deal with the issue. The basic concept it that the UTI is caused by crystals forming in the tract and blocking the urine, you can use anything with a higher acid content to "break up" the crystals (prevent them from forming on the walls) such as the cranimals, juice, fresh berries, etc. It doesn't sound like that is an issue that Thean has (I know you feed her lots of yummables made with berries) and I have no experience with incontinence so I can't help with that one but I hope everything works out well, I love to hear about all of Thean's adventures!! Also on a side note, I saw your question to Doodle and though about a post that I had just read, I started using the "with me" technique when walking and my little girl started responding within a few walks, she likes to sniff A LOT too so I use it to keep her moving. Good luck.

  11. I have. Trinity has frequent UTIs. She has a vulva that stays inside her bladder. It sucks but she has them aprox every 6 months. Don't fret yourself with getting all those cranberries. UTIs are caused by bacteria in the bladder & the only way to get rid of it is with antibiotics. In humans there is no indication that cranberries help or prevent UTIs (I'm not just spitting stuff out, I'm a nurse). This is gonna be tmi but I get frequent UTIs (like mother like daughter, lol) and cranberries or drinking a lot of water doesn't help at all & I take every precaution to prevent them. But unfortunately when you get one you are more prone to getting more. For the yeast I would recommend cleaning her after potty breaks to help stop any further issues. Good luck with everything!


    This is one example of a scientific journal article highlighting the efficacy of cranberry supplementation in the prevention of recurring UTIs. Looks like someone didn't do their research ...

    Pitlandia, I recommend to access more double-blind randomized studies that have been published in Urology journals highlighting the effectiveness of this supplement.

  13. My 5 year old spayed female pittie is on Proin, one tab a day and has No side effects what so ever on this drug. However I did have a dog that did have extreme adverse side effects from it, and came off of it almost as fast as she started the drug. My vets recommendation was to try it and see if it worked if it didn't we would go down the next path. It has worked from day one for the urinary incontience that she has. She takes supplments and anti inflammatories for hip dysplasia as well as high fiber diet for excess anal gland retention. She is a ball of fun! ;)

  14. I like your idea of tea cubes! Hades will drink the tea but Madden won't touch it and Braylon is 50/50 with it.
    I've thought about different cranberry products for the various benefits but never tried any.
    I can almost bet our former foster Kylie had some kind of problem like this, as she was the only pup I've ever had that couldn't hold her bladder overnight. I had to train myself to get up with her in the middle of the night and even that 75% of the time didn't help. Glad to hear your pretty little miss is back to normal!