Hi. First of all, well done for adopting this big girl ... particularly as she has problems. Great Dane's are fabulous dogs. She is very young still, and this could certainly be associated with her surgery. Who did the surgery? Do you know? It would be worth consulting the vet that did it, just to find out how the surgery went and whether there were any complications.
The cause of incontinence in dogs can be due to:
Weak bladder sphincter
Urinary tract infection
Spinal injury or degeneration (frequently seen in German shepherds)
Protruding intervertebral disc
Presence of other diseases that cause excessive water consumption, such as diabetes, kidney disease, hyperadrenocorticism
So the problem is going to be to discount these one by one, taking the most likely first - which is why I mentioned the recent surgery. I guess a good thing to try to find out is whether she was incontinent before the surgery, in which case it may be a problem she has had since birth.
Some pups do have 'leaky waterworks' for a period of time ... but at 9 months I think any behavioral or normal puppyhood things are unlikely.
Sorry, meant to add .. dicyclomine is a normal thing to prescribe for the treatment of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and urinary incontinence, but one of the side effects is it gives dogs a very dry mouth - which in turn leads them to drink more than they normally might, which in turn can lead to more incontinence ... and the poor dog ends up in a bit of a viscous cycle. The other problem, with dogs that do not drink enough water while taking this medication, is they become constipated and dehydrated. One other thing worth mentioning, if you accidentally miss giving a dose, never top the next dose up as it will cause severe problems.
Estradiol is much more understandable, as it is designed for the exact problem you have your dog. I read the following on another site recently, which explains how successful Estradiol normally is:
"Hormone-related urinary incontinence is a very common problem in adult and senior female dogs that have been spayed. The problem can arise months or years after the procedure. Typically these dogs urinate normally, but there is urine leakage during rest. Blood and urine tests are usually normal in these pets. Incurin (containing estradiol), manufactured by Merck Animal Health, increases the resting muscle tone of the urethra. According to Veterinary Practice News: In a study of 226 spayed female dogs, a greater percentage of dogs treated with Incurin improved compared to dogs treated with placebo. Incurin was shown to be effective for the control of estrogen-responsive urinary incontinence in spayed female dogs 1 year and older."
Hope this is helpful. Tony
Thank you very much for the speedy reply. I am currently seeing the vet who performed the surgery and he said nothing was abnormal. whether or not she was incontinent before the surgery I am not sure, I am trying to contact the foster family to see if they would know, judging from when I met them, which I hate to do, they either know and shut up or didn't pay attention to it because she was kenneled outside 24/7. I will probably wait till mid week and give the vet another call to see if there is another treatment we can try, I know Proin is very popular so I may consider requesting that before I look at other options. Proin wouldn't be my first choice, but she is already on two meds simultaneously which is a lot to intake and getting costly for it not to work.
Hi. I can't say too much in an open forum like this, but I would stick with the medication estradiol for a short time to see if it 'kicks in' and stops the leaky waterworks. Proin is in deed very popular, and mostly because it is a very cheap drug compared with other similar drugs, but there is lots of anecdotal evidence of dogs having strokes within a short time of starting on it. Unfortunately, there is no recognized recent research to back-up or deny these claims, other than several vets that have said "I certainly would not prescribe it or use it for any of my dogs".
There are a couple of other things you might try before considering changing meds ... owners of dogs with the exact same problems have suggested two natural remedies have worked in their situations (so worth a try in yours too I think). Homeopet "Leak No More" is a homeopathic tablet, which you might find at good opet stores or you may need to look on the net to find a stockist. The other thing is soy. Many have said the easiest way to get soy in your dog's diet is to use soy milk (widely available) and put a little in the dog's drinking water - alternatively, you can also buy soy in tablet form - and I have heard recently you can also get soy dog biscuits, though I haven't tried sourcing any.
Do please keep me informed what you decide and how things develop. Good luck. Tony
Hey great discussion on incontinence. I am in the process of figuring it out having two females leaking, but for different reasons. You seem very clear headed and knowledgeable on this subject. I would like to get your opinion. Dog #1 didn't start her leaking (while sleeping) until she had a polyp removed from her anus. It turned out to be "low grade lymphoma of the dorsal anus". Anyway the dog beat the cancer but still leaks. The funny thing is, is that she leaks when I feed her certain foods, steamed broccoli, kale, summer squash (these are all additions to protein, sweet potatoes and steamed carrots.) After I read your help post for the lady with the Dane Cross it confirmed that I think something went down in the first surgery. The dog ended up having another surgery as once they realized the polyp was not a polyp they took the rest of the tissue around the area and an anal gland. Where she is a cancer dog I don't know if I would feed her soy and I don't think her issue is hormonal.
On the other hand my German shepherd (9) started leaking a few years ago. It was classic estrogen deficiency. I put her on proin and with-in 6 months I witnessed her having a mini stroke, craziness. There is nothing the vets could do and still stand by Proin, (craziness … again). However, there is a new drug out now called Incurin. My vet is trying to be careful around it because it is new. This dog has been experiencing low blood platelets in the last year. I believe due to her lime disease (showed positive since puppy and treated quite a few times) and heard that the hormone cane mess with that, maybe. What do you think? I have had her on an herbal remedy called that seemed to help but now is losing its punch (n pun intended) Got to keep it upbeat, I feel like a pee maid. The Soy sounds interesting for her, I may try this, what do I have to lose.
Hi. I think, actually, you may know as much about it as I do, reading through your post. I'm assuming you have done a fair amount of reading on the subject. My guess is there has been some degree of trauma resulting from the first and subsequent surgery. But equally, of course, there could have been various repercussions from the cancer's invasion and from any medication given at the time and afterwards. It is interesting you mention the 'certain foods' that seem to exacerbate the leaking ... as most are foods that are difficult to digest. There may be a link there - but I'm not sure, so it may be worth researching it.
You are right about your German Shepherd, the Lime Disease will almost certainly be causing the low blood platelets, which in turn can have consequential hormone issues - both from the disease and from treatments.
One other thing worth mentioning is ... how often do you feed your dogs? If only once a day, try splitting the meals into two equal portions and feed morning and early evening. If you already feed twice a day, try dividing again into four equal parts (I know this isn't always possible for all owners, re. work commitments, etc) ... it's worth trying to see if there's any change.