Pets, Uncategorized

Never Punish This – It is not a Behavioral Problem

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Never Ever Punish This — It’s Not a Behavioral Problem, It’s a Medical One

 

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. It’s important to understand that dogs with the condition cannot control the leaking. Urinary incontinence is a very different situation from other urination-related problems like too-frequent urination or behavioral-related problems such as submissive urination.

 

How to Recognize Urinary Incontinence

Involuntary passage of urine typically occurs while your dog is asleep or resting. When she stands up, you notice urine leakage. It can be just a small wet spot or a good-sized puddle, depending on how much urine is being passed. Other times you might notice a problem, for example, when she jumps up on the couch and leaks a bit of urine, or she dribbles while walking through the house or as she’s running during play.

 

As I’ve already mentioned, your pet isn’t intentionally leaking urine. She has no control over what’s happening. This is not a behavioral problem, it’s a medical problem, and so trying to correct or punish her is a very bad idea. In fact, many dogs become quite distressed to realize they are passing urine in places other than a designated potty spot.

 

A housetrained dog will be confused and even ashamed to know she’s leaving urine in inappropriate spots. That’s why it’s so important to treat urine dribbling as a medical problem requiring a medical diagnosis rather than a behavioral problem requiring behavior correction or worse, punishment.

 

8 Potential Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Hormone-induced urinary incontinence. Hands down, the most common reason for involuntary urine leakage in dogs is hormone-induced urinary incontinence. After a dog is spayed or neutered, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, which are necessary to help close the external urethral sphincter, are no longer available. This often results in urine dribbling.

 

Hormone-induced urinary incontinence is extremely common in spayed female dogs, and somewhat less common in neutered males. These are typically healthy, vibrant pets that just happen to dribble urine anywhere from multiple times a day to just once or twice a year.

 

Age-related urinary incontinence. Older pets can develop weak pelvic floors or poor bladder tone that can result in urine dribbling. If your dog has signs of canine senility or dementia, he can also simply forget to signal you when he needs to potty outside. His bladder can overfill, and there can be leakage.

 

Damage to the pudendal nerve. This is a problem of the lower back in dogs, often in older dogs with arthritis, degenerative myelopathy or joint disease, or trauma to the lower back. If the pudendal nerve, which works the neck of your pet’s bladder, is impinged, the bladder neck can remain slightly open, allowing urine leakage.

 

Birth defects. Birth defects — structural abnormalities existing from birth — can cause incontinence. If your puppy has been difficult or impossible to housetrain, there could be a birth defect present. An example: the ureter — a tube that collects urine from the kidneys and passes it into the bladder — can bypass the bladder entirely and go directly to the urethra.

 

This plumbing problem, known as an ectopic ureter, will cause urine, as it’s produced, to dribble right out of your pet’s body. Some dog breeds have more of these types of from-birth plumbing problems than others, including Siberian Huskies, Miniature Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Collies, Westies, Wirehaired Fox Terriers and Corgis. If your puppy is leaking urine, you should investigate the possibility of a birth defect.

 

Bladder stones. A dog with a bladder stone will often strain while trying to urinate. He’ll appear to successfully empty his bladder, but when he’s back inside he’ll continue to leak urine. If you’ve noticed this behavior with your pet, you need to consider the possibility of bladder stones.

 

Urethral obstruction. Obstruction of the urethra can also cause involuntary passage of urine. A tumor, for example, can obstruct urine flow and cause dribbling. So can urethral stones.

 

A stone in your pet’s urethra is a medical emergency. You may notice along with urine leakage that your pet is in pain, seems stressed and might even act panicked. This can be because she needs to empty her bladder and can’t. The bladder is filling up with urine and there’s no way for her to relieve the mounting pressure.

 

You should seek veterinary care immediately if your pet seems to have pain along with incontinence, and especially if he’s not able to pass any urine at all.

 

Disease of the bladder, kidneys or adrenals, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism and diabetes can all cause dribbling of urine.

 

Central nervous system (CNS) trauma. If your pet’s brain or spinal cord isn’t signaling correctly to the bladder, this miscommunication can cause urine dribbling.

 

Natural Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence

The cause of your dog’s urinary incontinence will dictate what treatment she receives. If there’s an underlying disease process or structural abnormality causing the problem, and it can be corrected through medical management and/or surgery, that’s obviously the way to go.

 

If your pet is diagnosed with hormone-induced urinary incontinence, I strongly recommend you consider attempting to treat the problem naturally. I successfully treat cases of hormone-induced urinary incontinence with Standard Process glandular therapy (Symplex-F for female dogs and Symplex-M for male dogs).

 

I also use natural, biologically appropriate (non-synthetic) hormone replacement therapy, a few excellent herbal remedies such as corn silk, lemon balm, lignans and horsetail, as well as nutraceuticals specifically formulated to address urine leakage. I also frequently use acupuncture to improve function of the pudendal nerve and control or stimulate sufficient closure of the external urethral sphincter. Chiro­prac­tic care can also keep the CNS working properly, aiding in normal bladder and neurologic function.

 

Urinary Incontinence Treatments I Do NOT Recommend

I always start with natural remedies, because some of the traditional drugs used to treat urinary incontinence, specifically DES (diethylstilbestrol), are potentially toxic with side effects that can create more problems (e.g., diabetes and cancer) for your pet than the problem you set out to correct. Because of its overall systemic risk to health, I never recommend this drug.

 

Another commonly prescribed drug for urinary incontinence is called PPA, which is substantially safer than DES, but one of the biggest problems with these drugs is that many veterinarians put dogs on them without investigating the cause of the urine dribbling. They just assume it’s hormone-induced.

 

I see dogs on these drugs turn out to have a disease process causing the leakage. Often I find urinary crystals or bladder stones, Cushing’s disease, diabetes or kidney disease in a dog being treated for hormone-induced urinary incontinence. Synthetic hormone replacement drugs can cause some of the same problems in female dogs as they do in women who take them. If your pet is dribbling urine, I recommend working with a holistic or integrative veterinarian to determine what’s causing the problem.

 

Dogs with incontinence that can’t be completely resolved can be fitted with dog bloomers or panties with absorbent pads. You can even use human disposable diapers and cut a hole for the tail. Just remember that urine is caustic and should not remain on your pet’s skin for long periods, so if you use diapers, be sure to change them frequently or remove them during times when your pet isn’t likely to be incontinent.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Becker

312-972-WELL ( 9355)

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

HealthWellnessAssocaites@gmail.com

 

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. It’s important to understand that dogs with the condition cannot control the leaking. Urinary incontinence is a very different situation from other urination-related problems like too-frequent urination or behavioral-related problems such as submissive urination.

 

How to Recognize Urinary Incontinence

Involuntary passage of urine typically occurs while your dog is asleep or resting. When she stands up, you notice urine leakage. It can be just a small wet spot or a good-sized puddle, depending on how much urine is being passed. Other times you might notice a problem, for example, when she jumps up on the couch and leaks a bit of urine, or she dribbles while walking through the house or as she’s running during play.

 

As I’ve already mentioned, your pet isn’t intentionally leaking urine. She has no control over what’s happening. This is not a behavioral problem, it’s a medical problem, and so trying to correct or punish her is a very bad idea. In fact, many dogs become quite distressed to realize they are passing urine in places other than a designated potty spot.

 

A housetrained dog will be confused and even ashamed to know she’s leaving urine in inappropriate spots. That’s why it’s so important to treat urine dribbling as a medical problem requiring a medical diagnosis rather than a behavioral problem requiring behavior correction or worse, punishment.

 

8 Potential Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Hormone-induced urinary incontinence. Hands down, the most common reason for involuntary urine leakage in dogs is hormone-induced urinary incontinence. After a dog is spayed or neutered, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, which are necessary to help close the external urethral sphincter, are no longer available. This often results in urine dribbling.

 

Hormone-induced urinary incontinence is extremely common in spayed female dogs, and somewhat less common in neutered males. These are typically healthy, vibrant pets that just happen to dribble urine anywhere from multiple times a day to just once or twice a year.

 

Age-related urinary incontinence. Older pets can develop weak pelvic floors or poor bladder tone that can result in urine dribbling. If your dog has signs of canine senility or dementia, he can also simply forget to signal you when he needs to potty outside. His bladder can overfill, and there can be leakage.

 

Damage to the pudendal nerve. This is a problem of the lower back in dogs, often in older dogs with arthritis, degenerative myelopathy or joint disease, or trauma to the lower back. If the pudendal nerve, which works the neck of your pet’s bladder, is impinged, the bladder neck can remain slightly open, allowing urine leakage.

 

Birth defects. Birth defects — structural abnormalities existing from birth — can cause incontinence. If your puppy has been difficult or impossible to housetrain, there could be a birth defect present. An example: the ureter — a tube that collects urine from the kidneys and passes it into the bladder — can bypass the bladder entirely and go directly to the urethra.

 

This plumbing problem, known as an ectopic ureter, will cause urine, as it’s produced, to dribble right out of your pet’s body. Some dog breeds have more of these types of from-birth plumbing problems than others, including Siberian Huskies, Miniature Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Collies, Westies, Wirehaired Fox Terriers and Corgis. If your puppy is leaking urine, you should investigate the possibility of a birth defect.

 

Bladder stones. A dog with a bladder stone will often strain while trying to urinate. He’ll appear to successfully empty his bladder, but when he’s back inside he’ll continue to leak urine. If you’ve noticed this behavior with your pet, you need to consider the possibility of bladder stones.

 

Urethral obstruction. Obstruction of the urethra can also cause involuntary passage of urine. A tumor, for example, can obstruct urine flow and cause dribbling. So can urethral stones.

 

A stone in your pet’s urethra is a medical emergency. You may notice along with urine leakage that your pet is in pain, seems stressed and might even act panicked. This can be because she needs to empty her bladder and can’t. The bladder is filling up with urine and there’s no way for her to relieve the mounting pressure.

 

You should seek veterinary care immediately if your pet seems to have pain along with incontinence, and especially if he’s not able to pass any urine at all.

 

Disease of the bladder, kidneys or adrenals, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism and diabetes can all cause dribbling of urine.

 

Central nervous system (CNS) trauma. If your pet’s brain or spinal cord isn’t signaling correctly to the bladder, this miscommunication can cause urine dribbling.

 

Natural Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence

The cause of your dog’s urinary incontinence will dictate what treatment she receives. If there’s an underlying disease process or structural abnormality causing the problem, and it can be corrected through medical management and/or surgery, that’s obviously the way to go.

 

If your pet is diagnosed with hormone-induced urinary incontinence, I strongly recommend you consider attempting to treat the problem naturally. I successfully treat cases of hormone-induced urinary incontinence with Standard Process glandular therapy (Symplex-F for female dogs and Symplex-M for male dogs).

 

I also use natural, biologically appropriate (non-synthetic) hormone replacement therapy, a few excellent herbal remedies such as corn silk, lemon balm, lignans and horsetail, as well as nutraceuticals specifically formulated to address urine leakage. I also frequently use acupuncture to improve function of the pudendal nerve and control or stimulate sufficient closure of the external urethral sphincter. Chiro­prac­tic care can also keep the CNS working properly, aiding in normal bladder and neurologic function.

 

Urinary Incontinence Treatments I Do NOT Recommend

I always start with natural remedies, because some of the traditional drugs used to treat urinary incontinence, specifically DES (diethylstilbestrol), are potentially toxic with side effects that can create more problems (e.g., diabetes and cancer) for your pet than the problem you set out to correct. Because of its overall systemic risk to health, I never recommend this drug.

 

Another commonly prescribed drug for urinary incontinence is called PPA, which is substantially safer than DES, but one of the biggest problems with these drugs is that many veterinarians put dogs on them without investigating the cause of the urine dribbling. They just assume it’s hormone-induced.

 

I see dogs on these drugs turn out to have a disease process causing the leakage. Often I find urinary crystals or bladder stones, Cushing’s disease, diabetes or kidney disease in a dog being treated for hormone-induced urinary incontinence. Synthetic hormone replacement drugs can cause some of the same problems in female dogs as they do in women who take them. If your pet is dribbling urine, I recommend working with a holistic or integrative veterinarian to determine what’s causing the problem.

 

Dogs with incontinence that can’t be completely resolved can be fitted with dog bloomers or panties with absorbent pads. You can even use human disposable diapers and cut a hole for the tail. Just remember that urine is caustic and should not remain on your pet’s skin for long periods, so if you use diapers, be sure to change them frequently or remove them during times when your pet isn’t likely to be incontinent.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Becker

312-972-WELL ( 9355)

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

HealthWellnessAssocaites@gmail.com

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Lifestyle

Take Responsibility for Your Life

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Take Responsibility for Your Life

Define your payoffs, then cut them out.

You’re getting something from your behavior, or else you wouldn’t do it. Work on gaining confidence — low self-esteem and pent up guilt gives you an excuse to sit on the sidelines. It gives you an excuse to be less than you can be.

Behave your way to success.

Your past easily becomes your future because what you fear, you create. If you feel deprived of some experience, or emotion from some one else, give yourself emotional closure. Give yourself what you didn’t get from someone else now. Create what you want out of life. If you want to be loved, be loveable. If you want to get your family interested in your life, get interested in their lives.

You choose your behavior; you chose the consequences.

You are an adult now and you need to take responsibility for your actions. You can’t blame your family anymore. You are old enough to do something about your feelings. Your family can’t take this on. The greatest stress in life is to hold someone else accountable for something they can’t control. The only person you control is you.

It all comes back to the life law statement, “You’ve got to name it before you can claim it.”

If you are stuck in an unsatisfying life, ask yourself what would make you happy? Write out what you need to hear from your family that you’ve never heard before. Be very specific. Give your list to your family. Ask them to read it, consider it and respond. Open your heart, put the spirit of criticism aside. Be ready to do the same for your family.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Lifestyle

Seven Steps to Reaching Your Goals

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Seven Steps to Reaching Your Goals

Successfully executing any personal strategic plan for change requires that as you develop your plan, you effectively incorporate these seven steps for attaining each and every goal:

  1. Express your goal in terms of specific events or behaviors.

For a dream to become a goal, it has to be specifically defined in terms of operations, meaning what will be done. When a goal is broken down into steps, it can be managed and pursued much more directly. “Being happy,” for example, is neither an event nor a behavior. When you set out to identify a goal, define what you want in clear and specific terms.

  1. Express your goal in terms that can be measured.

How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be? For instance, how much money do you aspire to make?

  1. Assign a timeline to your goal.

Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide on a timeframe for having it. The deadline you’ve created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator, and prevent inertia or procrastination.

  1. Choose a goal you can control.

Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that you control and can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can create, not for what you can’t.

  1. Plan and program a strategy that will get you to your goal.

Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved, and that you create a strategy for navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it is based on your emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you — long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete with your more constructive and task-oriented behavior. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.

  1. Define your goal in terms of steps.

Major life changes don’t just happen; they happen one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set out.

  1. Create accountability for your progress toward your goal.

Without accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it — and there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr. McGraw

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