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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So far I have found the most information here, so thought I would ask here : Is it a normal thing for older female German Shepherds to have issues with incontinence as they age?
We previously had my 15 yr old German Shepherd female who was a rescue. She weighed 45 lbs when we adopted her at around 7 yrs of age. She had issues with bladder incontence but some was due to having stones in her bladder. We also had her on medicine to help strengthen her bladder. Sadly she passed away a few years ago.
We have another rescued German Shepherd- this poor gal was 28 lb when she was taken by the Humane Society Officers ( my husband was the one who carried her out of that property). Currently she weighs 80 and has been with us several years. She recently has begun to have some accidents in the house on her bed. At first, it was being put on my new GSD puppy who is now 10 weeks, but the amount of the saturation is way more than a puppy bladder can hold.

So is this something that is a normal thing? How/ what treatments/remedies does anyone suggest?

Thanks.

Shelly
 

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No. It isn't normal. My old girl lived to be 14.5. She had her senior issues, but bladder incontinence wasn't one of them.
 

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My female Onyx was spayed at 6 months. She has had bouts of incontinence, and I finally put her on Proin which has cleared the incontinence right up. I had bloodwork run before putting her on it as well as tested for UTI. Everything came back clear, and bloodwork looked great for a 10 yr old rawfed dog.
 

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Hi, I know this is an older post but looking for some input on a similar question/issue.

Background: My girl Zoey will be 7 in November, she has always been in good health with no major issues. I've had her since she was a puppy and had her spayed at 6 months (in hindsight we probably should have waited a little longer). We treated her for a UTI about 2 years ago, and she has been fine since. Recently I noticed she has been having incontinence issues, seeming to "leak" while sleeping and she doesn't realize that it is happening. I haven't noticed her drinking too much extra, its been a hot and humid (by New England standards) summer, so I would expect her to intake a bit more water than normal, but it hasn't seemed in excess. I feed her Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine & Salmon dry dog food. She is on Heartguard, we switched her flea & tick meds from Frontline topical to an oral pill Simparica in March, we also started her on Dasuquin w/MSM in March as a preventative measure to help keep her joints healthy as she ages.

Question/the point of my post: I took her to the vet this week to have her checked for a UTI due to the constant "leaking", her urinalysis came back completely normal. They also did blood work to test her kidney and liver, everything in the test came back normal, except for the IDEXX SDMA test. Per the lab results a "normal" range would be 0 - 14 μg/dL, Zoey's test came back at 15. The vet said it's nothing to be too concerned about since she is just 1 point over, and wants to have her retested in 3 months to monitor it, but of course I'm worried/paranoid! I wanted to see has anyone had any experience with this IDEXX SDMA test, has it shown up as elevated and has your dog had kidney issues? From what I've googled, it seems to be a newer test, but I'm curious how accurate is it in diagnosing kidney disease/failure.

I started her today on incontinence medicine (Diethylstilbestrol 1mg), hopefully that clears up the incontinence issue!

Thanks!!
 

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Leaking while she is sleeping or lying down is typical of spay incontinence. Spay incontinence can develop at any age in a female, but most often when they are older.

I had a female mixed breed with spay incontinence from an early age, and it turned out that feeding her a 100% raw diet fixed it. Doesn't work for all dogs all the time, but it is an option that is out there for anyone that might be interested.
 

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My old girl has this problem but hers did not require treatment until she had to go on steroids for a separate issue.

She takes Proin...maybe the same thing you listed, I dont know what the actual med name is. At any rate, it did not become an issue for her until she was like 10 and a hamf or so so I do think hers is legitimately old age. She is symptom free on a low dose of proin and may have to increase her dose when she gets older but no problem, she is almost 12 so whatever keeps her comfortable and happy.
 

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I don't think it's a GSD thing. I think it's age thing. As any living thing gets older, they lose their abilities to control their bowel/bladder. (Many people are the same.) For example, my old boy had liver cancer (which spread to other organs) and had a broken leg bone. At almost 12 years he just didn't want to go outside anymore. Too painful. So he just let loose when he was in the middle of eating and sleeping. Last couple months of his life was rough for him and me. I got maybe 3 hours of sleep every night because he'd poop while sleeping and then I'd have to clean up. On top of that, he had long hair and the poop would just stick to his hair. So then, I had to wash his rear too otherwise he'd leave poop all over the carpet and house. There were good nights, when he'd make it through the night. And there were bad nights. The toughest part was seeing his face and expressions. He knew he did "wrong" in pooping in the house, but he had no choice. It was heartbreaking.
 

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Hi, I know this is an older post but looking for some input on a similar question/issue.
[...]They also did blood work to test her kidney and liver, everything in the test came back normal, except for the IDEXX SDMA test. Per the lab results a "normal" range would be 0 - 14 μg/dL, Zoey's test came back at 15. The vet said it's nothing to be too concerned about since she is just 1 point over, and wants to have her retested in 3 months to monitor it, but of course I'm worried/paranoid! I wanted to see has anyone had any experience with this IDEXX SDMA test, has it shown up as elevated and has your dog had kidney issues?

Yep, in a young adult. The vet and I did a lot of research together and concluded about the same as your vet did.


IDEXX (the blood testing lab your vet used) claims that its research shows SDMA is an early detector of kidney disease. However, SDMA is proprietary to IDEXX, the testing lab, so there's nothing you can follow up on if all the other kidney values are normal, the dog is asymptomatic, has no UTI, and only SDMA is off.


I had one very healthy, young adult come up with a wonky SDMA value on one year of annual bloodwork. We retested, and it's normal. Several years later, it's stayed normal.


All you can take from that SDMA is "investigate" but once you do the usual kidney investigation and come up empty (as we did), there's not much more we could figure out to do besides wait and retest.


I think it was a testing error for my dog -- we've had those before. Every lab test has a known error rate, and some dogs just fall within it statistically.
 

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By the way, IDEXX has released a flow chart for using SDMA now -- this wasn't available in 2015 when we had our weird result, but it is a guide to using the SDMA number for further investigation:
https://idexxcom-live-b02da1e51e754c9cb292133b-9c56c33.aldryn-media.com/filer_public/b9/11/b911f849-888a-4e66-b0b5-465bc91ca680/09-81942-02_sdma_imm_sheet_alg_test_h.pdf


You might want to share it with your vet.


You can read further about the test here:
https://www.idexx.com/en/veterinary/reference-laboratories/sdma/
 
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