IVDD and Incontinence
When my dog, Cali, became paralyzed from IVDD she quickly became incontinent. Incontinence is a common problem that many owners face when their dog is in the more severe stages of IVDD. When it happened with my dog, I had no idea what to do about it! She was wetting the bed every night and leaving stinky surprises, if you know what I mean. Luckily, we got a handle on this problem and her incontinence is not an issue anymore. I have found that there are definitely some products that I just can’t live without. I’m here to share those products with you, as well as some other good options. Learning what products you need will make dealing with your dog’s incontinence a breeze!
Products you may need…
Make the best out of a messy situation…
Product #1: Pee Pads
You probably haven’t even thought about pee pads since your dog was a puppy. Well, it’s time to bring them back into your life! If your dog is paralyzed and incontinent, it can be a struggle to take them outside every time they need to go. Plus, when their bladder is full, any pressure on it while you carry them is going to cause a a trail of pee from your house to your yard. Or maybe you don’t have a yard! We have found it easier to just lay down a pee pad on the floor and express her bladder there. It’s a lot easier than taking her outside every time. It’s especially useful in the cold winter months.
Product #2: Wet Wipes
One of the most important things to do for a paralyzed and incontinent dog is to keep them nice and clean down there. They will have more accidents and they may not be cleaning themselves on their own anymore. Incontinence can get messy, so make sure that you always have some wet wipes handy. This will help to prevent odor, urine scald, bacterial skin infections, and UTIs. We have used many different brands. I like to use ones that are good at combatting odor, as well as disinfecting.
Product #3: Dog Diapers
There are a lot of reusable dog diapers available online. They come with a hole for the tail, and they attach in the back instead of on the belly which does make them a bit easier to put on. They are washable, so you can reuse them as many times as you want. That also means that they are better for the environment than disposable diapers. The only problem I have with those is that you will be doing a lot of washing if your dog has a leaky bladder like mine. Not to mention the seemingly endless poops that come out whenever they want!
Product #4: Baby Diapers
We, and many others, opted to use disposable baby diapers. You can buy them in bulk, and they are pretty cheap. And when they are dirty you can just roll them up and throw them away. You just cut a small hole for the tail and they are good to go! We pretty much always use diapers because they prevent accidents in the house. They are very absorbent and keep the skin nice and dry. They especially help at night time. Cali used to wet the bed a lot in her sleep and wake up in a puddle of pee. We knew we had to do something about that right away. Diapers allow her to be comfortable and dry all night long. Just make sure to change them regularly, and keep your dog clean!
Product #5: Belly Bands
For male dogs, diapers are just not going to cut it. They only take care of half the battle. For male dogs you can purchase belly bands. There are disposable and reusable ones to choose from. These absorbent bands wrap around your dogs waist and prevent accidents. When used with a diaper, they actually really help with keeping the diaper from slipping off, so that is a win-win
Product #6: Cranberry Supplements
In my post ‘Spotting and Preventing UTIs’ I mentioned how useful cranberry supplements are. Paralyzed and incontinent dogs are especially at risk of getting urinary tract infections. This is because it can be difficult to fully empty the bladder every time, giving bacteria the chance to grow. One way to help prevent that is to give your dog cranberry supplements. We use NaturVet Cranberry Relief and I have to tell you, they really seem to work! The one time Cali got a mild UTI was when we had stopped giving her these supplements. Once we started giving her the supplements again, she hasn’t had another UTI since. That’s why I highly recommend them!
Product #7: Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner
The last product that I recommend for incontinent dogs is oatmeal shampoo and conditioner. I already explained how important it is to keep your dog clean. This includes giving them baths a lot more regularly. Wet wipes can only do so much, so when things get particularly messy a bath is going to be in order. I like to use products that have oatmeal in them because they are soothing and hydrating. Frequent baths can really dry your dog’s skin out, so it is good to have something that is hydrating and won’t irritate their sensitive skin.