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Discussion Starter #1
My 12 year old German Shepherd spayed female has been having a rough time recently. Starting about three weeks ago she started to wet her dog bed during the night. One Saturday morning I awoke to find her soaking wet in her own urine. Most times this has happened she only tinkles out about a coffee cup amount of urine. Other times it is a flood and her dog bed becomes a swamp. I took her to the vet who told me (after testing) that she doesn't have a UTI and her blood tests for Cushing's Disease came back slightly high but did not confirm the presence of the disease {pre-Cushings is a possibility}. My wife placed a crib pad on her dog bed so that we can avoid constantly washing it.

So my goal is to keep my dog healthy, comfortable and dry. I have tried a few different things over the last weeks. First I tried a late night walk hopeful that she would empty her bladder marking all her favorite locations. This backfired as she became very thirsty after the walk and drained her bowl of water and wet the bed. Next I tried leaving her outside to relax for an hour before bed time to let her empty her bladder on her schedule. She still wet the bed. I have considered limiting her access to water but in the past have watched her become almost insane with thirst if even restricted from water for a couple hours. When she senses that she can't have water she attempts to lick the shower stall and when finally allowed to drink does so at a dangerous pace drinking all water available.

So far my only tactic that has worked (about a 75% success rate) is to go to bed around 11 PM and set the alarm clock for 2 AM. I then get up and put her out at 2 AM and return to bed. She goes out a second time at 6 AM when I get up for work. So far she has held her bladder during the day.

The problem is that I work two jobs so I am exhausted. My dog even gives me a strange look at 2 AM and is reluctant to leave her bed again at 6. There has got to be a better way.

Can you help?
 

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Have they done an ACTH test for Cushings or Dex suppression test? The increased thirst makes it sound likely. Did they check for Diabetes?
Spayed female dogs can also get spay incontinence. Doggie diapers can help. But usually with spay incontinence only a small amount leaks out. There are drugs to help.
I would be hesitant to withhold water, as a reason dogs will drink extra water when they have certain medical conditions, is to remove/dilute toxins in the body, whether it is excess cortisol or excess glucose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From what I can tell they did a blood test for Cushings (a series of 3 blood tests over the course of a day). The first two reading were high and the third and final was normal. The Vet said she didn't have the disease but said that she may be in a pre-Cushings state.

They tested her the first time I brought her in for diabetes and that was negative too (blood test for sugar levels). At the same time they tested her for UTI by drawing urine directly from her bladder.

The Vet basically told me: "You have an old dog and these things happen. Best get used to it."

I don't limit her water intake. I have two bowls for her. One inside the house and one outside for when she's outdoors. I do try and slow the rate at which she drinks for obvious health issues that affect deep chested dogs. She will frequently drain a 5 cup water bowl in under a minute if allowed. She has drank like that since she was a puppy.

So far the baby crib pad is keeping her dog bed dry. Of course she is damp with her own urine and this is my real concern.
 

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Talk to your vet and see if you can try one of the drugs that work on spay incontinence. Why not? They are quite effective.

If that does not work, I'd try and see if you can pick up her water an hour and a half before bedtime. Maybe if you provide her with a water bowl that is frozen with only a tiny bit of water on the top? That would let her drink gradually. Then in the morning give her a water bowl that is mostly full of ice cubes with some water. If she's really thirsty she can eat the ice. The bowl of ice cubes might be worth a try at night time too.

Another possible tactic would be to crate her with one of those metal grates on the bottom, or maybe Dri-Dek tiles. That would at least let the urine drain and keep her drier.

Hope you find an answer.
 

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Has there been in vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy lately?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy. She eats like a champ, wants to play, barks at the neighbors cats, seems in great shape for an older dog. The only difference is that in the morning, one out of every four nights, we discover that the dog has urinated on her bed in her sleep. Sometimes it is only a small dribble (equal to a shot glass), other mornings we find that she has let loose with enough urine to fill 2 pint glasses! Most often she releases about a coffee cup full. What is bothersome is the poor dog is wet! I can't bath her every four days!
 

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I'd be very careful with herbal supplements, and make sure you ask your vet about them. Just because they are herbal/natural mean they are safe. I'd talk to your vet, and try whatever meds he recommends.
Do you have a safe fenced in yard, that you could install a doggie door to? That might help, if she could go out as needed. Although sometimes with the old ones, they just "leak", due to aging muscles/ligaments.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks spotted nikes! In Minnesota a dog door is not a good option. Our winters are just too brutal. Adela can't make the stairs down from our bedroom during the night unassisted. Good suggestion however!
 

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I'm going through something similar with my five-year-old papillon. I took her to the vet today and it's not a UTI and doesn't seem like diabetes or anything else like that. The vet figures it's incontinence and has given me two options: DES (estrogen) and Proin. She also gave me these resources, which you might want to look over. You can discuss this stuff with your vet if it sounds possible that this is what's wrong with your dog. Incontinence is common in older spayed females, especially of larger breeds.

About Urinary Incontinence
Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
Phenylpropanolamine (Propagest, Pro-In)
 

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They make panties for female dogs that you put a pad in for when they are in heat. Maybe using a maxi pad, or adult incontinence pad would be an option.
Since you are a guy, you might not be aware that the pads pull the fluid away from the body, and contain it in the pad, so it doesn't feel wet next to the skin. Might be an option for you....(well, your dog...not YOU).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
She's currently taking DES but I question the dosage (I was given 10 pills... 1 each day for the first five days and then 1 a week for the next five weeks). So far the DES is not working {at least that I can see}.

I heard that Proin changes a dogs personality so I am very reluctant to go that route.
 

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It sounds like it might be simply incontinence. Go on line to natural pet for a holistic med for incontinence. Do not let the vet give you Proin. It has fatal side effects.
Hope this helps.
 

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My 2.5yr old Giant Schnauzer (this started immediately after her spay at age 1) has been on Proin for a year now-- no personality change, she still the same stubborn girl as ever, maybe it dampens her appetite a bit (it is the same ingredient as diet pills) but she is a very healthy 75pounds)-- I would not hesitate to reccommend this medication and it does notabley reduce the incontinence (although she will spontaneously evacuate her bladder when startled from sleep)....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am currently using "Leaks No More" which is an herbal supplement. So far mixed results. She can go for five days without a problem. While this is far from 100% it is better than it was. She still wakes me up at least once a night but not to empty her bladder but to DRINK large amounts of water. I have not taken her back to the vet since I am considering switching to a new vet (and no follow up/ plan from the first vet, she told me to just deal with the incontinence).
 
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