Practical ideas for managing common urologic problems
Top tips for dogs
In dogs with a recent onset of urinary incontinence, it should be identified whether polyuria and polydipsia are occurring before drug therapy is started. Some clients may not be aware that polyuria and polydipsia can be linked to urinary incontinence, so they may not report the polyuria and polydipsia. Polyuria can overwhelm the capacity of the sphincter in dogs with marginal sphincter function, resulting in urinary incontinence. If the underlying cause of polyuria and polydipsia is corrected, the incontinence usually resolves.
Top tip for cats
A polypropylene urinary catheter should not be left in the urethra of an unblocked male cat. It should be replaced with a polyvinyl or red rubber catheter. Polypropylene (used in tomcat catheters) tends to be irritating to urethral mucosa and can cause urethrospasm once the tube is removed, often resulting in a cycle of recatheterization and additional irritation. Polyvinyl (used in infant feeding tubes) and red rubber catheters are nonreactive. If a polypropylene catheter must be left in, an antispasmodic such as prazosin should be prescribed by the veterinarian from the beginning. All catheters should be attached to a closed, sterile collection system.
Kenneth R. Harkin, DVM, DACVIM, is section head and an associate professor for the department of Small Animal Internal Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.