Helps Pet Owners & Veterinarians Talk About A Sensitive Subject
(Pensacola, Fla. – May 5, 2014) – The makers of Proin and other PRN Pharmacal products has launched the Canine Urinary Health Initiative (www.cuhi.org), a website to engage both veterinarians and pet owners to open up the conversation about canine urinary incontinence. The site includes sections on behavior conditions, medical conditions and urethral sphincter control, pet owner FAQs and a resource section. Convenient downloadable fact sheets and a downloadable graphic for veterinarians to use with pet owners are also available on the site.
“Canine urinary incontinence is a common problem with several effective solutions…but we have to talk about it. That’s the goal of the Canine Urinary Health Initiative (CUHI). We want to bring veterinarians and dog owners together to discuss solutions to a common and sometimes embarrassing condition,” said Jeff Santosuosso, Vice President and General Manager.
According to research, as many as 18.5 percent of dogs in shelters were given up by their owners because of inappropriate soiling in the house.1 Up to 20 percent of spayed female dogs may develop urinary incontinence.2 Yet, only two percent of dog clinic visits are to discuss urinary incontinence.3 More discussion needs to take place. CUHI organizations and supporters are encouraging this discussion.
Dr. Susan Nelson, Associate Professor at the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University authored the section on urinary sphincter control. According to Dr. Nelson, many people assume a “leaky dog” is due to aging and there are no treatment options.
They don’t seek help for their pet, or worse, they have it euthanized. The reality is this condition can often be easily managed. On the website, she asks the pet owner:
- Are you starting to find puddles of urine in the house?
- Are there wet spots where your dog has been lying or sitting?
- Does your dog have wet hair between her back legs or smell like urine?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these, your dog may be experiencing a condition called urinary incontinence.4
Dr. Mike Paul, a past-president of AAHA and well-known international speaker, lecturer and columnist, authored the section on medical conditions. It’s well known inappropriate soiling can be too embarrassing for pet owners to bring up on their own. He encourages veterinarians and staff members to address the issue.
“Unfortunately because of the somewhat sensitive nature of the problem of urinary leaking, it is not always discussed between the veterinarian and pet owner. Once the problem is diagnosed it is generally easily resolved. Pet owners need to be encouraged by the veterinarian to discuss the problem if it exists. This necessitates a complete history with specific questions about toilet habits and a thorough physical to eliminate or raise suspicions of urinary leaking,” said Dr. Paul.
Steve Dale, a certified animal behavior consultant, nationally syndicated pet reporter, columnist and co-editor of the new book “Decoding Your Dog,” wrote the behavior section.
“Urinary incontinence is a common reason for people giving up their pets to shelters, and what’s really tragic that is that often the problem isn’t the assumed behavior issue but instead a medical problem which could have been effectively and inexpensively treated. The CUHI website and creating awareness regarding incontinence may save lives.”
The site encourages pet owners whose dog experiences behavior changes, including inappropriate soiling, to talk to their veterinarian about it. There could be several causes, and there likely is a solution. But their veterinarian needs to know.
“Urinary incontinence is one of those tragic conditions that can have great impact on the relationship between a pet owner and their beloved pet. By talking about the problem and the solutions, we can keep more dogs out of shelters, and keep more families together,” Dr. Paul concluded.
To learn more about PRN Pharmacal products, visit www.PRNPharmacal.com or call 1-800-874-9764. ®PROIN is a registered trademark of Pegasus Laboratories, Inc.
1 Behavioral Reasons for Relinquishment of Dogs and Cats to 12 Shelters. Jr.; Kass, P.; Scarlett, J. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 3(2), 93-106.
2 Von Goethem B, Schaefers-Okkens A, Kirpensteijn J. Making a rational choice between ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy in the dog: a discussion of the benefits of either technique. Vet Surg 2006; 35:136-143.
Lea-Ann Germinder, APR Fellow PRSA
Germinder & Associates, Inc.