Jul 14, 2006

Carmen Update: Hormones to blame?

I'm skeptical, but it could be true. You know how when a woman has to have a hysterectomy, it does weird things to her body because hormones are missing? And you know how common practice used to be to put women on estrogen when they reached menopause, just to ease the symptoms and maybe also prevent osteoporosis? But then it changed and now they try to keep women off hormones because of cancer risks?

Well, we never think about this in terms of our pets, whom we neuter with gusto. There are so many fixed pets out there, and are they getting bone loss and hot flashes? Probably so.

The vet declared that Carmen is leaking because she doesn't have enough estrogen due to being spayed, and prescribed hormone pills to ease her incontinence. So she is now on a regimen and we'll see if this helps the situation. Stay tuned, friends... and have a good weekend!


Anonymous drkhuly@dolittler.com opined...

Hey. I like your blog...especially your tight writing style. On this entry: I happen to be a vet and just want to make sure you understand that while you're right, we don't know whether dogs get hot flashes or other estrogen-related symptoms, and while you're also right, we know spayed dogs like yours leak more frequently than others, we DO know that unspayed dogs have a tendency to get major uterine disease and mammary tumors if not spayed while young (not to mention that they can contribute to pet overpopulation if they aren't spayed). I agree, however, that spaying and neutering is not risk free. Sorry about your little one. Hope you guys find a good solution. Btw, you can check out my vet blog at Dolittler.com--I'd warmly welcome your comments.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Dubin opined...

Hi Doctor! Thanks for the post. I like your blog, too, especially the litterbox cake post! And of course the tampon post, because we're familiar with what dogs do with salty wastbasket treats...

I definitely don't regret spaying Carmen, but do you think hormones could really cause leaking? And do you think there's evidence that estrogen supplements help?

5:56 PM  
Blogger Patty opined...

Yes. It's well undrstood in veterinary medicine that hormonal changes subsequent to spaying (ovariectomy or ovarhysterectomy) can lead to a "weakness" in the sphincter of the bladder. This relaxation in the bladders outlet mechanism does certainly lead to "leaking" in some dogs.

And yes. Hormone supplements have been found to be efective. Safety, however, is another matter. The safest method currently in vogue is the use of phenylpropenalamine (it goes by the trade name of Proin). Although safety concerns resulted in its being banned in human medicine (strokes in women), these safety problems have not yet been seen in the dog population. Please consider this product first.

It is important to see your vet first to make sure Carmen does not have a urinary tract infection, though. Recurrent leaking does make it easier for dogs to get bacteria traveling up the urethra into the bladder. And, of course, she must be in good health to receive any medication. These are, after all, drugs and drugs can always have side effects.

Good luck with Carmen. Send me a pic and I'll put her on Dolittler. I'd write a "leaking" article with Carmen as the poster child!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Dubin opined...

Carmen is famous!

10:10 PM  

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