Monday, June 2, 2014

Harv's urinary incontinence

A few days ago I wrote about some unusual urination behavior that Harvey was having (see post).

Harvey did better on Saturday.  His elimination behavior   returned to normal. On Sunday he has some incontinence but not as bad as Friday. and he still has one or two "big pees" a day. His tail is still pretty floppy, but it's just one more of some neurological symptoms that have been going on for awhile.

He is on SMZs which may or may not be helping. The vet said that if Harv has EPM it might offer some temporary relief. Perhaps he had a urinary infection. In the last week I had tried to clean his sheath using baby oil. It seemed to work but maybe it bothered him.

  I found a few articles and posts in forums, but this DVM 360 article "Urinary incontinence: A drippy problem" covers it exclusively. It's very detailed but here are some highlights.

  • Urinary infections are rare in horses, at least geldings. Their long tracts protect them from bacteria. 
  • Neurological issues are a common cause of urinary incontinence -- EPM and Cauda Equine Neuritis are two of many examples.
  • Idiopathic bladder paralysis syndrome is a descriptive label they use for this problem if they can't figure out the cause.
  • Whatever the cause, it is common to have sediment and/or unexpunged urine pooling in the bladder and that causes problems. I guess there are procedures that can be done, but I'm not sure how often, and how invasive, this is. I'm not keen on shipping him anywhere or having him sedated (he gets pretty darn wobbly under sedation, and in danger of falling).
  • Prognosis depends on the cause.
I'm setting up a vet appointment on Monday. For now, at least, he is fine.

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