Management of Pets with Heart Disease: Urinary Accidents

Frequent urinations and increased amount of urine production is an effect of the commonly used diuretic drugs such as furosemide. Diuretics help move the excess fluid that the body is retaining and cause this fluid to be taken up by the kidneys and excreted as urine. These are very effective in treating Congestive Heart Failure, and furosemide is one of the most predictably effective drugs. However, the increased urine production can lead to urinary accidents, or sleepless nights when dogs need to go outside, often on an urgent basis. Since in most cases, furosemide has its most impressive effects one to four hours after administration, it is recommended that you give this drug when you can be home for a few hours (and not right before you go to bed). Sometimes the dose of furosemide can be reduced if other drugs are used to manage heart failure, and dietary modification to reduce the amount of sodium, or salt, in the diet will also reduce the need for furosemide (see the Diet section). In addition, since some dogs will get urinary tract infections, and older female dogs often have pre-existing bladder control issues, it is often worthwhile to have your veterinarian perform a urine test to look for infection or other causes for abnormal urinations.