Canine Urinary Incontinence - Metro Paws Animal Hospital (2024)

by Dr. Rebecca Donaldson

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Urinary incontinence is a condition in dogs that causes the involuntary leakage of urine. If you’ve ever noticed your dog leaving behind a wet spot of urine on his or her bed after they get up from sleeping or unconsciously dribbling urine while walking, your dog is likely experiencing urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is most commonly seen in older spayed femaledogs, but can also be seen in young dogs with congenital defects, dogs withspinal injuries, and dogs with bladder infections. An ectopic ureter is anexample of an uncommon congenital defect that may cause urine dribbling orleaking in dogs often younger than one year of age. It occurs when the ureter,the tube that brings urine into the bladder from the kidney, attaches somewhereother than the bladder.

A far more common cause of urinary incontinence is calledurethral sphincter mechanism incompetence. This is the type of incontinencethat is seen in older spayed female dogs. The exact mechanism is unknown, butis has been suggested that low levels of estrogen after a spay may be acontributing factor.

To determine the cause of your dog’s urinary issues, yourveterinarian will begin by asking you questions regarding your dog’s historyand urination habits. It is important to differentiate urinary incontinencefrom other frequent issues such as excessive urination and drinking, urinatingsmall amounts more frequently, and behavioral abnormalities leading toaccidents in the house. A thorough physical examination will be performed,including palpation of your dog’s bladder. Your veterinarian will likely beginwith a urinalysis, a diagnostic tests which may help diagnose a bladderinfection. It may then be recommended to perform additional testing such as bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasound, or a urine culture. Treatment for your dog’s urinaryincontinence will depend on the suspected cause of the problem.

If your dog is experiencing urinary incontinence, please schedulean appointment today so that our skilled veterinarians can get to the bottom ofit!

Canine Urinary Incontinence - Metro Paws Animal Hospital (2024)


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