Urine leaking in a dog is a sign of urinary incontinence, an ailment that's characterized by loss of bladder control. When a dog has urinary incontinence, her urethra, bladder muscle and associated nerves aren't correctly arranged. The condition is especially common in middle-age and elderly spayed female canines.
Urinary incontinence in dogs is most commonly caused by a hormonal disorder that typically appears in those who are at least 8 years old. Despite that, it can appear in dogs of all different age groups. Hormonal imbalances aren't the only potential causes of urinary incontinence and urine leakage in canines. Other common causes include protruding intervertebral disks, chronic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infections, spinal trauma, urinary stones, birth defects, prostate disorders and anatomic disorders. The use of various medications such as diuretics can trigger urinary incontinence as well.
Spay incontinence is a kind of hormone-related urinary incontinence that's prevalent in spayed female dogs, specifically those who are middle-age and older. Spaying procedures lead to the gradual loss of the urethral sphincter's strength, which intensifies with the aging process. This condition is more common in large dogs. Early age spaying reduces the risk of spay incontinence. Although hormone-responsive incontinence is more rare in males than in females, some elderly neutered dogs develop it as well.
Dripping urine is a common sign of hormone-responsive incontinence and of urinary incontinence overall. This involuntary urination happens when your dog's bladder is partially full. The dripping frequently takes place when a dog feels at ease and has pressure applied onto her bladder. It's particularly common when dogs are sleeping.
Signs of dripping urine and urinary incontinence in dogs can be easy to identify. They include:
- Damp patches on a dog's bedding after she wakes up.
- Urine that drips from a dog's rear area.
- The presence of rashes and redness by the vulva due to skin irritation from excessive urine contact.
- Excessive licking of the vulva region.
- Penis licking.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Damp hair in the middle of the hind legs or on the abdomen.
If you observe urine leakage in your dog, take her to the veterinarian for an evaluation. Do the same if you notice any other potential symptoms of urinary incontinence. Your veterinarian will treat the condition based on its specific root trigger. Available treatment options include hormone therapy, medications, collagen injections and surgery.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Robinson Veterinary Services: Hormone Responsive Urinary Incontinence
- American Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Urinary Incontinence
- PetEducation.com: Urinary Incontinence in Dogs
- PetMD: Lack of Bladder Control in Dogs
- Dr. Carol's Naturally Healthy Dogs; Carol Osborne
- ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs; Sheldon L. Gerstenfeld and Jacque Lynn Schultz
- Vetstreet: What You Need to Know About Spay Incontinence in Female Dogs