Incontinence In Dogs


Causes of incontinence from within the urinary tract include chronic lower urinary tract inflammation and bladder distension, kidney failure (see below) and age-related loss of urethra sphincter mechanism (USM) control. Other causes of incontinence are secondary, that is they come from outside the urinary tract. These include:

Anatomical abnormality

Some pups are born with ureters that empty into the urethra or vagina (ectopic ureters) rather than the bladder. This requires surgical correction.


Older males and females and spayed females, especially Dobermans and Bearded Collies may develop incontinence. Male incontinence often can be controlled with low dose male hormone (testosterone) supplementation or phenylpropanolamine (Propalin). Female incontinence may respond both to phenylpropanolamine and the synthetic female hormone estriol (Incurin).

Submissive and excited behaviour

Submissive pets show their submissiveness by grovelling and urinating. Excitement (You've come home!!!) may also trigger uncontrolled urinating. This form of incontinence is treated by gentle training that reduces excitement and increases a pet's confidence.

Nerve damage

Injuries, accidents, infections and tumours all can cause damage to the nerves that control the bladder. A result is that the brain doesn't receive messages that the bladder is full. Eventually the sphincter mechanism loses resistance and chronic intermittent urine dribbling ensures. The risk of chronic infection is high. Chronic antibiotic therapy is necessary.

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