Loss of Urine Control in Dogs

by Naomi Millburn
As dogs get older, they have to eliminate more often.

As dogs get older, they have to eliminate more often.

Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If your beloved pooch used to be perfectly housebroken and is all of a sudden doing "No. 1" in random areas throughout your home, there's a good chance she's experiencing urinary incontinence, which is a condition that refers to the loss of bladder control. A wide array of factors can bring upon urinary incontinence in canines.

Problems with Bladder Control

When a dog feels the need to expel urine from her bladder, the fluid travels to her body's exterior via her urethra, which is a tiny tube. Healthy dogs are in command of this function. When dogs have urinary incontinence, however, they are not. This can lead to the leakage of small amounts of urine, or in some cases a lot of it. When a dog is incontinent, her urethra, bladder muscle and associated nerves are simply not correctly systematized.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

If your dog can't control when she urinates, then you need to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian immediately. The situation is likely associated with any of various medical ailments, including bladder stones, prostate problems, hormonal issues, urinary tract infections, traumas related to the spine and congenital issues. Disorders that lead to increases in thirst also frequently trigger loss of urine control, such as kidney disease and diabetes. Some medicines can even cause incontinence. Birth detects that bring upon incontinence in youthful dogs are prevalent in Welsh corgis, Labrador retrievers, West Highland white terriers and collies, among others. The majority of dogs become incontinent due to hormonal problems that appear when they're past 8 years old, according to veterinarian and author Sheldon L. Gerstenfeld. The quicker you take your pet for an appointment, the sooner the vet can figure out what is causing the messy problem -- and then get on the path to handling and possibly eliminating it.

Classic Urinary Incontinence Symptoms

If you're concerned that your dog might be incontinent, be attentive to classic symptoms of the condition. Urine leakage is an especially telling sign of it. The excessive leakage often brings upon the conspicuous redness of the skin, which in turn encourages dogs to persistently lick their private regions. If your dog is incontinent, you also might observe damp patches in her sleeping space.

Susceptible Dogs

Urinary incontinence is particularly common in middle-aged and elderly canines. Fixed female dogs are also especially vulnerable to it. Outside of the aforementioned birth detects in some canine youngsters, other breeds that are susceptible to urinary incontinence in general include Old English sheepdogs, Doberman pinschers and cocker spaniels. Remember, however, that any dog in the world can potentially experience urinary continence, whether young or old, regardless of breed.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

Trending Dog Behavior Articles

Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!