If you've spayed your dog and she's experiencing urinary problems, it's time to see your vet. Incontinence or urinary blockage can be temporary or permanent, requiring your dog to take medication for the rest of her life. There are a variety of conditions that cause urinary difficulties and incontinence in spayed dogs. Your vet can help to determine the best course of treatment for your pooch.
Bladder Infections and Urinary Issues
Bladder infections cause difficulty urinating and incontinence, conditions that occasionally occur after spaying. You may notice your dog squatting in an attempt to urinate with little or no success. She may cry out in pain and have blood in her urine. Your dog might have a fever and her urine may have a stronger than normal odor. If she's suffering from incontinence, she will urinate frequently, perhaps soiling herself without knowing it, even while sleeping. All of these symptoms are cause to take your beloved pet to her veterinarian.
Urinary Tract Abnormalities
Some dogs are born with unusual urinary anatomy, such as disorders of the bladder, urethra or the ureters leading from the kidneys. These conditions can cause urine to dribble out or to back up into the kidneys. A preexisting condition can be magnified after spaying. Consult her doctor to determine how to proceed with treatment.
Spaying Incontinence in Dogs
Unfortunately, incontinence sometimes happens in dogs after they're spayed, because the operation lowers the hormones that strengthen her ureter muscles. These muscles gradually weaken after the surgery and can get worse with time. For example, roughly 20 percent of all spayed dogs develop incontinence within a few years of the operation. This condition is rarely permanent and typically responds well to treatment.
Diabetic Dogs are at Greater Risk
If your dog has diabetes, she will often drink more water than healthy dogs and will have to urinate more often as a result. A dog with diabetes often suffers from overflow incontinence and will have difficulty holding her urine. Dogs with diabetes are also at greater risk for urinary tract infections because of reduced immune system function. A dog with diabetes needs to be examined by her veterinarian to develop what will likely be a lifelong treatment plan.
- Vetstreet.com: What You Need to Know About Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs
- Vetstreet.com: What You Need to Know About Spay Incontinence in Female Dogs
- Infection in Dogs – What is a Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs?
- ASPCA: Pet Care – How Will Spaying Change My Dog?
- ASPCA Pet Care: Submissive Urination – Spay/Urinary Incontinence (Medical)
- Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images