Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Updated on April 19, 2017

Does My Dog Have Urinary Incontinence?

It may happen out of the blue or gradually. You casually notice a wet spot on your living room carpet and then another. The next day you catch your dog squatting in your kitchen just like the good old days of puppyhood many years ago. You think about scolding her for not even warning you by getting close to the door, but then you have second thoughts and suspect there might be a medical problem.

You are correct about the latter. Indeed, often urinary incontinence in dogs is confused with territorial marking or behavioral problems. It is well worth it to keep an open mind when it comes to urinary incontinence, especially if your dog is close to her geriatric years and spayed.

In order for a dog to urinate as nature intended, it takes a mix of correct nerve and hormonal function, good muscle tone, and normal water intake. There are various medical reasons that may cause one or the other to go wrong. Following are some of the most common reasons for dogs to develop urinary incontinence

Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

  • Urinary Tract Infection

It can affect any dog of any breed, age, and gender. Affected dogs typically strain to urinate, urinate only a few drops with discomfort, have blood in the urine and of course, urinate where they are not supposed to. A urinalysis may provide insight on the presence of bacteria, white blood cells and red blood cells. Treatment consists generally of a course of antibiotics.

  • Excessive Water Consumption

Of course, what goes in must come out. If your dog drinks a lot of water he or she may be unable to get to the door and alert you in time. However, often behind the increased drinking and urinating behavior (medically known as polydipsia and polyuria) there may be a condition such as diabetes, Cushing's disease or kidney failure. Treatment consists of taking care of the underlying cause.

  • Hormonal Changes

Once spayed or neutered dogs encounter hormonal changes that may cause incontinence. Both the hormones estrogen and testosterone are responsible for maintaining muscle tone of the urethral sphincter. This is more common in female dogs and is often referred to as ''spay incontinence''. Often in these cases, dogs urinate normally but urine leaks when the dog is resting or asleep. This condition can be easily relieved with a prescription medication known as Phenylpropanolomine (Prion RX).

  • Bladder Over-distension

In this case, the bladder has a partial blockage either from a bladder stone, tumor, or a stricture. When this occurs a little dribble of urine may make it through the passage. In this case, treatment consists of removing the blockage,

There are also other causes of urinary incontinence in dogs such as congenital disorders, liver and kidney disorders, old dog may develop a form of Alzheimer's causing them to forget where to urinate, in male dogs, there may be prostate issues and more. A good way to start is by collecting a fresh urine sample and having the vet run a urinalysis. After ward, further tests may be ran as needed.

Bladder Strength improves bladder control, strengthens bladder muscles, improves bladder emptying and provides anti-microbial support. It is especially helpful for female cats and dogs after spaying and for senior cats and dogs to help maintain bladder health and control. Contains pumpkin seed powder, rebmannia glutinosa (root) powder, wild yam extract, soy protein extract, corn silk powder, saw palmetto extract, olive leaf extract and Vitamin B6. Directions: Give 1 smoke flavored tablet per 25 pounds body weight. For dogs less than 15 pounds give 1/2 tablet daily.

Questions & Answers


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        Mississippi 3 years ago

        My puppy is 10 weeks old she has been dewormed she is a doberman tonight I noticed her squaring alot in the house and I thought we had her house broke but it is just little drops that have a pink color it's 1 am here should I rush her to the vet tonight or will she be fine till in the morning I have right at 800.00 dollars in our new puppy I have became very attatched to her is it I big emergency do I need to take her to her vet right now?

      • alexadry profile image

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

        What did the vet think about the concentration/gravity of the urine? Was the urine the first catch of the morning? In early kidney disease, often the concentration of urine changes before there is anything noticeable in the blood test. Most senior dogs develop kidney problems as they age. This means that it's sometimes difficult to diagnose in its early stages. Did the vet make any dietary recommendations? Perhaps, this test may be helpful:

        PLEASE keep in mind I a am not a veterinarian, so this is not meant to replace your vet's advice but only to suggest additional options to explore. Best wishes!

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        Virginia 5 years ago

        My dog is all of a sudden drinking lots of water and has become incontinent at night, if I don't take her for a late night walk, her bed is wet in morning. Blood tests are normal and so was her urine test, she is 11, almost 12, in February, not overweight and still feeling good, lots of energy still, maybe a bit more skittish than normal

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        SmilinHeidiKaye 7 years ago

        I found this article to be VERY helpful info for my baby girl. I feel I can discuss and assess her leaking with the vet and figure out the best way to keep her healthy.

      • ronibgood profile image

        ronibgood 8 years ago

        Good article.

      • l1blonde profile image

        l1blonde 8 years ago

        Very informative hub. I always enjoy getting good information on dogs.