Incontinence in dogs

3rd March 2016

Many of our patients suffer from urinary incontinence, particularly as they get older. For some dogs the problem can start even earlier in life, but we’d generally expect to see this problem from middle age onwards.


Early signs

You may notice a small (or large) wet patch on the carpet, in the dog’s bed or perhaps even on the sofa. The wet area is often discovered after the pet has been sleeping for a while. We’ll occasionally find that a dog will dribble urine even after he/she has been out for a walk and passed normally.

Which dogs are most likely to be affected?

Whilst all ages and both sexes of dog can be affected, at Bollington Veterinary Centre we see spayed females more frequently.

Why does it happen?

The most common cause is a weakening of the muscles of the neck of the bladder, which allows urine to leak or dribble out when the dog is most relaxed. This is often referred to as ‘sphincter incompetence’. The mechanism whereby this happens is complex and is linked to hormones and age.

Are there other causes of incontinence?

There can be many other causes, including bladder infections, bladder stones and in more serious cases bladder tumours. If you think your dog is having problems with incontinence, contact us for a check-up. It will help if you can bring a fresh urine sample from your pet as we will test this and look for signs of infection and abnormalities.

Are there treatments for incontinence?

Yes, there are some excellent medications we can prescribe. For the commonest cause of leaking urine, we can offer a safe and highly effective treatment that will very quickly tighten the muscles of the bladder to prevent or reduce further leakage.

Don’t’ delay

If you suspect or know your dog is suffering from urinary incontinence, ring us on 01625 573375 and make and appointment for one of our vets to check your pet.

Incontinence PDF