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Lack of bladder control.

Species: Dog
Breed: COCKER SPANIEL
Age: 1-2 years
I HAVE A FEMALE COCKER SPANIEL WHO IS THE OFF SPRING OF MY OWN MALE AND FEMALE WHO HAS A URINARY PROBLEM SHE SEEMS TO HAVE NO OR LITTLE CONTROL SHE IS ALWAYS WET AND DRIPPY IN THAT AREA IF SHE SETS SOMEWHERE THERE IS USUALLY A WET SPOT THAT SOAKS THRU SEVERAL LAYERS SHE IS IN HIGH SPIRITS EATS WELL AND HAS NOT OTHER SYMPTOMS


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question!

I have a few questions for you to help me answer properly...

  • Does she drink more than you would expect?

  • Is this a new problem or has she had this issue since she was a puppy?

  • When she is urinating in the yard, does she urinate huge amounts, or would you consider that normal?

  • Does she seem to be straining to urinate at all?

  • Are you mostly finding urine where she has been sleeping?

  • Is she spayed?



Thanks so much! I am in between appointments this evening but should be able to answer you quite quickly.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

DOESN'T SEEM TO DRINK MORE THEN USUAL
NORMAL OUTSIDE
NO PROBLEM WHILE SLEEPING
NOT SPAYED
EVER SINCE SHE WAS A PUPPY
MORE WHEN EXCITED
LICKS HERSELF A LOT
WILL HAPPEN RIGHT AFTER SHE COMES IN FROM OUTSIDE
LEAVES A TRAIL OF SPOTS AFTER THE LEAK OCCURED


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK, thanks for that great information. The most important information you gave me is that she has had this problem ever since she was a puppy.

I am concerned that she may have been born with a problem with her urinary tract.

One possibility is something called an ectopic ureter. This is a condition where the tubes from the kidneys to the bladder, called ureters, don't empty into the bladder properly.

This is a rough diagram of what may be happening:

ectopic ureter

If this is the problem then urine collects in the vagina and then can leak out, especially when she is excited.

There is a surgery that can be done to fix this, but it can be expensive.

Another possibility is something called a pelvic bladder. This means that the bladder sits inside the pelvis rather than in front of it. If this is the case then the bladder can only fill up a certain amount and can't hold a normal amount of urine. However, if it is worse when she comes in from outside then I don't think this is it.

It is also possible that she has some irritation in her bladder or vagina caused either by an infection or by bladder stones or crystals, but this would be unlikely to be happening since she was a puppy.

Some dogs do have what is called excitement urination where they urinate little bits when excited. It would be unusual for this to happen after she has been out to urinate though.

I'd highly advise having your vet do a urinalysis to determine if there is a simple problem like an infection or crystals. If not, then they may have to do some xrays to see if it is one of the other problems. If they are suspecting an ectopic ureter (which is what I think it is) then they might have to do a special type of xray where they inject her with some dye to see the urine flow through her kidneys and bladder.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

if it is what u believe and it goes un corrected with surgery will it cause future health problems of just continue with the inconvience as it is we are scraping to get by month and she is such a sweet dog


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Because she has urine leaking a lot she is a little more susceptible than other dogs to getting either a urinary tract infection or urine scalding causing a skin infection. But these are relatively minor problems.

You can also consider getting dog diapers to help reduce the amount of leaking in the house.

I still would advise a urinalysis to be sure there is no infection.

But if it is an ectopic ureter, dogs can live quite happily with this...they just leak a lot!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.