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Ectopic ureter or pelvic bladder?

Species: Dog
Breed: cocker spaniel/king
Age: 6-12 months
My dog ziggy is almost a year old. I got him at 6 months. He has a urination problem. He can hold it all night long with out a problem. When i come home from work he starts to pee in his crate as i walk in the door. This happens every day i come home from work. He also tends to pee around the house while he walks. I am always cleaning up after him. He gets let out around 8 or 9 times a day. He is crate trained and will go to the door to let me know he has to go out. But sometimes after i let him out about a half our later he might pee on the floor. I dont know what to do with him. Please help any advice would be great. I took him to the vet to check for a UTI and he was fine. He is a mixed breed cocker spaniel/king charles and something else mix.

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Dr. Marie replied:

This is definitely a frustrating problem!

I think what we need to figure out here is whether this is a behavioral issue or a medical issue.

I am wondering if what you are describing is a problem with an ectopic ureter. You can read a little bit more about this condition in this question that I answered:

Ectopic ureter

Basically an ectopic ureter happens when one of the paths from the kidneys to the bladder empties into the wrong spot. Dogs who have this problem will have trouble holding their urine when they move around. I have seen dogs with ectopic ureters that can hold their urine while sleeping.

Another possibility is something called a pelvic bladder. This happens when the bladder is located too far back on a dog and ends up inside the bones of the pelvis. The pelvic bones cause the bladder to not be able to fill up fully. Therefore, if the bladder gets even a little bit full it will empty involuntarily.

The way your vet would diagnose these is by doing a set of xrays called an intravenous pyelogram (IVP). This can usually tell us if there is a problem. Sometimes it can be hard to tell though. For those cases I usually send the xrays to a radiologist to interpret.

Depending on how bad the problem is sometimes we can do surgery to fix these types of problems.

The other possibility is if this is a behavioral problem such as excitement urination. Most puppies with excitement urination grow out of this problem by this age. Plus, excitement urination doesn't account for him urinating while he walks.

I really think there is a good chance that this is either an ectopic ureter or a pelvic bladder. It would be a great idea to call your vet and see if they think this is possible.

I hope that information helps!

Dr. Marie.

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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.