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Dog leaking urine when sleeping.

Species: Dog
Breed: Weimeraner
Age: 8-11 years
My dog is leaking urine when she is sleeping. She pees on the bed or on the couch. She doesn't seem to know that she is doing this. Is she incontinent? Should I get diapers? Is this just an age thing?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Sheila. I have some questions about Spooky before I answer:

Is she spayed?
Do you think she is drinking a lot of water?
Does she have any other health issues?



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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:

Thanks for the fast response Dr. Marie. Spooky was spayed when she was 6 months old.

I don't think she is drinking any more water than usual. She has been healthy other than a skin infection one year after swimming but that was a few years ago.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There is a good chance that your girl has something called estrogen responsive incontinence. This is something we often see in spayed female dogs.

For some reason the bladder of a female dog needs a certain amount of estrogen in order to maintain muscle tone to stay closed. Sometimes after a dog is spayed, as they get a little older these muscles can weaken and we see urine leak out when they are resting or sleeping.

The good news is that this is usually quite easily controlled with medication. The bad news is that it is usually a life long condition.

Your vet will likely want to do a urine test to rule out other causes for this problem. Anything that causes an increase of urine in the bladder could possibly cause urine to leak out. This includes problems like kidney disease, cushing's disease and others. However, estrogen responsive incontinence is the most likely.

Related:


Article on USMI in dogs.





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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.