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Incontinent after exercise.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shepherd mix (rescue
Age: 2-5 years
Sporadically over the course of the past year or 15 months Keeley will have incontinence after heavy exercise. She'll normally jump in the river to cool off/drink after we play for 30 min or so and then go home. If I have to leave her for a while after play I have been finding signs of incontinence in her bed or other places. Sometimes quite a lot. It's only after heavy exertion and normally swimming after. Is she simply drinking too much water from the river after exercise? She seems to get overheated much easier this year than last.

Thanks!

Tim


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting question. There's no specific disease condition that I am aware of that would cause incontinence after exercise, but I have a theory.

When a female dog is having urinary incontinence in the bed and other resting places, the most common reason is something called USMI or Urinary Sphincter Mechanism Incontinence. You can read more about this condition and how it is treated in this article: USMI in dogs.

It's not a serious problem and can usually be controlled with medication (as mentioned in the article referenced above.) However, why would it be seen only after exercise? My theory is that after heavy exercise your dog would be more likely to have a deep sleep. The incontinence with USMI happens when the dog is really relaxed and the bladder just lets go. This could be what is going on.

Still, it's a good idea to have your vet take a look at a urine sample from Keeley to make sure that there is not some other reason. It's unlikely that this is related to an infection as usually there would be some straining and pain, but it's not impossible. The urine test will give an idea of kidney function as well. Dogs with kidney problems will sometimes have incontinence. But this really doesn't sound like a kidney problem to me.

If the tests are normal then the vet will likely prescribe some medication for USMI.

I hope that helps!

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.

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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.