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Female dog leaking urine.

Species: Dog
Breed: shepard mix
Age: 5-8 years
Dr. Marie
My 8yr old shepard mix is leaking urine more days than not she is a female and she is fixed she goes a couple of days sometimes a week but than it starts all over again and it is several times a day for many days what can be wrong

thank you
theresa


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There are a few reasons for a dog to leak urine, but the most common is something called urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI) . This used to be known as estrogen responsive incontinence.

USMI is always seen in dogs that are female and spayed. The theory is that the bladder needs a certain amount of estrogen to maintain its strength. When a dog is spayed there is less estrogen and this can make the bladder weaker.

What happens in a dog with USMI is that urine can leak out when they are resting or sleeping. So, if you are finding that your dog is leaking urine on the bed or couch or wherever she sleeps then this is likely what is going on.

There are two ways to treat USMI. One is with a drug called Phenylpropanolamine (PPA, or Propalin). The second is with a small estrogen supplement. There are pros and cons to each and possible side effects with each so it is best to talk to your vet about what they recommend.

Whenever I have a dog where I suspect USMI I always do tests on the urine first to see if there is another problem going on. If the dog has a problem that is causing more urine to be created, or if there is irritation in the bladder then this can cause urine to leak as well. Some possible causes for these include:

  • Kidney problems

  • Liver problems

  • Diabetes

  • A bladder infection

  • Bladder stones

  • Crystals in the urine



If the urine tests don't show a problem then my personal choice is to put the dog on an estrogen tablet that is taken once or twice a week. Most dogs need medication for the rest of their life.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.

Related:


Article on USMI in dogs.




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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.