Urinary incontinence is the inability to voluntarily control urination. It is more common in females than in males. True urinary incontinence is less common than conditions that mimic incontinence, including behaviour problems, urinary tract disease and increased volume of urination.
Urinary incontinence may be caused by any of the following types of condition:
Conditions that can mimic urinary incontinence include:
We will start by performing a full physical examination, neurological examination and urine analysis to look for evidence of prostate disease, urinary infection, crystals or stones, or kidney disease. If you are bringing your dog to us for a urinary problem, you should try to obtain a urine sample to bring with you – this will speed up the process of diagnosis considerably. If the physical examination and urine analysis are normal, the next step will be determined by the age and sex of the animal. In a young dog we may check for congenital anatomical problems using special x-ray studies, whereas in an older dog we may do an ultrasound to check for urinary tract neoplasia or trial oestrogen supplementation to see if this corrects the problem. If we suspect that increased volume of urination may be the problem, we will recommend blood tests to check for organ or hormonal disease.
The treatment for urinary incontinence depends on the cause.
The prognosis depends on the cause, but the vast majority of cases are treatable.
Here you can find information and advice about common problems and diseases. Please remember, though, that this information can't replace a visit to the vet!