Because of the loyal and affectionate nature, dogs are the most popular choice for a pet. However, the inability to learn housebreaking rules is one of the behavioral problems that concerns most dog owners. Everybody would want to have a well mannered dog thus owners would start to housebreak a puppy from day one. However, in spite of all the efforts to train the dog, the owner would still find the pet making a mess. A dog that makes accidents inside the house may not be one with poor cognitive abilities. The dog may have a condition that prevents it from controlling the flow of urine. Urinary incontinence is one of the common disorders of dogs. The involuntary passing of urine is a condition that affects any breed, any sex, any age and any size of dogs. Canine urine leak issues can happen to any breed but Dobermans, Collies and Boxers are some of the breeds prone to develop this condition.
Dogs’ inability to control the passing of urine can be due to a wide range of reasons. The condition can be age related. As the dog gets older, the urinary muscles, just like any other muscles and systems of the body, is weakened so that the ability to control the passing of urine is diminished. Urinary tract infection can cause temporary urinary incontinence as the organisms that managed to enter the bladder through the urethra increases the urge to urinate. The urethra may also be blocked with a tumor or a stone so that the bladder is not fully emptied.
Urine leakage is a condition more common in spayed dogs. Responsible owners would have the dog spayed to prevent pregnancies that can result to unwanted puppies. Owners may regret the decision of spaying the dog if the housebroken dog would start to make accidents inside the house after the spaying procedure. At the base of the dog’s bladder is a valve that has the function of releasing and preventing urine from leaking. Estrogen, a hormone produced by female dogs helps in keeping this valve known as the urethral sphincter strong. However, the surgical procedure of the removing the ovaries and the uterus also decreases the production of estrogen so that the tone of the muscles around the urethra is weakened thereby compromising the bladder’s capability to hold urine. This condition that affects the dog’s ability to control the passing of urine is called Urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence (USMI). Aside from poor muscle tone, the dog’s urethra may be shorter than normal or the bladder neck is positioned farther back in the abdomen.
Dog owners unaware of the dog’s condition will complain about the stench of urine as the dog may not create puddles of urine. Commonly, urine will leak while the dog is sleeping so that the beddings will be dampened by the leak or the fur surrounding the dog’s rear end will always be wet. Continuous dribbling of urine will also affect the pet as the wet genital area will be constantly licked by the dog resulting to skin irritations.
A female dog’s urinary leak should not be blamed entirely on the development of unwanted behaviors. A visit to the vet will ascertain causes for the dog’s leaking problem. Tests will be conducted to evaluate the urinary incontinence of the pet. As the goal is to improve the tone of the urethral muscles in order to restore its functions, vets commonly resolve the problem with estrogen replacement therapy. The vet can also prescribe medications that will improve the muscle tone. Colposuspension is a surgical procedure done to reposition the bladder if medical treatments failed to address the pet’s urine leakage concern.