My dog appears to have no control over her urination, what could be the cause of this?

Housebreaking is one of the first things pet parents do after taking home a new dog. Dogs are intelligent animals and after a few days of housebreaking lessons, the new pet would now be able go to the designated place on its own every time it needs to do its business. Accidents inside the house can happen every now and then. Cleaning the mess created by the dog is part and parcel of being a pet parent. Dog owners though would be concerned if the perfectly housebroken dog would repeatedly soil the house. Has the dog developed an unwanted behavior? Or is it possible that inappropriate pooping and peeing due to a health concern?

Dog urine odor will certainly be a problem. A greater problem though would be the health of the pet especially if the inappropriate urinating of the pet is caused by a health concern. The dribbling of urine or the leaking urine, the dog’s inability to control urination – these conditions are all lumped together as urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a medical condition that needs a vet’s attention. This condition is different from inappropriate urination where the dog’s inability to use the designated place to poop or to pee is attributed to lack of training. Urinary incontinence needs treatment while to resolve the inappropriate urination, a dog has to be housetrained.


Urinary incontinence is the involuntary passing of urine. How will an owner know that the pet has trouble controlling the urination? A dog can manifest urinary incontinence in two ways. A dog unable to control urination until the designated place is reached will dribble urine inside the house. Urine will leak while the dog is sleeping. Bed and blanket smelling of urine, puddles of urine where the dog has lain are typical symptoms of the disease. Urine leakage will keep the area around the vulva wet. Because of discomfort, the dog will constantly lick the urine dampened area.

The inability to control urination is basically caused by physical or structural problem, by infection and blockages. Canine urinary tract infection is one of the most common reasons why a dog would have no control over urination. Bacterial or fungal infection will cause the inflammation of the urinary tract. Because of the narrowing of the passage, the dog will have urinating difficulties. This condition should prevent urine from leaking but the abnormal passing of urine will cause urine build up in the bladder. Once the bladder is fully stretched, the dog will no longer have the capability to control urination thus urine will leak. UTI is more common in female dogs because the shorter and wider urethra allows the easy passage of infectious agents.

The causes of urinary incontinence are somehow interrelated. Infection will cause the inflammation and narrowing of the urinary tract. The abnormal flow of urine will cause crystals and minerals in the urine to form into stones that will create a blockage. Just as with UTI, blockages will result t excessive build up of urine in the bladder. The pressure in the bladder will force urine to leak around the blockage. Urinary incontinence can also be due to incompetence of urethral sphincter mechanism. Hormone responsive incontinence is prevalent in spayed dogs. Dogs with this kind of incontinence will leak urine while sleeping. The dog’s inability to control urine is caused by the weakening of the muscles that acts as a valve that holds urine. Disease can cause the weakening of the urethral sphincter mechanism. It was also thought that the condition develops because of hormone imbalance. Spayed dogs can no longer produce the right level of hormone necessary in maintaining the tone of the urethral sphincter. When the sleeping dog relaxes, the urethral sphincter relaxes as well thus urine will leak.

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