Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

The causes and treatments of a dog’s urinary incontinence.


Endocrine disorders: Hormonal-responsive urethral incompetence (usually spayed females, but sometimes in neutered males).

Congenital/Inherited disorders: Ectopic ureter or vulvovaginal stenosis (narrowing of vagina near urethral opening, causing urine pooling in vagina).

Infectious diseases: Bacterial infections causing cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), prostatitis, prostatic abscesses, or aspergillosis (fungal infection).

Tumors: In bladder, prostate, urethra, brain, spinal cord, or nerves.

Trauma: To the urethra, brain, spinal cord, or nerves.

Miscellaneous: Age-related weakening of sphincters that hold urine in bladder, cognitive dysfunction, or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Toxicity: Sodium monofluoroacetate (also called 1080, a rodenticide) or marijuana.

Miscellaneous: Idiopathic urethral sphincter incompetence, or degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (narrowing of the vertebral canal in the pelvic area, which compresses the end of the spinal cord or the nerve roots).

What to do: If your dog has urinary incontinence accompanied by other serious signs of illness (vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, collapse, etc.), call your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. Otherwise, call your veterinarian during regular office hours to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment.

Disclaimer: DogChannel.com’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

Have a health question about your dog? Ask our 
vet expert or ask other dog owners on our forums.

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Dogs · Health and Care