Causes of Female Dog Incontinence

Dog incontinence may affect dogs of both genders, but female canines are more likely to be affected by this condition. The dog will unconsciously release urine, especially while resting. The cause of incontinence is often a hormonal imbalance, but there may also be other factors leading to incontinence. Incontinence may be treatable in some cases, depending on the underlying cause.

Hormonal Imbalance and Hormonal Incontinence

A common cause of urinary incontinence in female dogs is a hormonal imbalance. Estrogen, a female sexual hormone that is also responsible for the contraction of the muscles in the urinary bladder. If the dog has an estrogen deficiency, she will not be able to control the muscles of the bladder and she may release small amounts of urine without actually knowing. The lack of estrogen is common in spayed female dogs and as soon as estrogen is supplemented, the dog will no longer have incontinence. Senior dogs are also likely to develop incontinence due to a lack of sufficient estrogen, as with aging, the body produces less estrogen.

The condition can be treated by administering diethylstilbestrol, which is a synthetic hormone that replaces estrogen. The lengthy administration of hormones may have several side effects, so it’s best if the dose is as low as possible. The dose can be adjusted periodically or may even be discontinued for short periods of time.

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs

Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) can cause a weakening of the bladder muscles and incontinence. UTI is caused by an accumulation of bacteria in the urinary tract and may be treated with antibiotics. The infection may also go away without treatment, but this may affect the bladder and the urinary tract in the long run and weaken the dog’s body. Consequently, if you notice symptoms such as excessive urination and increased thirst or the dog is straining to urinate, don’t hesitate to contact your vet and get some antibiotics.

Tumors or Polyps in the Dog's Urinary Tract

Tumors may be benign or malignant cell growths that can affect the bladder or the urinary tract. Ultrasounds and x-rays should be performed to detect the exact location of these cell growths. A biopsy may be needed. The exam of the cells will determine if the cell growth is benign or malignant. Surgery is necessary to eliminate incontinence and if the tumor is malignant, the dog will also need chemotherapy.

Excessive Licking of Genitals

When the dog licks her genitals in excess, she may release some urine, as the bladder muscles will be relaxed. An excessive licking of genital may be indicative of an infection, so you need to check with your vet and see if your pet is healthy.

Congenital Problems

If the dog is born with certain anatomical defects of the bladder or urethra, she may have incontinence. In this case, only surgery can fix the problem. Otherwise, the dog will have to wear diapers or you can purchase some incontinence pads.