Symptoms of Spay Incontinence in Dogs

Incontinence in dogs is more common in older pets and spayed dogs. Spaying is the term that refers to the neutering of female canines and will consist of the removal of the ovaries and in some cases, the uterus is also removed. Following the procedure, the dog will no longer be able to reproduce and will be less exposed to reproductive system and mammary gland cancers. However, there are also a few possible side effects such as incontinence.

Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Urinary incontinence is the condition that is defined as the unconscious release of urine in dogs and may be caused by several factors such as trauma, recurrent urinary infections or old age. The condition can be observed both in male and female dogs. In female dogs, the incontinence may be associated with spaying and the lack of certain hormones in the body (i.e. estradiol). The condition needs to be diagnosed in order to find the best type of treatment.

Spay Incontinence in Dogs

5 to 20% of spayed female dogs can develop incontinence after the spaying procedure. The vet cannot predict if the dog will develop this problem, but obese dogs and pets that are spayed under the age of 6 months are more at risk.

Symptoms of Spay Incontinence in Dogs

After spaying, your dog will urinate normally, but you may also notice that she eliminates small amounts of urine outside the regular urination schedule. The dog may even release urine when sleeping or resting. This is due to the fact that the dog cannot control her uterine sphincter muscles, as these can weaker following a spaying procedure. The deficiency in muscle control is also due to the lack of sufficient sexual hormones in the system.

If you fail to notice when the dog drips a bit of urine, you may notice that there will be a foul smell in her bedding or around the house, where she typically spends time, due to the drops of urine released in these spots. You may also notice that your dog has a rash or irritated skin in the reproductive system area. This is caused by the urine that is not wiped off and dries in the area. The urine is typically more acidic and this will irritate the skin.

The spay incontinence will develop immediately or some months after the actual spaying procedure.

If your dog showed these symptoms prior to the spaying surgery, there may be other causes leading to incontinence.

Treatment Options for Incontinence after Spay

Spay incontinence can be treated and most dogs respond well to medication treatment. A hormonal therapy with estrogen will be recommended and the dog will have to take these hormones for life. If the dog is not responsive, you can opt for incontinence pads, which have been created for canines as well. There are also canine diapers that you can give to your dog if the condition is difficult to control otherwise.