Bladder Weakness

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Does your bitch leave wet patches on her bedding when resting or leak when she gets excited? Does it appear that her house training is deteriorating with puddles on the floor or does her hair coat smell of urine? If so, your pet may have developed urinary incontinence. Whilst there are a number of reasons for incontinence, the most common cause in adult spayed bitches is Urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence (USMI).

The tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside is called the urethra. This tube is kept closed by muscles, preventing the escape of urine, until the bladder becomes full and the dog is ready to urinate. USMI occurs when these muscles weaken and your dog loses the capacity to ‘hold it in’ all of the time. Leakage of urine especially occurs when the bladder is subjected to pressure, such as when the dog is lying down, jumping around or barking. Whilst USMI can occur in any dog, medium to large breed spayed bitches are most commonly affected. In some breeds such as Boxers and Dobermans, it is estimated that over 40% of bitches can develop the problem.

Long-term urinary incontinence can cause your bad odour problems, predispose to bladder infections and result in skin infections due to urine scalding. In addition, the stress of having to clean up after your dog can take away from the enjoyment of spending time with them.

Fortunately, there is help at hand and easy and convenient to administer medication is available which can usually resolve this problem. The treatment restores muscle tone and puts your dog back in control. If you are concerned that your dog may be incontinent, please do not hesitate to contact the practice so the cause of the problem can be determined. There are also surgical procedures that can work very well to increase the tone in the bladder neck muscle. If you suspect your bitch is suffering from this please arrange an appointment so we can check.

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