Incontinence in dogs can be caused by numerous diseases, disorders, and defects. However, if you have a female puppy that has been dribbling since birth, they may be suffering from a congenital birth defect called ectopic ureters. In this condition, the tubes that are supposed to direct urine from the kidneys into the bladder are in the wrong position, causing urine to leak straight out the urethra. Dogs with this condition cannot hold their bladder at all. Following is everything you need to know about this congenital abnormality.
As mentioned, dogs with this condition dribble urine constantly. It's more than a housebreaking issue or an issue of over excitement. There's rarely a moment that the affected dog is not dribbling. Other symptoms may include inflammation of the vagina and surrounding tissues caused from constant contact with urine. You may also notice urine stains on the fur around the tail, belly, and hindquarters. Dogs with this condition will also soil their beds repeatedly.
Ectopic ureters are a birth defect that most likely has a hereditary component. Dogs with the condition have ureters that bypass the bladder floor and enter the bladder wall. Sometimes, the ureters go through the bladder floor and connect to the urethra. Certain breeds are predisposed to this condition, such as labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, huskies, bulldogs, fox terriers, and toy poodles. Females are more likely to get this condition than males.
Sometimes this condition resolves on its own, especially if the dog is allowed to go through their first heat cycle. It is believed that the hormones associated with the heat cycle helps resolve the condition. Although there are no medications that can help resolve the condition, some medications, such as anti-inflammatories may help with the associated symptoms. Surgery is also an option. During surgery, the offending ureter or ureters are moved. However, this is not possible in all cases.
If your dog has surgery, there's an approximate 50 percent chance that it will be completely successful. Dogs who don't receive the full benefit of the surgery often experience reduced symptoms, but not a complete relief of symptoms, afterwards. For some dogs, this condition is lifelong.
Ectopic ureters are congenital defects that make it difficult for dogs to hold their urine. If your dog has dribbled since birth, they may have this condition. Incontinence may also be caused by another, treatable underlying disorder, so it's vital that you talk to your vet about your dog's symptoms right away. For more information, contact a local pet hospital.