Media – Leaky Girl Dogs

sleeping dog

Simple Oral Medication Ends Bed Wetting

I have a 3 year old blue heeler female. She is house trained. Lately in the evening just after her supper while she is sleeping in her bed she urinates laying down. She seems to not realize it.

Dr. Nichol:
This is a stressor for your heeler; dogs have an innate need not to foul their sleeping area. Assuming that your girl is in good health, and spayed, she is most likely leaking urine because of a weak bladder sphincter muscle. Before starting treatment your veterinarian needs to rule-out internal problems, like bladder disease, diabetes, an adrenal disorder, or even organ failure. We want the physical exam, serum chemistries, blood count, and urinalysis to deliver a clean bill of health for your pupster.

When a dog or cat is spayed she has an ovariohysterectomy. This means that her uterus and ovaries are removed. She won’t come into “heat”, she won’t allow a male dog to breed her, and she won’t get pregnant.
An unintended consequence can be low estrogen (female hormone). The sphincter muscle controlling her bladder can relax when she’s resting or sleeping, leading to a soggy mess. The impressive sounding medical term is urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI), often called spay incontinence. This occurs in about 20% of spayed dogs.

I’m really glad you sent me this question because many folks are confused about their female dog’s urine leakage. Despite the love they feel for their pets some people inflict punishment, becoming frustrated when their dog appears unwilling to change her behavior. Believe me, these girls would if they could. What they really need is kindness and the right medical treatment.

There are a couple of oral medications that are safe and effective for controlling the great majority of these problems. Your dog’s doctor has helped others like her. A chewable tablet called Proin can be prescribed to increase contraction of her bladder sphincter muscle, preventing leakage – no matter how deeply she sleeps. The alternative medication is a synthetic estrogen supplement called Incurin. Some dogs do better with one than the other. Take heart. Nearly every one of these girls does well.

Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at Post pet behavioral or physical questions on or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.