This information is provided by
Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your
veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the
diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Old dogs, particularly bitches,
often leave a damp patch after they have been lying down - why, and what
should you do ?
Leakage of urine (or urinary
incontinence) is quite a common problem for older dogs - especially bitches.
The signs are :
- There is a damp patch on bedding, or on the floor, after
the dog has been lying down for some time
- The hair around the external genital region becomes
soiled with urine
- Sometimes the skin around the genital area becomes sore
and inflamed due to urine scalding
- The dog may lick excessively at it's genital region
- The dog and/or it's bedding smell strongly of urine
- With incontinence the dog does not know that it is
passing the urine, and urine leaks when it is relaxed or occasionally
urine can leak during normal activity. If a dog does know what is
happening, it will deliberately urinate in unfamiliar places - but
urine will not necessarily leak where the dog lies down.
What causes urine leakage ?
- One of the most common causes in bitches is urinary tract
infection (or cystitis)
- Loss of control of the bladder - due to problems within
the bladder neck
- Loss of control of the bladder - due to diseases of the
- Sometimes excessive urine production and leakage is
associated with other disorders which increase urine production - such as
kidney failure or diabetes mellitus.
What should you do if your dog leaks urine ?
- Do not assume it is just "old age"
- Take your dog to your veterinarian to have a full health
- In most cases your veterinarian will be able to put your
dog on to treatment to reduce the problem.
What if you don't have your dog treated ?
- The urine soiling can lead to scalding of the skin - with
painful ulcerated skin lesions
- Even if your pet does not have urinary tract infection
initially - it can develop as a secondary complication.
- Urine soiling can be anti-social and loss of control of
urination is one of the most common reasons for owners requesting
euthanasia in older animals
Updated October 2013