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Is Your Dog Suffering from Incontinence After Spaying?

Incontinence after Spaying - Has your female dog suddenly sprung a leak after being spayed? This leaking of urine is not the same as behavioral marking, mostly seen in male dogs, nor is it the same as the puddles you might find in the house with a new, untrained puppy.


Incontinence after spaying normally happens when your dog is sleeping or at rest. This is a result of the operation they have just gone through and the hormonal changes they occur after the procedure. Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels affect the urinary sphincter mechanism. This is the muscle group in the urethra near the bladder that keeps the urethra shut tight. The specific smooth muscles that are affected are actually part of the involuntary nervous system. 

This means that no matter how well-trained your dog is, she simply cannot help it. This also means that you should NEVER yell or reprimand your spayed female for leaking urine. She simply has no control over her body. 

Signs of Female Incontinence After Spaying

Incontinence after spaying appears on your fur-baby first before it actually appears on your floor. 

You will occasionally notice and wonder why your fur-baby's hind legs are wet, why she's constantly licking her vulva and why her fave corner of your house is always damp and comes with the unpleasant smell of dog pee. 

Incontinence after spaying typically develops immediately or some months after the actual spaying procedure. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, urinary incontinence occurred on average at 2 years and 10 months after surgery and occurred each day, while the dogs were awake or during sleep. 

"Although any dog can become incontinent as they age, especially larger breeds and those that are overweight, this type of leaking is most common in recently-spayed female dogs."

You will most likely notice that your dog dribbles while walking or lying down, so you will probably find wet spots on the bedding or areas where she sleeps. This may be side effects of the anesthesia but if it lasts longer or re-occurs months after the surgery and your dog seems to not be getting better from the leaking, consult your vet as it may be spay incontinence. You may also notice your female dog is licking the area of skin that has become irritated by urine. 

Sadly, many of these dogs will develop a urinary tract infection because of the constant licking of the vulva and its constant exposure to urine, which can make the situation worse. Since the sphincter is weak, it allows bacteria to travel inside the bladder. And all of that licking is creating a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s the perfect storm of sorts and makes incontinence even worse. 

If your dog has recently been spayed and has any of the symptoms mentioned, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your vet, who will want to do a urinalysis and blood work, and perhaps even culture to determine the kind of bacteria that is present if an infection is occurring. 

Your vet cannot predict if your dog will be the one to develop incontinence, but according to Dogs Naturally Magazineobese dogs and pets that are spayed under the age of six months are more at risk. This is because of the common cause that is a hormonal imbalance that occurs after spaying. For the urinary tract tissues of your fur-baby to function well, it greatly depends on the amount of estrogen that it's exposed to. After your pet's ovaries are removed, her estrogen levels become too low to supply proper function of the tissues in the urinary tract, thus exposing pets who are spayed early to the possibilities of incontinence. 

How to Deal with Urinary Incontinence from Spaying

In the past, veterinarians typically treated spay incontinence with hormone injections or pills. Unfortunately, this treatment usually had numerous side effects like hormonal imbalance and kidney problems.

Nowadays, the drug phenylpropanolamine is prescribed and is considered safe and effective by the veterinarian community. The downside is that this drug only serves to make the urinary sphincter work more effectively in the short term. This means that the drug must be administered for the dog’s lifespan. Luckily it comes in chewable, so most dogs will happily take it.

Treatments may not work for all dogs. In these cases, dog diapers are a terrific option.Dog diapers, like Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers, may also be a good option for those people who cannot afford lifelong medications. If your dog typically wets at night while sleeping, washable dog diapers would be a more affordable option (since you can wash and reuse it again and again), and one with no side effects. 

You can also place waterproof pads, clean towels, or washable pads on her favorite resting spot or sleeping spot so that it can help absorb any leakages (if there's any). This also helps in preventing any related skin infections or urine burn since your fur-baby won't be able to lie down and soak herself in her own mess for a long period of time. Washable pads, like Pet Parents® Pawtect® Washable Pads will come in handy as these are premium pads that are super-absorbent and stitched so strongly to prevent your fur-baby from shedding it to pieces. These pads also have the StickyPaw™ backing that grips the floor so it won’t be moved and tracked all over your house. 

Pet Parents® is the leading manufacturer of washable dog diapers. We have sizes that will fit the tiniest of teacup chihuahuas to the largest Great Danes, and any breed in between.

You can also provide your fur-baby with Pet Parents® Bladder Dog Cranberry Supplement that will provide your fur-baby with healthy ingredients to help bladder & dog kidney support for your incontinent fur-baby. This supplement is on top of the list when it comes to urinary tract health. It helps ensure that your fur-baby is being provided with the best value & quality to help support dog bladder health.

Also, consider providing Pet Parents® Dog Multivitamin, which will provide your fur-baby with beneficial ingredients that help promote powerful daily health support, help ensure that your fur-baby is being provided with top-notch value & quality to help promote daily health & growth.

We’re proud to say we are the #1 choice for pet parents and their pets. As pet parents ourselves, we strive to create products that help you and your pets live healthier and happier lives.

Your fur-baby suffering from incontinence after spaying may be hard to deal with at first but eventually, you will find ways, treatment, and management methods that suit your fur-baby well. In the time being, show her you are there for her especially during this difficult time.

"Dog diapers may also be a good option for those people who cannot afford lifelong medications."

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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