Uncontrollable Urination in Dogs

Uncontrolled urination in dogs may be caused by an infection.
Uncontrolled urination in dogs may be caused by an infection. (Image: Hund, Golden Retriever image by R.-Andreas Klein from Fotolia.com)

Uncontrollable urination in dogs can have many causes, such as urinary stones, infection or or an underlying physical problem. In many cases, dogs may have multiple problems that contribute to their difficulty controlling urination. If your dog has trouble controlling urination, contact your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.


According to Dog-health-handbook.com, dogs who cannot control urination suffer from a condition known as incontinence. Incontinence is a term that is used by veterinarians to describe uncontrolled urination such as urinating in the house and leaking urine. This condition can occur in any breed of dog, at any age.


The symptoms most commonly associated with uncontrolled urination (incontinence) in dogs are leaking urine, dribbling, unusual behavior (due to discomfort), thirst, odor and irritation of the vulva in female dogs.

Physical Causes

Bladder problems are often a cause of uncontrollable urination in dogs. This may include fibrosis (thickening of the wall of the bladder) a neoplasia (malignant tumor) and paralysis (of the bladder). Other causes of incontinence in dogs are ectopic ureters, which is the most common cause of incontinence in young dogs. This is a condition in which there is a congenital malformation in the way the ureters connect to the bladder. USMI (urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence) can occur when the muscle that controls the flow of urine does not close off the flow of urine as it should. This condition can occur just prior to a young dog going into heat for the first time or after a female dog is spayed.

Recurrent Cystitis

According to Petplace.com, recurrent cystitis is a condition that may cause uncontrollable urination in dogs. This condition is caused by bouts of inflammation of the bladder and is most common in female dogs. The symptoms most commonly associated with cystitis are painful urination, uncontrollable urination, bloody urination, urgency to urinate and frequent urination. Medications such as antibiotics may be prescribed if infection is present.

Bladder Stones

Canine bladder stones can cause uncontrollable urination in dogs as well as pain upon urination. Bladder stones are caused by urinary crystals that collect in the bladder or urinary tract and form stones. Small stones may be flushed or dissolved with medication, while larger stones may need to be removed surgically.


Treatment of physical problems or infections will usually resolve uncontrollable urination in dogs. Once the underlying cause of incontinence is treated, most dogs are able to control the urge to urinate. If your dog has uncontrolled urination, your veterinarian will perform a full physical examination as well as take a detailed history of your dog's health. Diagnostic tests such as blood tests and urinalysis may also be performed to determine the cause of incontinence.

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