Causes of Urine Leakage in Spayed Female Dogs

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy German Shepherd dog has been dripping from her rear-end. She is about 2 and a half and was spayed when she was 6 months old. Could this be a serious condition? (shawn barnes - Michigan)

Answer

You did not mention whether the "leaking" was clear or not, but let's assume the leakage is urine. With most symptoms in dogs, there could be several possible causes, and your dog needs to have a thorough examination by a veterinarian. Aside from the hygiene issues, non-treatment of the underlying causes could lead to this problem getting progressively worse, or to more severe symptoms.

The most likely cause of such a symptom is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which is surprisingly common in dogs and in particular in females because their urethra is much shorter. A UTI is a bacterial infection (for example of Escherichia Coli, straphylococcus or pseudomonas) of the urinary tract. There are two types of UTI, an Upper Urinary Tract Infection, in which symptoms are more severe - such as weight loss and vomiting, and a Lower Urinary Tract Infection, in which symptoms are more subtle and include urinating more or less than normal, or indeed occasional leakage, or an increased thirst. A Lower Urinary Tract Infection needs to be treated in order to prevent it becoming the more severe Upper Urinary Tract Infection. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose a UTI by testing a urine sample, and effective treatment can be accomplished by antibiotics. 

A second possible cause is a condition that affects spayed female dogs, in which a hormonal imbalance leads to a weakening in the tone of the sphincter muscle, and in turn leading to occasional urine leakage. However, this is also fairly easy to treat with Phenylpropanolamine, which is sold under the brand names Propalin and Proin.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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