Did you know that it’s quite common for sterilized female dogs to become urinary incontinent? If your female dog has started dribbling urine indoors, it might not necessarily be due to behavioral issues. It could simply be a physical problem, a side effect of the sterilization process.
In fact, research shows that between 5 and 20 percent of all sterilized female dogs suffer from urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is rarely seen in male dogs compared to females, and it occurs just as often in intact males as in neutered ones. Some studies have shown an increased risk of urinary incontinence if your female dog is sterilized before her first heat cycle and especially before 3 months of age. Therefore, it might be worth considering letting your female dog mature a bit before getting her spayed. Your dog’s veterinarian can guide you on the best timing for the procedure.
There’s also a higher risk of urinary incontinence in larger dogs weighing over 15 kilograms. In fact, the risk is 7 times higher. Breeds such as Doberman, Boxer, Rottweiler, Weimaraner, large Schnauzer, and Irish Setter are more frequently affected. Small dogs are not affected as often.
Your veterinarian can sterilize your female dog in different ways: Ovariohysterectomy involves removing both ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus, while ovarioectomy involves removing only the ovaries. Regarding urinary incontinence, the type of sterilization your veterinarian chooses doesn’t make a difference.
If your sterilized female dog dribbles urine, you should first consider whether it’s a behavioral issue. For instance, it could be a symptom of separation anxiety. If your sterilized female dog is secure and well-balanced, the urinary incontinence probably has a physical cause. You can discuss this with your veterinarian, who can guide you on the various treatment options.”