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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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What is the reason for my dog dripping urine while lying down?

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My 5 year old male dog has recently been dripping urine while laying down. He is very much housetrained. The vet already did a urinalysis and ruled out a UTI, and took blood today. What could this possibly be, and what are the odds?
Submitted: 6 years ago via Dog-Health-Guide.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in. This just occurs when he has been laying down or sleeping? Any blood in the urine or any straining to urinate? Is he neutered?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We adopted him when he was 1 1/2, and he was neutered prior to that. The vet didn't mention blood in the urine, and he has no problem going while outside. He acts perfectly normal. It only occurs while he is laying down/sleeping, or right when he gets up after laying down for a bit. When he's walking around he's fine.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the information. I suspect he has urinary incontinence from a weak urethral sphincter. This is a far more common condition in spayed female dogs, but I have seen a few cases in neutered male dogs. The weakening is usually due to lack of sex hormones (estrogen or testosterone). When they are relaxed, the sphincter tends to relax too much as well. If blood work and urinalysis are normal, I would get him on a medication called Phenylpropanolamine (Proin). It will help to tighten the urethral sphincter muscles. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What are other conditions that blood work could show it to be? And would urinary incontinence occur at such a young age?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
Middle age is the typical time frame you may start seeing incontinence. So, at his age, it is not uncommon to start having this problem. The blood work will help evaluate his kidneys, liver, protein levels, blood glucose, cholesterol and pancreatic enzymes better. You want to make sure there are no underlying kidney problems before starting the medication. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is there any way a tumor could be causing this? Cancer?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
A tumor in this area would most likely cause a complete or partial urinary blockage. You would probably see straining and/or blood in the urine. At his age, though, incontinence would be more likely than a tumor. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What about kidney failure?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
You would probably see increased drinking and increased urination (voluntary urination). The blood work will evaluate for that. With kidney failure, his urine specific gravity would have given a clue to that possibility as well. If it was well concentrated, it is unlikely to be kidney failure.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
They did mention with his urine that it was slightly diluted. It does seem as though he is leaking while walking every now and then too.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
It can be diluted with normal kidney function. Kidney problems are usually suspected when the urine specific gravity is between 1.008 and 1.015. Specific gravities lower than 1.008 usually means that the kidneys are functioning because they are diluting the urine. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
But the leaking while walking?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
That is most likely due to the urinary incontinence. The urethral sphincter is too relaxed when he is resting. When he gets up, it may not have completely tightened up. Leaking while walking is usually an incontinence issue. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Would the vet still want to do a blood test, x-ray, and ultrasound if he thought it was this?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
I would definitely do the blood work first. You can always try the Proin if the blood work is normal (no kidney problems). An x-ray and ultrasound would be necessary if the incontinence doesn't clear up. I would look for bladder wall inflammation, bladder stones, bladder wall tumor (very unlikely) and ectopic ureters (very unlikely as well - usually a problem they are born with) on these tests. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
A problem with the bladder would not be detected in a urine test?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
Usually, a bladder issue usually shows something on a urinalysis. It just depends on what it is. Bladder wall inflammation and bladder stones usually has blood cells, epithelial cells and crystals in it. That is why I think this is more of a straight incontinence issue.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What sort of kidney problems could possibly be causing this?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
I would really be surprised if it is a kidney problem. It sounds more like urinary incontinence. When evaluating the blood work, we are looking for signs of chronic kidney failure. Usually it is a degenerative issue, but it can be secondary to infections or other metabolic issues. The importance of this is that the medication can cause problems with dogs who may have chronic kidney disease. I don't think you are dealing with a kidney issue here.
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