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Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 331
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
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My female dog is approx. 7.5 months old. She has had an

Customer Question

My female dog is approx. 7.5 months old. She has had an incontinence problem since she was a pup. The vet recommended that she go thru one heat cycle. She said that her problem could be hormonal. How would this correct the problem ?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 3 months ago.

I have to say that I respectfully ***** ***** your vet's assertion that she should wait until after a heat cycle before she is spayed.

The thought behind this is that the exposure to estrogen (one of the hormones produced during a dog's normal cycle) will help to strengthen her urethral sphincter and reduce the incontinence. However this has not been shown to be the case in multiple studies on dogs and incontinence after spay. Urinary incontinence can occur in dogs of any age that are spayed. Furthermore, I recommend spaying her before her first heat cycle as this will help to reduce her chance of mammary cancer. Incontinence in a puppy may be due to a congenital issue and have nothing to do with her being spayed or not. If all other causes of incontinence have been ruled out, such as ectopic ureter, infection, etc, then medications can be given to help improve the tone of the urethral sphincter and reduce the incontinence.

These are far more effective than spaying. Does this help to answer your questions today?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hmmmmmm infection has been ruled out. How would you diagnose an ectopic ureter?
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 3 months ago.

An ectopic ureter is diagnosed with urethroscope. This is done by a specialist usually an internal medicine specialist. It can be bilateral or unilateral.

Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 3 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Ellle. How is everything going?

Dr. Ellie