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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18815
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Why is my female dog leaking clear odorless fluid?

Customer Question

My three year old female dog has started leaking a clear odorless fluid when asleep. Though this does not happen everytime she is asleep, when it does; it is a large puddle. Any ideas of what might be the cause?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 years ago.

Hi Customer,

The first step will be locating where the fluid is coming from. You can take a tissue and blot it against the various areas to find whether it is from the urethra, vulva or rectal area.

Dogs have anal glands that contain their own personal scent which can be near odorless to fishy to a faecal odor. As faeces pass through the rectum, the fluid from the glands coats the faeces as it expresses. If a dog is not having firm bowel movements, the glands can become full and when the dog is shifting around in its bed, the glands can self express. Since they are leaking on their own, no manual expression by the owner is necessary unless you want to control when the gland expresses. You can read about anal gland issues here;

If coming from the vulva, then I would suspect a possible uterine infection or vaginitis to be the cause, but those usually have a pus discharge or thick discharge and not clear fluid.

The final issue would be a urinary tract infection causing incontinence or incontinence related to age. The bladder sphincter may not be functioning as well as it used to. This happens frequently after a dog is spayed and in older dogs as well. You can read more on it at this site as well as treatment options.
One drug frequently prescribed is phenylpropanolamine which you can read about here:

To be on the safe side, you will want to have your girl checked over to be sure there isn't a urinary tract infection causing the situation. Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are frequent urination, dribbling urine, blood in the urine, squatting frequently to urinate, strong odor to the urine, inappropriate urination and straining to urinate as well as an increase in fluid intake. A dog with a UTI does not always show all the symptoms and typically displays 2-3 symptoms.

Until you can get in to see your vet, you can use an appropriate sized baby diaper with a whole cut for the tail to help with any dribbling that may occur.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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