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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21245
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog has had three accidents this week. We just moved to

Customer Question

My dog has had three accidents this week. We just moved to a hotter temp state so she's been drinking more water, but she never had accidents before. Her stomach also felt hard for a while tonight but has since gone back to normal. Her behavior and appetite are the same as usual.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just wondering if there is something going on here or if she just needs more frequent trips to the bathroom? She's always been able to hold it for long periods of time but now she's having accidents after only a few hours from being outside. And the accidents are only happening when I am home
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Did the urine look a normal color, volume, and have a normal odor?
Or was it darker, dilute, or odorous? Any blood?
Was her stomach firm before she passed urine?
Is she having to go more often?
Any signs of leaking in her dog bed or where she sleeps?
If you were to estimate, how much do you think she is drinking per day?
How much does she weigh?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is 9 pounds. She drinks maybe 8 ounces of water a day? I'm not sure on the exact amount. She is going a little more often. The urine wasn't dark or odorous. It was actually pretty clear. Her stomach was firm before she went so I'm unsure if her bladder was just full. However, her accidents are still uncommon. Of the three this week, two have been on my bed, which is where she sleeps as well. So yes, she's wetting the area that she sleeps on. There was no blood in the urine.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
First, since the stomach firmness did pass, it is likely related to the bladder being full (or something temporary like gas). So, we'd not be overly worried about that. Otherwise, I do appreciate that accidents are not common for her, but they can appear suddenly (often with few other clues) when there is something amiss.
Now since she is having accidents and not dribbling, we'd be less concerned about mechanical issues (ie sphincter incompetence) with her bladder. As well, if she is drinking ~8oz., then that isn't overly worrisome either. It is a bit elevated for her daily intake requirements, but the heat would explain that slight elevation (if she were drinking >12 ounces per day, then I'd be more concerned about that). So, if we assume that this intake is normal this makes organ based issues (ie kidney, heart, liver) or metabolic diseases (ie diabetes, Cushings' etc) less likely as well.
That said, with an increased water intake (even not related to a health issue), this can lead to increased need for urinary passage. And as the increased thirst related to heat is a new situation for her, it is quite possible that this is leading to quicker bladder filling then she is used to and is thus catching her out and triggering the accidents. So, this could be our cause here. And if it were, we should see it settle as she gets used to her increased need to go (or the temperature settles) and adjusts her visits to the yard to meet that need.
Finally, we have to give some consideration to bladder based issues. If she is going more often and passing small amounts, then that can be a sign of bladder infection. As well, we can see this as a side effect of bladder stones or urinary crystals irritating the bladder. And all of these would potentially cause accidents out of no where.
So, these would be our concerns for Sammi. Now as I noted, this could be due to her needing to learn to meet her new increased urinary needs secondary to drinking more with the weather. And that should settle within the next few weeks. But I have to say that your note of her urine being clear, does make me a wee bit wary here. This is because even if she is drinking more for the heat (and should be losing water via other means because of that), we'd still expect her urine to be a normal concentration. Therefore, this just makes me a little bit concerned about those bladder based issues I mentioned and possibly a very subtle early stage organ/metabolic issue.
Therefore, with this all in mind, I would advise monitoring (make sure not to restrict water since that can cause harm but do make sure she has more access to yard to pass urine --even if you need to just push her to get up and go a bit more). Finally, just for our peace of mind, I would advise you to collect a urine sample at this stage. This can be submitted to your vet even without Sammi having a visit and tends to be quite inexpensive. The vet will be able to analyze the sample, determine if there are bacteria and white blood cells present (signs of infection), rule out other issues like crystals, or glucose (a marker of diabetes). They will also be able to test the specific gravity or concentration of the urine; which can let us know if it is abnormally dilute and give us a clue to whether there is trouble for the kidneys. Hopefully, that would all come back normal and we can breathe a sigh of relief. But if it did turn up anything, we'd be best to know about it sooner rather then later.
Overall, Sammi's situation does fit very well with a dog drinking more and thus being caught out by her own increased urinary demands. That said, because it was nearly, we do just want to keep an eye on that and potentially have a urine sample checked to make sure there is nothing present that Sammi isn't telling us about.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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