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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21419
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 elderly Westie sometimes leaks urine when sleeping, is

Customer Question

My elderly Westie sometimes leaks urine when sleeping , is there anything we can get to help with this problem?
JA: I'm trying to find the right Veterinarian for you right now. As soon as they are ready, I will let you know.
Customer: Waiting for you
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Mollie 13. She has a leaky bladder when sleeping not lethargy
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Mollie?
Customer: No she's very well otherwise
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has she been showing signs?

Has she been drinking more?

When she does urinate, is she passing large volumes of watery/dilute urine?

Or small volumes, more often?

How old was she when she was spayed?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
9months only small amounts of pure urine
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello again,

Now hopefully she isn't drinking more, showing increased frequency or volume to her conscious urinations. The reason is because at Mollie's age, her dribbling raises a few concerns. Bladder infections, urinary crystals bladder stones and bladder tumors can all trigger this. As well, if she is drinking/urinating more when awake then we'd also have to consider organ issues (ie kidney, liver, heart) or metabolic disease (ie diabetes, Addisons/Cushings, hypothyroidism, etc). As well, we can also see this with elderly dogs that have severe arthritis, since they will delay getting up to pass urine and thus end up leaking or having accidents. And even more often we can see leakage in elderly females due to low oestrogen weakening the urinary sphincter from having been spayed.

With this all in mind, we would want to take a few steps to narrow down our concerns here. To start, it would be ideal to collect and submit a urine sample to her vet. You can do so as a free catch and submit it to her vet even without her visiting them. Though if you are struggling, you can have the vet take this directly from the bladder via cystocentesis (which would be ideal if you wanted them to culture or test for early stage kidney dysfunction at this point). The vet will be able to analyze the sample, determine if there are bacteria and white blood cells present (signs of infection), and rule out other issues like crystals, check for tumor cells, 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 for a dog and give us a clue to whether there is trouble for the kidneys. And as you do, if she is a stiff arthritis old lass, you can also start her on OTC joint supports (ie glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3 fish oils, Duralactin) at this point.

If those can all be excluded and again if she hasn't changes to thirst/conscious urination (since we'd want a blood test to check for those other issues); then her vet can trial her on medication to help her urinary sphincter function properly. As well, if she is quite stiff with her joints then dog safe anti-inflammatories could also be used to cover those concerns for her. And by ruling as many of these out as possible and addressing what we find, we'd hope to get her back to holding urine properly as she sleeps.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

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

Dr. B.