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My 5-year old dog has been having accidents in her crate at

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My 5-year old dog has been having accidents in her crate at night. Seems to be drinking more and had dilute urine when we brought her in; this showed no evidence of UTI but the vet thinks because it was dilute, it wouldn't necessarily do so, and so we are waiting on the results of a culture. We think her urine has a stronger smell than usual as well. Worried about kidney failure because the vet mentioned it was a (remote) possibility. Any ideas?
Hi there,

Thank you for your question. My name isXXXXX and I am happy to be able to help you today. Before I put an answer together for you, I am going to need a little more info about

- How long has this been going for?
- Did your Vet do any blood test or carry out a physical exam? Or did you just get the urine tested?

Once you get back to me, I will start typing up my response. Thanks for this and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Dr E
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No blood test; she did a physical exam and suggested (before she did the urine collection) that the most likely diagnosis was a weak sphincter muscle, because the dog has had accidents in her crate at night off and on for pretty much her whole life.


We moved to a new home about two months ago and it seems like the accidents increased at that time so when we brought her in to have a vaccination we mentioned this in case a UTI was the cause.

Hi again Erin,

Thanks for that. Good on you for getting her checked over, and even though it sounds as though your Vet doesn't suspect a UTI, it is good that the urine has been sent for culture and sensitivity to definitively rule this out rather than assume there isn't an issue. If the urine was very dilute, then I would definitely recommend a full blood test if the urine culture comes back normal. This full blood test will check the kidneys yes - but it can also help to rule out other possible causes of increased drinking, which could cause the increased and inappropriate urination and urine dilution. Possibilities include anything from diabetes to Cushing's syndrome!

If all is also normal on the blood test, then yes - this could well be a bitch spay related incontinence (I assume your girl has been spayed). You can read more about this possibility online here: . Further imagine could also be done here (ultrasound or contrast radiography) to help rule out a genital issue - however given your girl is 5 now, this would be very unlikely. Spay related incontinence (aka estrogen responsive incontience) would improve with certain Veterinary medication to help improve sphincter function. If all was normal on the testing, then a treatment trial with this medication may be the best way forward.

I hope all of the above makes sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions regarding your girl. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards

Bonuses & positive feedback are always welcomed and very much appreciated

If you have any further questions in the future, I would be more than happy to help you again! Just bookmark my profile and ask a question via the question box.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well I am mostly just freaked out that this is kidney failure. The vet said this would be quite unlikely in a dog this young, that onset was generally speaking after 7 years of age and typically after 10 years of age. She said she thought the likely culprits were:

1. Sphincter muscle

2. UTI


then she mentioned that kidney problems would be "way down on her list" because of the above age thing.


I am wondering, do you agree? I am fretting so much I can barely sleep which sucks because I am 9 months pregnant.

Hi Erin,

I think it is far too early to be considering kidney failure in this girl and we can speculate all we like, but without the blood results for urea and creatinine we won't know. I think it is 'way down the list' as well and certainly a UTI or incontinence would be much more likely here. It sounds like the USG was low when your Vet checked your girl's urine. The USG level does depend on when the urine sample as obtained, and the USG also needs to be taken in to account along side the blood urea and creatinine if kidney function is going to be evaluated.

So - I would advise not to stress! The culture results are on the way, and in the meantime, it sounds like your girl is pretty happy and well. The chances of this being related to kidney function are slim in my mind, but it would be a good idea to follow up and recheck the USG as well as run a blood test IF the culture is negative.

Dr E
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it. We are supposed to take her in for another sample, a morning urine sample, and then if that is also dilute, we will do blood tests then.


The sample was taXXXXX XXXXXke this: I woke her up, she urinated, then ate and drank (she drinks quite a bit of water with breakfast typically). We then hopped in the car and went to the vet and about 45 - 60 minutes later they took her urine sample by needle.


Would this explain the dilution or would an hour be long enough to concentrate her urine?


Also, if it is incontinence, how can we explain the increased thirst? We're not 100% sure it's increased but it does seem we are filling the bowl up more.


I am so troubled and just want to be convinced that kidney failure is a remote possibility and that I'm worried over nothing!

Hi Erin,

No problem at all Smile . The plan for repeat urine sampling and then a possible blood test sounds like a good one. Yes - the way in which the first sample was collected could explain the lower USG. The sample is best taken as a 'first morning sample' i.e. when your girl first got up and urinated - that would have been perfect. Definitely try this early morning sample next time.

The increased thirst in this case could be as a result of increased urination! It can be a bit funny like this. Urinary tract infections can lead to an increased frequency of urination which can in turn make a dog feel more inclined to drink more. If you think she is definitely drinking more, then we get concerned when a dog drinks 100ml per kg per day or more. So - you can work out what your girl should be having per day and count how many bowl fulls that would be. That will give you a better indicator of whether she is truly drinking more or not. This information would also be helpful for your Vet.


Dr E
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Two questions--sorry to be such a pest.


1. When you said it could explain the lower USG, do you mean that an hour would NOT necessarily have been long enough to concentrate her urine?


2. So if she IS drinking more, which again, I'm not 100% about, but pretty sure....then can we rule out the weak sphincter muscle thing?

No problem Erin.

1.) It isn't quite that simple, it depends on how much she drank during the morning. It is more likely that an hour was not enough time for her to concentrate her urine.

2.) No - we can't rule out incontinence here yet, even if she is drinking more. She potentially even have a UTI AND a weak sphincter muscle - but the likelihood of that is even less again!!

It is very easy to look in to the results you have so far and the symptoms you have been observing and to worry about your girl. The best bet is to keep an eye (and measure if you can) her water intake and just wait for that urine culture result.

Dr E
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK. I think if my math is correct you are saying a 19lb dog should be drinking no more than 28 oz of water per day....if so she is almost certainly not drinking that much.


So you think the chances of this being kidney failure are low? Like what percentage?


I know I sound psycho. Please blame it on the pregnancy hormones (even though the truth is I'm always this crazy).

Yes perfect maths Erin. If she is drinking 28 oz per day - that is definitely excessive.

Yes - I think it is much more likely this is a UTI given the symptoms you have seen (urinating in the crate and the bad smell) as well as the lower USG found. The culture will confirm or deny this.

The chances are kidney failure are low yes. It isn't something we put a percentage on. We basically say that 'common things occur commonly' - so a UTI is much more likely in a 5 year old Beagle. The likelihood of a 5 year old Beagle having kidney failure is low. There isn't a percentage that can be put on it. But I give a pretty confident 'low' as the likely chances of this being kidney failure.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yeah, no. I do not think she is drinking 28oz per day. I measured it out and that looks like way more than what she is drinking. I would estimate she is drinking well under 20oz per day.


If this was your beloved pet, given what we know, would you be fretting?


Also, if the urine culture comes back negative, THEN would you fret? We will hear about that tomorrow. :-/

That is about 60ml/kg/day which is actually very normal.

If she was my girl would I be fretting? No - not at all. Typically you would see a water intake of at least 100ml/kg/day if this was a kidney related issue. She is nothing near this. In fact her water intake from what you have just told me, is normal. So - no need to panic! Just have the follow up with your Vet tomorrow as planned.

If the urine culture comes back negative - again don't fret - it is most likely then a sphincter issue which is very treatable.

I hope this gives you a little peace of mind.

Dr E
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It does. Thank you. I am so nervous because she is our beloved first "baby!" Soon to be joined by a second baby, and in fact, I had almost wondered if there was a possibility that the move to a new house combined with the chaos of preparing for a (human) child was making her drink out of nervousness.

It is possible Erin - but less likely.


Dr E :-)
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well, the culture came back and she does NOT have a UTI. Now I am freaking out even more because why is she drinking more?? Is it now time to say kidney problems are indicated or is that still unlikely?

Hi Erin,

As discussed yesterday - from what you have been seeing, she isn't drinking more. She is drinking a normal amount. Given the findings of a negative culture, it is very likely she could have a sphincter incontinence.


Dr E
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I took her in this morning and her first morning urine sample was nice and concentrated which the vet said ruled out kidney failure. Thank god!!!!!!!!!!! I am so relieved!!!!!!!!! So she is now considering it most likely an incontinence issue which means we now have to decide about whether or not we want to medicate her for it.

There you are Erin! Fantastic - no big deal at all. Incontinence is very treatable. You must be very relieved :-)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You have no idea. When I heard it wasn't a UTI last night I was in full-blown panic mode, and my fetus was moving around like crazy probably because of all the adrenaline!!!

Oh dear!

You must be relieved now Smile
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You have noooo idea!