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Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Urinary incontinence in female dogs is quite common.  The anatomy of the lower urinary tract consists of the bladder and the urethra which in female dogs empties into the vagina.  There is a muscular sphincter at the top and dog on couchbottom of the urethra.  When these muscles are constricted, or tightened up, they prevent urinary flow from the bladder.  Those muscles relax and open when the dog is voiding.  Certain hormones in the body, most notably estrogen, have an effect on these muscles and keep them tight.  When a female dog is spayed, the primary source of estrogen, the ovaries, are usually removed.  With less estrogen in the body, the urinary sphincters can start to get a little loose, and then the dog will leak urine.  Typically this happens when she is lying down, however sometimes dogs will dribble urine when they are walking or standing as well.  The classic sign of urinary incontinence is that there will be a wet spot in the area that the dog was just laying.  If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, you should consult with a veterinarian.  The first thing that your veterinarian will want to do is screen for a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections will sometimes cause urinary incontinence because the infection causes inflammation around the sphincters.  If there is no infection, then there are several medications that can be used to manage urinary incontinence.    

October: The Pug

pug freeHistory of the Breed
The pug is one of the oldest known breeds of dogs with its anecestory dating back to Asia 400-700BC!  Aside from the Buddhist Monks in Tibet, only Chinese royalty were allowed to own pugs.  The punishment for having one of these dogs if you weren't amongst the elite, was death. 
The pug was brought to Europe in the 16th-17th century and quickly became a favorite of European royalty.  There are many stories of intrigue scattered through European history that involve the pug. For example, William the Silent, of the House of Orange, was alerted to the presence of would-be assasins by his loyal pug.
And, when Napoleon's wife, Josephine was thrown in jail, the only visitor she was allowed was her pug, Fortune.  She sent secret messages to Napleon by hiding them in Fortune's collar.
The modern pug is a delightful little dog.  The latin phrase "multum in parvo", which means "much in little", perfectly sums up the temperment of the pug.  You get a lot of personality in a small, compact body.
Health Concerns
Preventative Care Recommendations
Keep your pug lean!  Pugs are prone to obesity, and the added weight increases stress on their already compromised respiratory tracts.
Regular Dental Cleanings: pugs are notorious for developing periodontal disease, a condition in which infection occurs around teeth, often weakening and losening the teeth. Pugs have a lot of teeth squished into a small area.  Their teeth are rotated and it is very common for there to be infection and disease under the gum line that you can't see on an awake exam.
Monitor your pug's eyes: Because pugs have prominent eyes, their eyes are more prone to injury and drying out.   Monitor for signs of squinting, discharge, or redness, and visit your veterinarian if they occur.

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Minneapolis, MN 55410
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Westgate Pet Clinic provides veterinary services to the Edina and Minneapolis area.