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Vet's Corner

Causes and Treatments for a Dog’s Weak Bladder

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There are several causes and treatments for a dog’s weak bladder. Does your dog appear to have a weak bladder?

First you and your vet should make sure the problem really is a weak bladder. A weak bladder in dogs can often be misdiagnosed as such when the problem is the dog is actually marking their territory. The problem can be also due to behavior problems, and it is more common in female dogs. How can we tell the difference if you are the owner of a dog with this problem?

Causes and Treatments for a Dog’s Weak Bladder


1)  Your beloved pet is consuming more water than is normal. This often leads to a weak bladder and the need to urinate often. This is often a sign the dog may have medical issues such as diabetes, kidney failure, or hyperthyroidism.

2)  If the dog has had recent urinary tract infections, this can cause the bladder to weaken. This may be a temporary problem once the infection is cured, especially in younger dogs.

3)  In female dogs a decrease in hormones such as estrogen can result in a weak bladder sphincter causing the dog to urinate more than normal.

4)  If your dog has suffered an injury or been diagnosed with a disease to the spinal cord this is possibly the cause. Also any injury to the lumbar area is another possible cause for the incontinence.


1)  If you suspect your dog might be suffering from one of these problems, there is a relatively easy procedure your local vet can perform as a way to pin down what the cause is. Have your vet do a urinalysis or urine culture at their office. In most cases this will be all that is needed to diagnose the problem properly. If this does not yield the results for correcting the problem, the vet can then do a radiograph and blood panel test to further narrow down the issue of why your dog in fact has a weak bladder.

2)  The normal treatment for a dog with a urinary infection and or bladder infection is through the use of antibiotics. Your vet can also perform surgery to correct a weak bladder sphincter but this does have possible risks and side effects, so they might start the dog on hormonal therapy before using surgery as a last resort.

3)  There are several drugs that can be given if there is no specific cause found. According to an article on the Washington State University’s website:

When no specific cause can be identified for the incontinence, drugs may be given that increase the tone of the muscles that hold urine in the bladder. Drug therapy for incontinence may be based on a trial of different drugs in various doses until an effective combination is identified.

4)  If all else fails, you will want to consider using dog diapers. These are made to fit all size dogs comfortably and will need to be changed once a day.

Above are some of the causes and treatments for a dog’s weak bladder. There are others, and you will probably need a veterinarian to sort it out if it becomes a continuing problem.

Have you had a dog with a weak bladder? If so, share below how you dealt with it.

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  1. Avatar Of Lms



    Does anyone ever READ the reader comments and answer them?

  2. Avatar Of Tash



    I've got a 12 month kelpie cross from a shelter.
    The last 2 weeks she has been peeing while lying or walking around this has happened twice and in the late parts of the evening. It's clear and no urine smelling.
    I've had a urine test but they said it was to diluted and a blood test that came up with nothing.
    She has been on anitibiotics for 1 week now so going back to the vet they are thinking to change her anitibiotics and getting another pee test.
    Will update the outcome.

  3. Avatar Of Erin



    My almost 3 year old Doberman is peeing on our bed, almost like a leak not a full on pee…she started doing this a year ago. She’s not a heavy drinker, she’s fully trained and I can see if she’s excited cause I’ve seen her jump up and pee but a month can go by and nothing and then it can be on going for an entire week… I know they are high anxiety dogs but you’d think it would happen at the door, or on the floor it’s only on our bed!

  4. Avatar Of Helen



    The link to the Medi-vet article doesn’t work. All the medical options seem to be for bitches, what do we do with dogs?

  5. Avatar Of Monet Causion

    Monet Causion


    I have a 6 month old female yorkie that seems to squat and pee out of nervousness and or excitement. She only does this when I am letting her out of the cage or reaching to pet or touch her. I’ve had this issue before with dachshunds. How can I help this problem? I didn’t see a example of how to help this situation. I’ve tried opening her cage unexpectedly and that sometimes work. I also constantly take her outside for bathroom breaks. Please help!

    • Avatar Of Millicent



      Why is your Yorky in a cage anyway? Breeding? Of course she will be unhappy and nervous!!

      • Avatar Of Kim



        I agree. I have a 13 year old yorkie, they need lots of attention and exercise, believe it or not. Why don't you have a pet flap installed, makes for such happier pets. How would you feel being trapped in a cage?

    • Avatar Of Jason



      I’ve crate trained all my dogs in the past sure it works differently with each dog , now I didn’t see her say “she leaves dog in crate all day”… The. The comments strayed off calling someone names for using a crate your a hypocrite! …. some people assume crates are abusive and blah blah blah ….. go to vet office you’ll see they leave dogs in crates , do you yap and whine at the vet ? Better off why don’t you leave your whole house open go get a bunch of random dogs from shelter bring them to your house let them walk around pissing and S**ting everywhere ! Since your Anti-crate , you must love cleaning up S**t and Piss

  6. Avatar Of Angela




    We recently adopted a two year old male Weimaraner who had been rescued from a high kill shelter. He was horrifyingly emaciated. The rescuers had him fixed and he’s been a been such a project to adapt into the family: clingy, afraid of going out for pees in the dark, excessive pawing, and neurotic about being fed at a certain time during the day.

    I give him a bowl of water immediately after he has eaten and let him out regularly during the day. Sometimes, though, I may have to let him about within minutes of going. Today, rather than asking/ barking to go out he just wandered around the kitchen peeing.

    Has his starvation affected his bladder or could there be complications of getting him fixed?

    I am neurotically house proud and am conscious of my house starting to smell of urine. Jasper has done this several times now and I feel like I’m constantly cleaning up after him.

    Any input would help considerably.

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  9. Avatar Of Robert Wood

    Robert Wood


    I have rescued a dog and have her indoors we take her out every hour to go potty she will pee every time I go and put her leash on to take her out what can I do to stop this its driving me nuts we live in Wyoming Its cold so I would not leave her out side can some one please help

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