The ureters are the tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. Normally the ureters enter the urinary bladder at the junction of the bladder and the urethra. Ectopic ureters do not connect at the correct location, bypassing the urethral sphincter, resulting in the constant dribbling of urine.
There are two different kinds of ectopic ureters; simple ectopic ureters and tunneling ectopic ureters. The first step in treating the disease is to determine which kind of ectopic ureter is present. an excellent method of diagonisis is cystoscopy. With this, a camera is passed through the urinary tract from the outside of the body to visualize the defect and where it occurs. In determing where and how it occurs we can choose the best method of treatement.
Simple Ectopic Ureters
A simple ectopic ureter bypasses the bladder altogether and enters at the urethra or vagina. Abdominal surgery to re-establish normal anatomy is the best treatment for this type of ectopic ureter.
Tunneling Ectopic Ureters
A tunneling ectopic ureter enters the bladder at the correct spot, but then tunnels down the wall of the urethra before opening up. LASER ablation of the ectopic ureter is the most successful treatment for this type of ectopic ureter.
Ectopic Ureters are more common in large breed dogs and are far more common in females than in males. Because ectopic ureters are a congenital problem, most pets are incontinent from birth. This condition predisposes pets to urinary tract infections and can become a serious maintenance issue for pet owners.