The urinary bladder is the organ in which urine is collected and held until it is to be passed to the outside of the body through a small tube called the urethra. In a dog with a normal urinary tract this is a conscious activity. In an incontinent dog urine is leaked out of the urethra without control.
Urinary incontinence can be caused by anatomical, neurological or hormonal problems. Young animals can have a congenital defect that causes urinary incontinence from birth. This defect is called an ectopic ureter. These pets can be diagnosed and treated to successfully eliminate the incontinence. More commonly, dogs develop incontinence later in life.
Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence causes incontinence. Here, the mechanism used to retain urine is not functioning correctly. Oral medications are often used in these cases and in many patients this treatment is successful.
Although medical treatment is commonly successful, some animals remain incontinent in spite of medication. If medical options have been exhausted without success, there is a procedure available that has shown great success. This procedure involves collagen injections at the urethra. This is a minimally invasive procedure and has a very high success rate.