Frequent Urination in Dogs

Written By hannah hollinger
Published: 12/28/2015Updated: 05/21/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Michele K.
Frequent Urination in Dogs - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Frequent Urination?

Frequent urination in dogs can be divided into two categories—an incessant need to urinate which can be a sign of other diseases, and incontinence, which is more of a lack of awareness of urination. While incontinence can be the result of other diseases, it is also an affliction itself, and maybe a sign of other problems in the body such as bladder infections, urethral blockage, or even natural aging. If you notice your pet urinating in abnormal places or at abnormal times, it may be incontinence. 

Frequent urination can be the sign of many other diseases or an indicator of urinary incontinence in your pet. If there are other accompanying signs, it’s possible that frequent urination could be a sign of diseases such as cancers, kidney diseases, or systemic disease like Diabetes Mellitus. Depending on what other signs your pet is exhibiting, it can be determined if the frequent urination is a sign or the actual disease.
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Average Cost

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Symptoms of Frequent Urination in Dogs

Urinary incontinence is involuntary urination. When your pet is experiencing urinary incontinence, they will likely have accidents in the house. This may happen when they are sleeping or when they are moving around the house. It’s important to meet with the veterinarian to determine if the incontinence is just that or if it is the sign of another illness.

Types

To distinguish between the types of urinary incontinence, the cause needs to be determined. Some of these might be:  

  • Urinary incontinence caused by ectopic ureters: This is more common in younger dogs
  • Urinary incontinence caused by decreased urethral closure pressure: A decrease in urethral closure pressure can result from neurological problems and cause urinary incontinence
  • Bladder infection
  • Blockage of urethra
  • Hormone-responsive incontinence
  • Age-related incontinence

Causes of Frequent Urination in Dogs

As discussed in the types of urinary incontinence, there are three main causes of urinary incontinence.

  • Urinary incontinence caused by ectopic ureters: An ectopic ureter is an abnormal urethral opening. This is most common in female dogs, and the following breeds are particularly susceptible: Miniature Poodle, Collie, Welsh Corgi, Fox Wire-haired Fox Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, Newfoundland and English Bulldog. Urinary tract infections are common with this form of urinary incontinence.
  • Urinary incontinence caused by decreased urethral closure pressure: Typically the result of neurological problems, a thorough neurological exam is required. The urinary incontinence will vary in occurrence, duration, and intensity.
  • Bladder infection: Though a bladder infection isn’t true incontinence (the pet is aware of urination), it presents in a very similar fashion. A bladder infection increases your pet’s urge to urinate or scars the bladder (when long standing) so that it cannot hold urine. This may cause urination in abormal locations or frequent urination.
  • Blockage of urethra: If the dog is unable to completely empty their bladder because of the blockage, the built up pressure may force leaking.
  • Hormone-responsive incontinence: This occurs most commonly in female dogs though it can occur in male neutered dogs as well. This happens after the pet is neutered and may occur months or years after the actual procedure. It is more common in larger breeds of dogs.
  • Age-related incontinence is a more natural form of incontinence as it results from normal aging. This can result from a weakening of muscles or an overall susceptibility to disease that younger pets don’t have. Older pets can also become senile and not realize that they are urinating.

Diagnosis of Frequent Urination in Dogs

There are a variety of tests that can aid in the diagnosis of incontinence. What test is used will depend on what signs are present and other health factors, such as age. Some tests used in diagnosis might include:

  • Blood and urine testing
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound 
  • Urine cultures
  • Cystoscopy (endoscopy of the urinary bladder through the urethra)
  • Helical computed tomography (CT scan)

Treatment of Frequent Urination in Dogs

Treatment can vary depending on the cause of incontinence and other related signs. Some common treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Medications– which drugs are prescribed depends on the cause. If no specific cause is determined, the veterinarian will likely prescribe drugs in trial periods and monitor results to determine if the treatment is successful
  • Hormone replacement therapy
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Recovery of Frequent Urination in Dogs

The post-treatment recovery and management will largely depend on the course of treatment administered. In the event of surgery, there will be a post-surgery recovery period and monitoring by the veterinarian. Should pharmaceuticals or hormones be administered, you will likely need to monitor effectiveness and try multiple treatment options to find something that works. In all courses of treatment, you will need to monitor your pet’s urination frequency, duration and severity to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

Frequent Urination Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $400 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,100

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Frequent Urination Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Indian shepherds

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Fourteen Years

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200 found this helpful

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200 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Frequent Urination
My dog has suddenly started to urinate very frequently, at home... she has never done it before

Sept. 29, 2020

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

200 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Reasons for dogs to start urinating more frequently include urinary tract infections, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or incontinence. It would be best to have your dog seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, and they may want to run some lab work to see what is going on. Wednesday no more, they will be able to let you know what medications are treatments might be available. I hope that everything goes well for her.

Oct. 3, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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7weeks

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0 found this helpful

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0 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Frequent Urination
Her peri area is sunken in. She is constantly peeing. Is something wrong?

Sept. 27, 2020

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without being able to examine her, unfortunately, it is difficult for me to say what might be going on with her. If she is still urinating frequently, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them and see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 12, 2020

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Frequent Urination Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $400 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,100

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