What is Pelvic Bladder?
Posterior displacement is observed in intact and neutered dogs, though it is seen with greater frequency in intact female dogs less than a year in age. Often referred to as pelvic bladder, this condition is characterized by the movement of the bladder from its usual position, which can then lead to urinary problems.Posterior displacement of the bladder in dogs is a condition wherein the bladder is displaced from its usual location due to genetic abnormalities, lifestyle factors or masses in the abdomen.
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Symptoms of Pelvic Bladder in Dogs
Some dogs are asymptomatic (have no symptoms at all) and others may suffer from any or all of the following:
- Urinary incontinence (dribbling urine)
- Straining to urinate
- Inability to pass urine, or only passing small amounts
- Urinary urgency
- Red, irritated skin near the tail or underside of belly (urine scalding)
- Skin inflammation around the genital area
- Fever, if infection is also present
There are three basic types of posterior bladder displacement:
- Congenital disorders of the bladder and/or urethra
- Lifestyle factors
- Masses in the abdominal cavity
Causes of Pelvic Bladder in Dogs
The three main causes of posterior bladder displacement are:
- Birth defects, which result in puppies being born with displaced bladders or irregular sized or shaped urethras.
- Obesity in dogs of any ages, which can cause a shift in the bladder’s natural position.
- Masses, including cysts, tumors, and adhesions.
Diagnosis of Pelvic Bladder in Dogs
In order to properly diagnosis posterior displacement of the bladder your dog will need to see a veterinarian. You will be asked to give a basic history of your dog’s symptoms and highlight any previous health concerns and conditions.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination of your dog, taking note of any inflammation or tender areas, and any change in body temperature.
The following tests may also be performed to definitively diagnose your dog’s condition:
- Complete blood count (CBC) to look for inflammation, infection, and rule out various causes of distress.
- Biochemistry profile to assess the function of internal organs, measure electrolytes and enzymes, and check levels of sodium, potassium, and calcium.
- Urinalysis to rule out infection and kidney problems.
- Abdominal X-ray to look for growths and organ size, shape and placement.
- Cystourethrogram with contrast, a type of X-ray that takes pictures of the position and size of the bladder and urethra.
- Ultrasound to rule out kidney stones, inflammation of the kidneys, urinary cancer of the bladder, bladder obstruction, and other abnormalities present in the urinary tract system.
- Urethra pressure profile
A positive diagnosis is generally made on the findings from contrast X-rays, which will indicate an abnormally shaped and displaced bladder that sits high in the pelvic bone region.
Treatment of Pelvic Bladder in Dogs
Dogs with posterior bladder displacement will require surgery to reposition the organ to its normal position and/or correct issues with the urethra.
Recovery of Pelvic Bladder in Dogs
Dogs will need to check into the hospital for surgery, and will remain hospitalized for 24-72 hours, depending on their age and condition. Dogs that are found to have an infection in addition to bladder displacement will be placed on a course of antibiotics. All dogs will be given a seven to a 10-day supply of painkillers to be taken as needed. Dogs should be prohibited from strenuous exercise and long walks for up to 10 days post-surgery.
You will need to revisit your veterinarian for a follow-up appointment. You will also be required to monitor your dog’s fluid intake and urine output, in addition to watching for signs of complications, such as infection, side effects of medication, inflammation, and surgical scars that do not heal.
Most dogs will be fully recovered and able to resume regular activities within 10 days.
Cost of Pelvic Bladder in Dogs
Investigative testing, treatment and surgical costs for posterior displacement of the bladder in dogs varies greatly by the extent of damage, your place of residence and the type of veterinary clinic or hospital you frequent. On average, costs range from $1,380 to $5,600, including clinic visits, medication, diagnostic testing, surgery and follow-up care.
Pelvic Bladder Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog is 9 years old and has pelvic bladder/Posterior Displacement of the Bladder in Dogs. What will happen if it continues to go untreated? She has gone her whole life with it. Is surgery necessary?
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