What is Not Peeing?
You take your dog for a walk and you notice that he is straining to urinate. Usually, he pees on every tree or branch, and now he can barely pass a small trickle. It is a very concerning situation. There may be several reasons that your dog is not able to urinate:
- Urinary stones
- Urinary tract infection
- Tumor on urinary tract or bladder
The inability to urinate is a very serious condition. If the dog is unable to empty his bladder, the bladder may burst.
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Why Not Peeing Occurs in Dogs
Urinary problems occur more frequently in male dogs. If your dog is not urinating, there may be a serious underlying condition:
Urinary stones may be found in the kidneys, ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), urethra (the tube from the bladder to where the urine exits the body), and the bladder (the organ that holds urine). In canines, stones are usually found in the bladder. Bladder stones can get as big as 3 to 4 inches. Bladder stones are made up of different mineral compositions. Urate stones are more common in Bulldogs, Black Russian Terriers and Dalmatians. Struvite bladder stones are most commonly found in Miniature Schnauzers, Bichon Frise, Cocker Spaniels, and Miniature Poodles.
Urinary Tract Infection
Canine urinary tract infections in dogs are more common in older females and diabetic dogs. The infection causes spasms in the urethra, which then narrows the opening where urine exits the body. Urinary tract infections that are left untreated can progress into the kidneys, which can cause kidney failure and/or rupture the bladder.
Tumor on the Urinary Tract or Bladder
A tumor is the abnormal growth of tissue creating a mass. Tumors can be benign or malignant (cancerous). A tumor on the urinary tract or bladder can cause an obstruction, which causes the inability to urinate.
Trauma caused by vehicular contact or a fall can cause uroabdomen. The damage may cause the urine to leak into the abdomen. A canine may be unable to urinate because of the trauma to his abdominal area.
What to do if your Dog is Not Peeing
If your dog is not peeing, he must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. An examination may lead the vet to recommend a few diagnostic tests to help find the cause, such as a complete blood count, urinalysis, urine culture, abdominal ultrasound, abdominal x-rays and a CT scan. If he palpates the bladder and it is full, the veterinarian may use a urinary catheter to remove the urine and temporarily relieve the patient.
The treatment of urinary stones will depend on the type of stone it is. Struvite and calcium oxalate uroliths are the most common stones found in dogs. Some bladder stones will need surgical removal. The veterinarian may recommend a low-protein diet to help speed the dissolution of struvite stones. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in the treatment of bladder stones.
Canine bladder infections may be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Tumors may need to be surgically removed. Dogs with malignant tumors may also need radiation and/or chemotherapy. Dogs that experienced trauma to the abdomen may require surgery to correct the damage. Owners of dogs that undergo surgery will be given postoperative instructions by the veterinary surgical team. The patient will be limited as to exercise; the incision should be kept dry and he will have to wear an E-collar until his sutures are removed.
Prevention of Not Peeing
Some bladder stones can be prevented by increased water consumption, special diet and by monitoring the pH level in your pet’s urine. There are at home canine pH testing strips available for purchase. Diets lower in protein, phosphorus and magnesium may help prevent bladder stones. Additionally, studies have shown that the long-term use of diuretics and antacids can elevate the pH, phosphorus and ammonia in the urine, which can then cause bladder stones.
Urinary bladder infections may be prevented by encouraging regular bathroom breaks. It is not healthy to make your dog wait to void. It can also be helpful to keep your dog well-groomed and cleaned around the dog’s genital area to avoid bacterial infections. It is important to provide clean filtered drinking water for your dog. Other urinary bladder infection preventatives are cranberry capsules, vitamin C and probiotics.
Dogs should be monitored when outside. It is imperative to check your yard to ensure that your pet is safe from harm if let outdoors unattended.
Cost of Not Peeing
The treatment costs for a dog who is not peeing can be as high as $350 for tests and medication for a urinary tract infection. If surgery for bladder stones or an injured abdomen is required, the cost may range as high as $7500.
Not Peeing Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My Pitt bitch is about 10 months old. She normally pees and/or poops in the AM, when out to play, and at night before bed (often just pee). The last couple days, however, she just doesn't pee until very late in the day but does eventually pee once or twice before bedtime. She poops, and it seems normal. I've tried to observe her urine when she does go and haven't seen blood or visible strain. We played with a rawhide retriever roll (which she chews vigorously and would devour if I let her) a couple days back and the pee issue seems to have manifested thereafter. No change in food, although she wasn't eating in the AM for a couple days. Yesterday and this AM she ate like a champ and I've seen her drink water. I also gave her 1 tbps apple cider vinegar in her food this AM and a couple teaspoons in her water yesterday (she drank some but not much—I drop dried cranberries in her water dish to get her to drink in order to fish then out). No odd smells. Normal mood. What gives?
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This would be something to see your Veterinarian about as the bleeding may be coming from self trauma, other injuries, tumours, stones, infections etc… The lack of urination may be due to stones, tumours, trauma, scar tissue and other causes. This wouldn’t be a treat at home problem and needs Veterinary attention. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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I have a puppy 8weeks old that I'm about to get that doesn't poop or pee regularly. The vet diagnosed her with incontinence. She will be standing at her feed and doesn't have any idea she's going. I have found neil information on it, and no vets in my town or locally have seen this. I would like more understanding and help as to why she's doing this.
There are a few possible causes including some that she may grow out of, the most likely cause is ectopic ureters which affects female puppies more than male puppies; this would need to be diagnosed by your Veterinarian with an intravenous pyelogram, although you may need to visit a specialist. I’ve added a link below to our page on ectopic ureters. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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