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Dog wetting herself in her sleep
An_221410 posted:
My one year old golden retriever has been wetting herself in her sleep recently - not frequently, but it's happened a few times. She had UTIs as a puppy but has been fine for months and is otherwise house trained. When it happens she has no idea and it's only when I notice the wetness and wake her that she'll get up. Could this be a return of the UTIs? Or something else? Or is she still just young and sometimes sleeps right through her need to go?
Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
Thank you for contacting WebMD. The condition of urinating while sleeping or very relaxed is known as 'nocturia'. Inappropriate urination may be due to several reasons. If your golden only has accidents when she is asleep, it is unlikely that it is a bladder infection. If you have ever suffered from a UTI, you know how uncomfortable it can be. You feel as though you need to relieve yourself every few minutes.

If your dog is not having accidents during the time that she is awake, is not drinking excessive amounts of water, is not showing signs of increased urinary frequency, she may can urinary incontinence (unable to control her bladder) due to the fact that she is spayed (hormonal urinary incontinence).

I have dogs, even young ones like yours, present to me with only wetting their beds a night. I will always run a general blood and urine profiles to help rule in or out a bladder infection, diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes), kidney disorders and liver problems. If all the tests are normal, then a trial of a medication called phenylpropanolamine may be indicated. I will leave that decision up to your veterinarian.

There can also be neurological reasons for wetting the bed. Your veterinarian can usually assess the neurological status of your pet with a thorough exam and possibly x-rays.

Please make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can. Try to prevent your dog from relieving herself prior to the exam so a urine sample can be easily obtained.

All the best...
Dr. Bernadine


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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