by Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

If you have a dog with urinary incontinence (leaky bladder when your dog sleeping), you most likely know how frustrating this problem is. Also dogs are quite fastidious and get very embarrassed when they have an accident.

Neither is it fun to clean carpets and floors and who wants their house smelling like pee?
The common understanding of the main cause of urinary incontinence in dogs is low estrogen levels in spayed females. It is true that some female dogs respond to estrogen hormones; however, this theory falls short because male dogs suffer from this problem too.
Story of Caz

It was the year 2002 when I met Caz, a lovely Rhodesian Ridgeback female who lived with my friend Pat. Her previous owner gave her up after she accidentally fell off the back of a truck.  She was dragged behind but fortunately recovered from this horrible accident.
Pat loved Caz. She brought her to me for treatment of urinary bladder incontinence that had not responded to the traditional treatment. For several months, we tried to take more non-traditional approaches and saw no change. It was a frustrating situation and we all were at our wits end.
However, I was stubbornly determined to solve the mystery and after a brief conversation, Pat allowed me to take Caz home for a few days of observation.
To our surprise, Caz showed no signs of incontinence for three days! I started to think that her incontinence was somehow connected to walks and exercise that she did with Pat. I decided to join them on their walk to see if I could get any clues.
As soon as we started walking, Caz was completely obsessed about chasing her ball. Pat, being the “good dog mom” threw Caz’s ball over and over because she wanted to make her happy.  Thirty minutes later, her tongue was hanging out like a big pink yo-yo, panting and finally looking like she had had enough.
When we got back to the car and Caz hopped in “bingo” a big puddle of urine appeared on the blanket almost immediately.
Now we knew that Caz’s incontinence was related to her exercise, muscle strain and back injury. After a few weeks of gentler walks, no ball chasing, a specific homeopathic treatment and a few physiotherapy sessions, the problem was solved for good. The good news was that we didn’t use any carcinogenic estrogen hormones.
This was 2002. To date I have treated many dogs for incontinence and  only two needed estrogens. Now I understand that  this condition can be reliably treated with gentler and safer methods without a drug prescription

Why excessive stretching on the surgery table can cause urinary bladder incontinence

In the first part of the urinary incontinence article series, I gave you  the story of Caz and how she stopped being  incontinent after we treated her back injury and adjusted her exercise.

If the connection of lumbar spine injury and over-exercise was a complete surprise to you, you are not alone. Most people including many veterinarians are not aware of this relationship.   It is as if the most simple connections, the easiest treatments are the hardest to see in medicine. The next question naturally follows.

Why are back injuries and exercise related to incontinence?

Physiologically, urine leaking is caused by the weakness of the urinary bladder sphincter. This sphincter receives its nerve supply from the caudal-lumbar area of the spine.

It appears that when the lumbar muscles get injured or overexerted, they get tight and the bladder sphincter nerves get ‘impinged.’ This leads to the sphincter “numbing out,” and involuntary urine leakage follows.

Most people actually do not believe this until they see the practical results of the treatment that addresses the lumbar spine and muscles in the area. Failures of the approach are very rare unless there is a bladder polyp, tumor, infection or another underlying cause.  Another issue may be when client do not follow the treatment instruction.

Why do female dogs become incontinent after spaying?
This the next logical question. It is natural to ask why estrogen treatment is effective if lumbar injuries are the most frequent cause.

It is true that the drop in estrogen levels  is one of the factors playing a role in urinary incontinence. However, there is another cause that often plays a role when female dogs are spayed

Many dogs going through the spay procedure are excessively stretched on the surgical table with the legs being pulled back by ties.   The table is often insufficiently padded and this can generate excessive stress on the lumbar sacral spine and cause urinary incontinence. 

My intention is not to discourage you from spaying or neutering your dog.  In fact, I believe that it is an important part of addressing dog homelessness and unnecessary suffering.

All you need to do is to discuss this issue with your veterinarian prior to the surgery. Just be ready the practitioner may not be aware of the  connections described above.  I encourage you to politely ask that your dog not be stretched excessively on the surgical table and that  the table is well padded.




So far you have learned that:

  • a large number of incontinent dogs leak urine because of injuries or lumbar sacral area and reduced nerve supply to the bladder sphincter.
  • it is important not to stretch dogs on the surgical table when they get spayed or neutered because it can lead to lumbar-sacral subluxations (injuries) and incontinence.




First, you need to rule out the following problems that can lead to urine leaking:
  • Urinary tract infection by running a urine sample test and possibly a culture.
  • Polyp or growth that can impede the function of the bladder sphincter.
  • Ectopic ureter that attaches to the bladder in an anatomically incorrect location
  • Urinary bladder stones which can cause inflammation, irritation and incontinence.
  • Excitement or submissive urination – this is a behavioral issue and has to do nothing with true urinary incontinence.
  • Sometimes hyperactive adrenal glands or the administration of corticosteroids can also cause incontinence.
Every incontinent dog should go through the following:
    • Physical examination
    • Blood test – chemistry, complete blood count and thyroid test.
    • Urinalysis to evaluate kidney function
  • If these tests rule out urinary tract infection, kidneys disease or another problem, you can use Incontia - a homeopathic preparation for treatment of urinary bladder incontinence


  • more detailed instructions on how to address urinary incontinence
  • suggestions for optimal exercise protocol for dogs suffering from urinary incontinence.
  • high potency homeopathic remedy for treatment of urinary incontinence
  • It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee




Generally, it is very rare that a dog doesn’t respond to the above mentioned protocol. However, no treatment works for every patient.

INCONTIA  comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  All you need to do is to contact us to make arrangments.

If you dog doesn’t respond, ask your veterinarian to perform further examination such as bladder ultrasound to rule out other possible problems.

If all tests come back normal and you have treated your dog for 3 – 9 months without any change, it is possible that your dog will need estrogen medication such as Stilbestrol or Proin. I personally prefer Stilbestrol.


Legal Disclaimer:
The materials and information in this article is for education and information purpose only and are not intended to treat disease or replace the care of a veterinarian.  If you have any question regarding this treatment, you can email us or reserve a personal consultation with  Dr. Dobias here.





learn about the author


Dr. Dobias is a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine and live in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has more than 20 years of practical experience in conventional and holistic veterinary medicine and his big passions are natural healing, dogs and living a healthy lifestyle...

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