Why Is My Dog "Leaking" Urine?
As female dogs age, urinary incontinence can result. It may be both age-related and something requiring medical attention. In the female dog, the urethra and vagina open in a common area, called the vestibule. This area then opens to the exterior, called the vulva.
In spayed females, this can also be caused due to lack of the hormone estrogen. If your dog is leaking urine, this may be what you are seeing, although an examination by your veterinarian is still in order to confirm, as a concurrent urinary tract infection is also possible.
In an age-related incontinent dog (versus a congenital problem), muscles and sphincters aren't as toned as they once were, and urine leaks a bit into the common vestibule area. The urine may pool there, causing a "dilated" appearance. This stalled urine can lead to localized infections and may ascend up into the bladder, causing a urinary tract infection. As the dog gets up/lays down, a small pool of urine may be released.
In addition to loss of tone in the urogenital system, diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease often lead to increased urination (and thirst), exacerbating the urine pooling and potential urinary tract infection problem. Making a geriatric exam appointment with your vet for a physical exam is recommended to check the urine and blood work to make sure that there aren't any other or additional disease issues to deal with. Your veterinarian may order additional screening or diagnostic tests.
Hopefully, this is a case of "simple" incontinence and can be managed with medication to help tone the muscles for better urinary control, such as phenylpropanolamine (PPA) and/or provide hormonal support (Incurin).
Please note: this article has been provided for informational purposes only. If your pet is showing any signs of illness, please consult a veterinarian as quickly as possible.