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Incontinence in Dogs With Diabetes

| Updated September 26, 2017

If a diabetic dog has forgotten his housetraining, blame his medical condition and not his temperament. Canine diabetes causes dogs to drink excessive amounts of water, which may lead to urinary incontinence, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Veterinarians remedy the involuntary urination disorder with medication or surgery, not disciplinary action.


Whether the dog dribbles or releases a full bladder of urine, the pet has no control over the flow. Since incontinent dogs lick their genitals to keep themselves clean, expect redness in that area. Early bouts of incontinence may appear as a wet spot from licking, self-cleaning or water run-off after a drink. If a quick smell of the wet spot reveals an ammonia-type odor, it is urine.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A urinalysis and urine culture performed by a veterinarian can diagnose diabetic urinary incontinence. Dogs with diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus have very diluted urine.

After studying the biochemical make-up of the dog's urine, the veterinarian can test individual cell reactivity with antibiotic medications to determine the best antidote. On occasion the vet will suggest surgery or collagen injections.


The presence of diseases such as diabetes, hyperadrenocorticism or kidney disease may cause incontinence, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). A diabetic dog's pancreas doesn't produce the correct level of insulin, causing his blood sugars to fluctuate. When the dog's blood sugars rise, his kidneys signal the need for increased urination. Since elevated levels of blood sugars are toxic to many organs, the dog's kidneys try to rid themselves of the poison, according to the Doctors Foster and Smith Pet Education website. This cycle can lead to involuntary urination, also known as incontinent behavior.


Daily oral or injectable doses of insulin regulate the diabetic dog's disease. Feeding a veterinarian-prescribed diet along with daily medication can reduce the occurrences of incontinence.


Pet owners often misunderstand urinary incontinency, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. The hassle of cleaning urine stains and keeping the pet clean can make some dog owners consider drastic options such as euthanasia. Before making a final decision about the future of the pet, have a veterinarian examine the exact cause of the dog's diabetic incontinence. The pet may need a new dosage or type of insulin, a simple surgery or an antibiotic to clear up an infection.