Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Urine Leakage

Question from Gail in Montgomery County:
I have a 7 month old Lab. When he gets excited or nervous, he drips urine. I don't believe he knows what he is doing. He's been on antibiotics two different times. My vet said the last time they checked his urine, his white blood cell count was high. Can you recommend anything else that might help him?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
Since your dog is still a puppy, the leakage of urine that you describe could be indicative of several issues. First, white blood cells are not normally found in urine and can be due to either infection or inflammation. A urine culture can be done to definitively diagnose or rule out infection.

A second possible problem is the presence of an "ectopic ureter". This is an abnormality of the urine collection system present at birth. This problem requires x-ray dye studies or a special scope to diagnose. With this condition, urine leaks frequently, not just at times of excitement.

The third and most likely cause of your dog's problem is "submissive urination". This is a common problem of puppies and tends to happen when dogs become nervous or excited. When you or your house guests greet your dog, avoid eye contact and speak in a calm voice. Take your dog out to relieve himself as soon as you arrive at the house. Until your dog learns to greet guests calmly, bring him outside for the initial interaction and advise guests to ignore him until he is relaxed. As puppies gain confidence, submissive urination usually resolves.

Posted August 3, 2006

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