URINARY incontinence in the adult female dog is encountered fairly commonly in practice and is a frequent cause of referrals and advice calls to specialist centres. Urinary incontinence represents a significant concern to the owner, despite the fact that the affected animal often appears unaware of the problem. The significance is often due to the soiling of the household environment, but the condition may also result in infections of the urinary or genital tract and skin scalding. The cause of incontinence should be investigated prior to the initiation of treatment since, although the diagnosis may appear obvious, there are in fact a number of differential diagnoses to consider, for which the treatment and outcome are very different. This article outlines the general features of urinary incontinence in adult bitches and describes an approach to the investigation of the condition. Important differential diagnoses and treatment options will be discussed in an article in the next issue.
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