Hello Think Tank,
I would be grateful if you could offer me some help with my rescued, 18-month-old Border Collie cross.
We have had him for five months and he seems to have settled in well. When we first got him he used to do a nervous/excited little wee in the morning when we came downstairs to let him out but after a couple of weeks this stopped. A few days before Christmas I took his bedding out of his plastic bed to give it a hoover and noticed dampness on the plastic. I felt the bedding and it was a little damp but thought it may have been where he had come in from the garden and jumped straight into his bed. I decided to give him the benefit of doubt and just ignored it, however this has happened on numerous occasions now so I think he must be weeing in his bed. It is just happening overnight.
I have always left the radio on for him when he is left on his own, as advised by the rescue shelter, and he always settles down when he is left by himself. He is not sore anywhere so I am assuming he is deliberately doing it. There is nowhere else around the house that has damp patches, just the bed. He has only ever chewed something he shouldn't have once and he hid the evidence in his bed so maybe he thinks he is hiding the evidence in his bed again.
Julie Smith, Berkshire
Alison Logan, vet, advises...
This sounds to me like urinary incontinence, more familiar in the bitch but also occurring in male dogs. The nervous/excited little wee passed in the morning when he greeted you is a sign of a weak bladder, and although that stopped it would seem that he is now passing urine accidentally when asleep in his bed. I really do not think he is doing this deliberately, hiding the evidence in his bed like he does when he hides things he has chewed. Your dog sleeps in his bed; whilst asleep in his bed, he is relaxed and urine leaks from his bladder.
It would be worth having a urine sample checked by your veterinary surgeon to rule out an underlying infection, for example. Is he producing more urine than usual with an increased thirst (polyuria/polydipsia) so that his bladder is filling up quicker whilst asleep? An anatomical explanation may be revealed by imaging the bladder with the ureters running to it from the kidneys and the urethra connecting it to the outside world.
If your vet feels this is simply a weak bladder, or sphincter incompetence, as I would suspect, then there are drugs which can help. Your dog’s bedwetting could be a thing of the past.