Urinary incontinence in bitches under primary veterinary care in England: prevalence and risk factors

Dan O'Neill, Alex Riddell, Laura Owen, David Church, David C. Brodbelt, Jon Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives Urinary incontinence is reportedly common in bitches. This study aimed to estimate prevalence and demographic risk factors in bitches under primary veterinary care in England. Methods The study population included all bitches within the <REDACTED> database from September 1st, 2009 to July 7th, 2013. Electronic patient records were searched for urinary incontinence cases and additional demographic and clinical information was extracted. Results Of 100,397 bitches attending 119 clinics in England, an estimated 3,108 were diagnosed with urinary incontinence. The prevalence of urinary incontinence was 3.14% (95% CI 2.97-3.33). Medical therapy was prescribed to 45.6% cases. Predisposed breeds included the Irish Setter (OR: 8.09, 95% CI 3.15-20.80, P < 0.001) and Dobermann (OR: 7.98, 95% CI 4.38-14.54, P < 0.001). Bitches weighing at or above the mean adult bodyweight for their breed had 1.31 times the odds (95% CI 1.12-1.54, P < 0.001). Increasing adult bodyweight was associated with increasing risk. Bitches aged 9 to < 12 years showed 3.86 (95% CI 2.86-5.20, P < 0.001) times the odds, neutered bitches had 2.23 (95% CI 1.52-3.25, P < 0.001) times the odds and insured bitches had 1.59 (95% CI 1.34-1.88, P < 0.001) times the odds. Clinical Impact Urinary incontinence affects just over 3% of bitches overall but affects over 15% of bitches in high risk breeds including the Irish Setter, Dobermann, Bearded Collie, Rough Collie and Dalmatian. These results provide an evidence base for clinicians to enhance clinical recommendations on neutering and weight control, especially in high-risk breeds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-693
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Volume58
Issue number12
Early online date7 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • urethra
  • bladder
  • dog

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