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

Jon Hall, L Owen, A Riddell, D Church, D Brodbelt, D. O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Estimate prevalence and identify demographic risk factors for urinary incontinence (UI) in male dogs. Methods: The study population included all dogs within {redacted} from September 2009 to July 2013. Electronic patient records were searched for UI cases; demographic and clinical information was extracted and analysed. Results: Of 109,428 male dogs attending 119 clinics in England, an estimated 1027 dogs were diagnosed with UI, giving a UI prevalence of 0.94% (95% CI: 0.88-1.00). Breeds with highest odds of UI compared with crossbreds included the bull mastiff (OR 17.21, 95% CI 6.65-44.56, case=5, non-case=314, P < 0.001), Irish red setter (OR: 12.79, 95% CI 4.83-33.84, case=5, non-case=142, P < 0.001), fox terrier (OR: 9.60, 95% CI 3.68-25.05, case=5, non-case=176, P < 0.001), bulldog (OR: 5.72, 95% CI 2.24-14.59, case=5, non-case=929, P < 0.001) and boxer (OR: 3.65, 95% CI 1.84-7.25, case=10, non-case=1470, P < 0.001). Increased odds of UI were associated with increased age (age 9 to 12 years OR: 10.46, 95% CI 6.59-16.62, n= 12348, P < 0.001) and being insured (OR 1.96 ;95% CI 1.53-2.51, n=26202, P < 0.001). There was no association with castration or bodyweight. Clinical impact: Overall prevalence of UI in male dogs is approximately 1%, which may be higher than expected given the sparsity of literature describing this problem. At-risk breeds (some previously unrecognised) have a higher prevalence of 2-9%. In contrast to bitches, neutering and bodyweight did not increase odds of UI, which is valuable information for general practitioners giving neutering advice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • epidemiology
  • dog
  • urinary incontinence
  • USMI
  • urethral sphincter
  • mechanism incompetence


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