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Ask the Vet About Submissive Urination (Incontinence) in Dogs

Submissive Urination in Dogs
Symptoms & Diagnosis
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Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Submissive Urination (Incontinence) in Dogs
Dr. Michael Dym
Dr. Michael Dym
VMD, Veterinarian
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DoctorDym.com

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: 12/10/15
Category: Urinary Tract/Kidneys
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Submissive Peeing

Question:Hi- I Have Sort Of Self Diagnosed My Dog As A Submssive Peer- He Is A 1.5 Year Old (so We Thought To Old To Just Be Excited Peeing) Norwegian Elkhound. He Is Always Terrified When My Boyfriend Scolds Him And He Had A Rough Time Training To Wait To The Grass Instead Of On The Sidewalk In The City We Live In. Now When Ever He Is Scared Or Even When He Is Excited When I Come Home He Pees On The Ground-just A Couple Tablespoons. Before I Read About Submissive Peeinng We Took Him To The Vet To See If He Had A Uti Or Some Problem And They Said He Had Crystals In His Urine And Put Him On Antibiotics. It Has Been Over A Week And He Still Pees When I Come Home And That Is When I Researched And Found That The Submissive Peeing Sounds A Lot Like What He Does. My Question Though Is Is It Just A Coincidence That He Also Had A Uti? Are They Related? Or Is It Some Bigger Problem Than Both Of Those Since The Problem Hasnt Resolved From The Antibiotics?

Answer:I Would Wait Until The Urinary Tract Infettion Clears Over The Next Few Weeks Before Changing Course. Also Consider Prescription Diets To Dissolve Crystals. If Signs Persist, Then Work With Trainer On Behavior Modification Of Submissive Urination

Date: 02/03/14
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Potty Training/submissive Urination/other

Question:Hi, I Am New To This Site And Am Deserate For An Answer To Stop My 2 Yr. Old Female Pit Bull From Peeing (but I Don't Think It's Pee). We Have Had Her Since 9 Weeks (spayed At 5 Months) And Potty Training Has Been A Struggle From Day One. We Have Met With Trainers And Vets And No Answers. I Said Peeing, I Think, Because I'm Almost Sure This Is Coming From Her Vagina, But It's Clear And Odorless. She Can Pee Outside Normal Yellow Urine And Minutes Later If I Turn My Head I Am Left With A Puddle Of What Looks Like Water In My House--or Several. I Have Never Caught Her In The Act As She Is Soooo Sneaky With This. Also, It Appears She "sprays" It As It's Not Just A Puddle It's Like It Has Been Splashed All Over.....she Can Run Up The Stairs And Leave A Trail And Cover A Room From One End To The Other If Left Alone. She Will Even Do This On My Cement Patio If She Wants To Come In And We Aren't There At The Moment She Wants In--she Will Purposely Go Right In Front Of The Door And Splash Multiple Times All Over Our Cement Patio. She Will Do The Same In Her Crate If She Wants To Be Let Out And We Aren't There Immediately (she Could Have Jsut Went Outside, But Doesn't Want To Be In Crate At That Particular Time). I Believe This Is May Be Connected To Submissive And/or Separation Anxiety Urination--but Once Again This Pee Is Different. She Only Does This Around Me Or My Wife--i Have Been Her Main Master/human. My Kids Can Watch Her With No Incidents. Any Help/advice Is Much Appreciated. Also, Vets/trainers Have Ruled Out Uti As She Can Go Overnight With No Accidents In Her Kennel Or Crate. Please Help!

Answer:I Would Still Have Urine Culture To Rule Out Infection, As Well As X Rays To Rule Out Bladder Stones. You Could Try Homeopet Leak No More, Which Is Natural Homeopathic Remedy. Also Make Sure Your Vet Has Ruled Out Incontinence As Well. Sometimes Anxiety Induced Urination Can Be Helped With Meds Like Amitryptylline Or Clomiprimine

Date: 06/21/13
Category: Anxiety Relief
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Submissive Urination

Question:My Miniature Dachshund Mix Is About A Year And A Half And Is House Trained. I Rescued Her From An Abusive/neglectful Situation When She Was 9 Months Old. My Problem Is That Me And My Boyfriend Just Got A Place Together And I've Noticed That My Dog Cowers, Shows Immense Stress, And Urinates A Large Amount Whenever My Boyfriend Scolds Her. She Will Do This Even If He Just Looks At Her When She Is Doing Something That She Is Not Supposed To Do. She Has Never Done This With Me. Am I Correct In Identifying This Behavior As Submissive Urination Or Is It Something Related To Her History Of Abuse? Also, What Can Me And My Boyfriend Do To Fix This (she Loves Him Otherwise)? Thanks For The Help!

Answer:I Would Work With Trainer One On One In Your Home On Behavior Modification Methods For This Submissive Urination Problem. Also Try The Bach Flower Essence Centaury Or Pine Which You Can Get At Health Food Store.

Date: 01/11/08
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Sudden Onset Of Pain & Mysteriously Disappears

Question:I Adopted A Small Boston Terrier(around 18lbs) About 5 Mos. Ago.he Is 2 1/2 Years Old & Is A Very Anxious Dog & Easily Spooked. We Have Some Problems With Submissive Urination But He Has Shown Signs Of Improvement As He Is Getting More Familiar & Comfortable With Family Members.the Family That We Adopted Him From Told Us That He Was Crated 12 Hrs A Day While The Husband & Wife Were At Work Which Is Why They Wanted To Adopt Him To A Family That Would Have More Time For Him.a Week Ago He Had A Very Strange Episode Where He Was Acting Like He Was In A Lot Of Pain All Of A Sudden.he Yelped If You Tried To Touch Him As If He Were In Extreme Pain.he Was Acting Very Stressed(a Lot More Than Usual).nothing Unusual Was Happening In Our Home To Cause This.it Lasted Only About 10-15 Minutes & Then He Was Back To His Normal Self(playful & Active).a Week Later He Had The Same Thing Happen Except This Time It Lasted For 24 Hrs.he Stayed In His Crate & Would Let Out Occasional Loud Yelps When He Would Try To Move.after 24 Hrs. Of Being In A Lot Of Distress He Suddenly Came Out Of His Crate Jumping Around & Trying To Play Ball & Not In Any Pain At All.i Took Him To The Vet While This Was Going On & They Suggested For Me To Get X-rays For Possible Knee Cap Condition(patellar Luxation)or Possibly A Hairline Fracture.if He Had Either Of These Wouldn't He Still Be In Pain?also Can Dogs Have Anxiety Seizures Or Anything Similar To A Panic Attack That Might Cause These Symptoms?

Answer:Please Shorten This Question And I Would Be Happy To Answer.

Date: 11/28/07
Category: Urinary Tract/Kidneys
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Is This Submissive Urination?

Question:I've Been Socialing My Dog With A Friends Dog For The Past Year, Both Are Males - Giant Schnauzer (3) And Vizsla (5), But One Has Just Started To Urinate On The Floor When They Are Alone Togehter - Maybe In The Past Month Or So. Neither Urinate When My Friend Or I Approach The Dogs, And The Stains Have Never Been On Anything Off The Floor (i Read That Dominant Urination Would Usually Be On A High Surface). Is This The Viszla Exhibiting Submissive Urination Habbits Towards The Giant? Or Could The Giant Expressing His Dominance In An Untraditional Way? Any Advice Would Be Appreciated.

Answer:Tough To Say. Either Are Possible. I Would Work With Local Trainer One On One With Both Dogs Going Through Behavioral Modification Exercises With Trainer.

Date: 06/04/07
Category: Urinary Tract/Kidneys
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: 2 Yr Old Keeshond - Submissive Urination?

Question:I Read Your Comments On Submissive Urination & Using Herbal Remedies. Where Would We Put These? Where She Sleeps? We Don't Know If It's Uti Or Submissive Urination, But We Are Looking To Try Anything So She Stops Urinating Even When We Look Her Way.

Answer:I Am Not Sure Which 'herbal' Remedies You Are Talking About. If Flower Essences Then You Can Put Drops Directly On Gums Or Nose Or Even Rubbed On To Ear Flaps. Please Write Back And Specify If Needed.

Date: 04/27/07
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: My 8 Month Old Shit-zu

Question:My 8 Month Old Shit-zu Always Pees When My Husband Comes Home And Takes Off His Boots. She Also Pees When Someone New Comes Over And Pets Her, Also When My Husband Just Talks To Her. Why Does She Pee? What Can I Give Her For That? Is It Fear Or Just Have A Bladder Problem That When She Is Excited She Can't Hold It?

Answer:Medical And/or Submissive Urination In Addition To Other Behavioral Issues Are Possible. I Would See Vet For Complete Exam And Urine Analysis To Make Sure On Medical Issues. If All Ok, Then Need To Work With Vet Specialist In Behavior One On One On Behavior Modification Exercises Done In Home. Of Course If Not Neutered, Get Done

Date: 04/25/07
Category: Anxiety Relief
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Wets When Someone Comes Over.

Question:What Can I Do To Made My Dog Quit Wetting On People When They Come To Our House? He Will Do It On The Floor Or Down There Leg.

Answer:This Submissive Urination Patter Is Quite Common In Particular Young Pets Which They Often Outgrow. You Need To Have People Not Reach Over Or Quickly Approach Dog When They Greed. Let Them Get Down Low And Reach Out Hand For Pet To Come To Them. Also Working With Vet Specialist On Behavior Modification Can Also Help Here. See Book How To Get Your Dog To Do What You Want By Warren Eckstein Www.thepetshow.com Can Also Help. I Have Used Flower Essences Like Larch And Rescue Remedy From Health Food Store Which Can Also Help

Date: 11/07/06
Category: Training Aid
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Submissive Urination

Question:I've Known Early On That My Dog Has Submissive Urination. Through Training We Have Helped Him To Overcome This When Around People That He Knows, Strangers Are Still A Problem That We Are Working On. However, Lately Kuma Has Taken To Not Wanting To Go Outside (because Of The Heavy Rain - He Does Not Like To Walk In The Rain). Now Everytime We Ask Him If He Wants To Go "outside" He Runs Underneath The Table And Won't Come Out. If I Try To Coax Him Out He Urinates All Over Himself. Most Of The Literature I Find Says That He Will Grom Out Of This (kuma Is 1 Yr) And Not To Act Like You Notice That He Is Urinating. When I Know He Needs To Go Outside I Get Down On His Level Scoot Him Out Slowly So As Not To Make This Seem Like Any Type Of Punishment And Take Him Outside (during This Entire Time He Just Continues To Urinate). The Main Reason Is That He Doesn't Want To Go Outside In The Rain. Is There Anything That I Can Do To Help This To Become Something Other Than A Fear Of The Rain Situation? I Heard Of Homeopathics Like Rescue Remedy And One Called Larch, But What Exactly Do These Do For Him? We Have Worked Hard To Help Him Overcome His Submissive Urination But Now I Feel Like We Have Taken 1 Large Step Backwards. I Was Going To Start Bribing Him With Some Cheese (loves Cheese) To Get Him To Go Outside On Him Own But I Have A Feeling That Will Not Stop The Initial Pee'ing On Himself Before He Makes It Out From Under The Table. How Do I Get Him To Feel Better About Himself And All This?

Answer:The Flower Essences Larch And Rescue Remedy Can Sometimes Help As Natural Calming Essences When Used Long Term Along With One Called Rock Rose In Cases Like This. You Can Get These From Health Food Store That Carries The Essences.other Dogs Need More Conventional Prescription Meds Like Amitryptylline Or Clomiprimine To Deal With Their Anxieties. Also Work With Trainer One On One In Your Home On Behavior Modification

Date: 02/06/06
Category: Urinary Tract/Kidneys
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Uti Symptoms

Question:My 3 Year Old Staffishire Mix Has Been Leaving Little Puddles Of Urine Around The House, Every Once In Awhile. It Has Only Happened 3 Times That I Am Aware Of In The Last Two Weeks. She Seems Fine, Hyper As All Heck, And She Isn't Licking Herself, Has No Discharge And Her Ears Look Clear With No Unusal Oder. I Was Concern That Maybe She Has A Uti, Or Maybe She Just Doesn't Finish Urinating All The Way When She Goes. She Doesn't Have Submissive Or Anxiety Urination Problems Either. What Do You Think This Could Be? Thanks For Your Help. Julie

Answer:Very Well Could Be Infection So Should Have Vet Exam And Urine Analysis To See If Infection Present And If Prescription Oral Antibiotic Might Be Needed. You Could Try Giving Cranberry Tablets/extract From Health Food Store Which Might Help. If Infection Ruled Out, Could Have Urinary Incontinence Which Sometimes Needs Meds Like Proin To Treat.

Date: 01/24/06
Category: Training Aid
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Often Wetting

Question:I Can Slightly Raise My Voice And He Rolls Over On His Back And Pees Everywhere. He's 3 1/2 Months Old, Breed Is Pit-bull, Whenever We Take Him Outside He Goes With No Problem, But We Have To Do This Every 3-4hrs And Yet He Still Goes In The House Once Or Twice A Week. He's A Great Dog And We Love Him Very Much, But The Going In The House Has To Stop, What Can I Do? Quano Katy, Texas

Answer:This Is Likely Submissive Urination Which Should Gradually Lessen As Puppy Gets Bigger. You Can Help By Not Placing Him On His Back Or Rubbing His Tummy, Which When Done To A Submissive Dog In The Wild, Will Trigger This Behavior Which Is Normal Dog Behavior In A Submissive Type. Also Dont Overgreet Puppy And Get Down On His/her Level And Let Him Come To You Rather Than Reaching Down Or Over Him. Also Can Use Flower Essences Like Larch And Rescue Remedy From Health Food Store Which Can Naturally Help With Any Stress.

Date: 01/10/06
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Submissive Urination

Question:My Approx. Year Old Puppy Has Had Issues With Submissive Urination Since I Got Him. I Have Been Working With Him On Obedience Training And Generally Trying To Boost His Confidence. He Has Improved From Several Times A Day To 2-3 Times A Week. The Last 3-4 Weeks I Have Discovered Several Times That He Has Urinated On My Bed. I Originally Thought That It Was A Separation Anxiety Reaction. Yesterday, He Spent Most Of The Day Sleeping On A Particular Pillow On My Bed. When I Came In To Go To Bed Myself, I Found That He Had Urinated On That Pillow (and Was Still Sleeping On It). What Behavioural Problems Could Be Causing A Dog To *want* To Sleep In His Own Urine And What Can I Do To Remedy The Problem?

Answer:I Would First Have Your Pet Evaluated At Vet As Could Have Urinary Tract Infection Complicating The Issue So Should Have Pet And Urine Sample Checked At Vet First Before I Can Advise. Also For Submissive Urination You Can Also Add Flower Essences From Health Food Store Like Both Rescue Remedy And One Called Larch Which Can Help With These Confidence Issues When Used Long Term

Date: 02/07/05
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Nervousness

Question:I Have Recently Adopted A 2 Year Old Pomeranian. Though She Has Improved, She Constantly Cowers Down To The Ground And Urinates When You Go To Pick Her Up. I Know This Is A Sign That She Was Abused, But I Wanted To Know If There Are Any Tactics That Would Be Helpful On Stopping This?

Answer:Good For You For Adopting A Pet. You'll Want To Work With A Veterinary Behaviorist To Change The Tendency She Has Toward Submissive Urination. When Returning Home, Don't Make Too Much Of A Fuss, Just Call Her To You And Stroke Her Briefly. If Urination Is Behaviorial, Anti-anxiety Homeopathic Medication; Calming Herbs; And Dap, The Dog Appeasing Pheromone Can Help. If The Problem Is Medical, Your Vet Can Suggest Appropriate Treatment. Best Of Luck. Poms Can Be Real Sweethearts.

Date: 04/19/04
Category: Other
Pet Type: 
Topic: Sick Puppy

Question:Such A Pleasure To Be Able To Ask A Veterinarian For Advice! I Got A 10-week Old Puppy From A Rescue As An "as-is" Adoption, And He Was Very Bony And His Fur Was In Very Bad Shape And He Had Little Bald Spots On His Back Legs. I Was Told His Previous Owner Did Not Feed Him Very Much, And Abused The Entire Litter To The Point Of All Of Them Having Submissive Urination (which He Is, Thankfully, Not Doing As Much). I Was Also Told That He Had Recieved A De-wormer, (hartz Brand) Sold At A Local Publix. I Checked Every Time He Pooped, And About 3 Days Later I Didn't See Any Worms Any More. I Have Had Him For About Two Weeks, And He Has Not Gained Any Weight, His Fur Has Not Improved Much, And His Little Bald Spots Are Still There. He Doesn't Act Sick, But I Can Tell Something Is Wrong Because He Is So Skinny Still. He Is A Wonderful Dog With A Great Disposition Despite His Rough Start, And I Am Looking To Train Him As A Therepy Dog If I Can Take Care Of This Problem. Can You Possibly Help Me Find A Solution To This Problem, And A Possible Treatment Cost?

Answer:I Would Take Him To Vet For Exam And Stool Check As I Find These Cheaper Over The Counter Wormers Dont Work As Well As Ones Vet Have. You Could Try Wormer Known As Nemex From 1800petmeds Which Is Very Effective For Roundworms, Hookworms. I Would Also Consider Supplmenting Pup With Prozyme To Help Digestion As Well As Feed Natural Diet Like Pet Guard Or Natura Brand Foods

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