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

09 May 2018

OBJECTIVE: To estimate prevalence and identify demographic risk factors for urinary incontinence in male dogs. METHODS AND METHODS: The study population included all dogs within the VetCompass database from September 1, 2009 to July 7, 2013. Electronic patient records were searched for urinary incontinence cases; demographic and clinical information were extracted and analysed. RESULTS: Of 109,428 male dogs attending 119 clinics in England, there were an estimated 1027 dogs diagnosed with urinary incontinence, giving a prevalence of 0.94% (95% confidence interval: 0.88 to 1.00). Breeds with highest odds of incontinence in male dogs (compared with mixed breed dogs) included the bull mastiff (odds ratio: 17.21, 95% confidence interval: 6.65 to 44.56, case=5, non-case=314, P<0.001), Irish red setter (odds ratio: 12.79, 95% confidence interval: 4.83 to 33.84, case=5, non-case=142, P<0.001), fox terrier (odds ratio: 9.60, 95% confidence interval: 3.68 to 25.05, case=5, non-case=176, P < 0.001), bulldog (odds ratio: 5.72, 95% confidence interval: 2.24 to 14.59, case=5, non-case=929, P<0.001) and boxer (odds ratio: 3.65, 95% confidence interval: 1.84 to 7.25, case=10, non-case=1470, P<0.001). Increased odds of urinary incontinence were associated with greater age (age 9 to 12 years, odds ratio: 10.46, 95% confidence interval: 6.59 to 16.62, n=12,348, P<0.001) and being insured (odds ratio: 1.96, 95% confidence interval: 1.53 to 2.51, n=26,202, P<0.001). There was no association with castration or bodyweight using multi-variable analysis. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The overall prevalence of urinary incontinence in male dogs is approximately 1%, which may be higher than expected given the sparsity of reports describing this problem. In contrast to bitches, neutering and bodyweight were not associated with greater odds of urinary incontinence, which is important when giving neutering advice.