Funded by BSAVA PetSavers, this project aims to evaluate major risk factors for development of urinary incontinence in bitches. In particular, it will explore the association between neutering and age at time of neutering with onset of early incontinence.
Veterinarians have mentioned Urinary Incontinence (UI) as one of the main contraindications for neutering bitches, second only to obesity (Diesel et al. 2010). Conflicting veterinary advice is often given regarding neutering practices, with mixed views on whether bitches should be neutered at all and, if so, whether they should be neutered before or after first oestrus (Diesel et al. 2010). UI has been reported to cause unfavourable outcomes in 10 to 20% of affected households, with owners describing feelings of anger and frustration (de Bleser et al. 2011) and with euthanasia of the affected animal considered in certain circumstances (Holt 1983, O'Neill et al. 2017). The direct welfare impact on the bitch includes an increased risk of urinary tract infection and urine scald (Diesel et al. 2010).
Due to the welfare implications for the bitch, the potential impact on the owner–animal bond, the cost of any prescribed treatment and the importance of the condition in the neutering decision-making process, further evaluation of the condition and the role neutering plays in the development of UI is warranted. Therefore, this project aims to a) evaluate the major risk factors for development of urinary incontinence in bitches attending VetCompass-participating veterinary practices in the UK and b) evaluate the association between neutering and the probability of early incontinence, as well as the association between the age at neutering and the onset of early incontinence in bitches attending VetCompass-participating veterinary practices in the UK.
The project will provide relevant and reliable evidence that can support a more universal approach from veterinary surgeons and provide advice to dog owners regarding neutering.
|Associations between neutering and early‐onset urinary incontinence in UK bitches under primary veterinary care||Journal of Small Animal Practice||2019|
|Spaying and urinary incontinence in bitches under UK primary veterinary care: a case–control study||Journal of Small Animal Practice||2019|