Question: My dog “Abby” has started having accidents in the middle of the night. It seems to happen more often after we have been gone for an extended period of time. Do you think she is mad at us or could it be something else?
Answer: Any time there is a change in pattern of urination, it may be cause for concern. If “Abby” was once able to hold her urine overnight and is now having accidents during the night, I would be concerned about the potential for a urinary tract infection or a bladder stone. I would strongly recommend having her seen for a urinalysis and radiographs (x-rays) to rule out stones. It has been often thought that pets inappropriately urinate out of spite- this is often not the case. They may be urinating behaviorally however for a different reason such as marking and communication. Again, the only way to differentiate the two causes is a thorough case history and physical exam with urinalysis. Once we have a diagnosis of either medical or behavioral we can further discuss ways to clean the environment and potentially stop the unwanted behavior. The sooner a problem of inappropriate urination is addressed, the easier it typically is to correct the problem.
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