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What Is Urinary Retention in Dogs?

Urinary retention, or difficulty urinating, happens when your dog is unable to pass urine normally. This can be exceptionally uncomfortable for your dog and is a medical emergency.

Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer, urges owners to contact their veterinarian anytime they suspect that their dogs might be having difficulty urinating.

Once you have contacted your veterinarian and have set up an tie to come in, understanding the possible causes can help prepare you for your visit.

As you research urinary retention, you may come across a few different terms that can be confusing, especially functional urinary retention versus mechanical.

Functional urinary retention is caused by a problem with the organ itself. This is different from a mechanical obstruction, which occurs when something is blocking the passage of urine. Both can lead to urinary retention, but the causes can differ, making this distinction important to your veterinarian.

Symptoms of Urinary Retention in Dogs

So how do you know if your dog is suffering from urinary retention?

Dogs that have difficulty urinating can present with a variety of symptoms. You may notice that your dog’s bladder is distended to the touch, and this fullness can lead to frequent urine leakage.

One of the first things owners typically notice is that their dog struggles to pee. When your dog tries to urinate, the stream may be weak, interrupted, or in some cases nonexistent. Your dog may also make frequent attempts to urinate without much success, and in severe cases, your dog could suffer from abdominal distension and pain.

If a dog is straining to urinate and he is in pain, vomits, or won’t eat, this is an emergency and this owner should seek veterinary care ASAP. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately, as the cause could be serious.

Answer: Pee Problems – dribbling and blood

Hi Jaamal, thanks for your question about your dog’s urinating. To answer your question, I’m going to discuss the “symptoms” she’s showing, the possible causes, and then talk about how your vet will go about deciding which one of these conditions is the cause, and the treatment options.

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