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My Dog Is Peeing in the House After Neutering

Alba Navas
By Alba Navas. June 27, 2024
My Dog Is Peeing in the House After Neutering

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Neutering is the permanent sterilization of a dog via the removal of their sex organs. In male dogs, castration is usually carried out. This is a relatively simple process during which the scrotum is incised and the testicles are removed. In female dogs, the most common procedure is an ovariohysterectomy, commonly known as spaying. This is a more invasive procedure which requires abdominal incision for removal of the ovaries and uterus. Despite being surgeries, they are considered routine and very safe. Any risk is outweighed by the benefits to the dogs and the household, but this does not mean complications cannot occur. Urinating after neutering is a relatively common issue.

At AnimalWised, we find out why my dog is peeing in the house after neutering. If you have already toilet trained your dog and they start urinating inside, it might feel like they have reverted back to their old ways. We explain why this happens and what you need to do about it.

You may also be interested in: Warning Signs After Spaying a Dog
  1. Urinary incontinence
  2. Stress or fear
  3. Urinary tract infection
  4. Marking behavioral problems
  5. Diseases of the urogenital system

Urinary incontinence

Some guardians might think that peeing after neutering is a sign their dog having a behavioral reaction. However, the genitourinary system of dogs means that reproductive organs and excretory organs are connected. A physical cause of a dog peeing inside the house after a neutering procedure is most likely.

Whether a male or female dog, neutering causes hormonal changes in the animal. This is because the sex organs produce hormones which influence activities such as urination. Urinary incontinence in dogs can occur because they are adjusting to these hormonal changes. It usually occurs that they will pee a small amount in places around the house, but may still pee more normal when they go outside.

For many dogs, this will be a temporary behavior during the adjustment period. The duration of this adjustment can vary. Some may need a couple of weeks, others may adjust very quickly. It is only a problem if the urinary incontinence continues for more than two or three weeks. In these cases, it is possible some damage has occurred to the urinary tract.

When removing the sex organs, it is possible some muscle or other tissue damage occurs. This can mean the dog has trouble controlling their urinary flow and may have some level of incontinence.

Treatment of urinary incontinence after neutering

If you observe persistent urinary incontinence in a dog after spaying or castration, you will need to take them to a veterinarian. They will carry out imaging tests to determine the cause, as well as any other relevant diagnostic tests. It is possible they will be able to treat the problem with medication. However, if tissue damage has occurred, they may need surgical intervention. This is a very uncommon complication when neutering a dog.

Stress or fear

Any veterinary visit can be a stressful experience for dogs. As territorial animals, being in a clinic with so many other dogs can be overwhelming. The physical manipulation and invasiveness of some veterinary procedures can also lead to fear. Since spaying and castration require general anesthetic, the disorientation after waking up can cause the dog stress. This is compounded if they are already a nervous dog.

When acute, the stress or fear can lead to the dog peeing inside the house after being neutered. It is an automatic response over which they have little control. It is only one of the various signs of stress in dogs which may accompany these procedures.

Treating stress in dogs after neutering

You will need to find ways to alleviate the stress of a dog after neutering. In these cases, the dog will likely be most stressed as they carry out their period of adjustment. We should always be aware stress is a potential outcome, so we need to start calming them before they even go to the veterinary clinic. After they come out, provide a comfortable place to rest, do not interact with them too much and let them move at their own pace.

If you notice that the urination does not stop after 48 hours and they show other signs of stress, you should contact a veterinarian. It is possible there is another reason the dog is peeing after neutering which needs treatment.

My Dog Is Peeing in the House After Neutering - Stress or fear

Urinary tract infection

As we have already stated, spaying and neutering are safe procedures with minimal risk. Although slim, there is a possibility of complication. A urinary tract infection is possible. Especially with reputable veterinarians, it is unlikely that a hygiene issue occurred during the procedure, although it is possible. It is more likely that the dog keeps licking their private parts due to the sensation after the procedure and they introduce bacteria into the urinary tract.

In these cases, the urinary infection can lead to some level of urinary incontinence. If this occurs, the greater the infection, the more urine they will likely produce. It is usually more common males, although it is also possible in females.

Treatment of a urinary tract infection in dogs after neutering

Prevention is best, so try to prevent your dog from licking their genitals in order to prevent an infection from developing. If you do suspect a urinary tract infection, you will need to go to a veterinarian. Bacterial infections require antibiotic treatment, but they will need to diagnose which bacteria is the cause. They can also assess for any related symptoms which may imply another cause.

Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of urinary tract infections in dogs with our related guide.

Marking behavioral problems

Marking is an instinctive behavior influences by various factors, including sexual hormones. Especially in males, marking communicates to other dogs that it is their territory. It also alerts members of the opposite sex of their availability for mating.

Neutering is one of the main ways to prevent marking behavior since they no longer produce a sufficient amount of the hormones to influence it. When a dog that has been toilet trained starts to pee inside the house after neutering, it is possible they have some hormones left in their system which continues marking. Once the adjustment period is over, it should stop.

Ideally, a dog should be neutered before they reach sexual maturity. This usually occurs sooner in smaller dogs. They should be neutered around 6 to 9 months of age. For larger dogs, it may be around 9 to 15 months. The exact time should be determined by a veterinarian, one of the reasons it is so important to take puppies to the veterinarian soon after birth.

Dogs that have been neutered later may maintain some marking behavior, even though they have been castrated or spayed. This is a behavioral remnant.

Treatment of marking after a dog is neutered

Marking is part of the dog's nature and stopping it is not an easy task. It is also a normal behavior which shouldn't be repressed completely. For this reason, we need to develop behavioral strategies to redirect the behavior so that it only occurs outside the home. Learn more about what to do with our guide to dogs marking inside the house.

Diseases of the urogenital system

Despite the overall safety of neutering procedures, it is still possible that a pathology can develop. Your dog peeing inside the home after neutering might be a symptom of such as disease. This may be accompanied by other symptoms such as the dog having blood in their urine, fever or generalized lethargy. These are symptoms of a serious illness and require veterinary treatment.

Some potential diseases that can occur after neutering include

  • Urolithiasis: the production of stones in the kidneys and/or bladder.
  • Cystitis: inflammation of the walls of the bladder. It is usually caused by another adjacent cause such as a urinary infection or stones.
  • Kidney failure: the kidney cannot remove all the waste it should from the blood.
  • Pyometra: this only occurs in females. It involves remnants of uterine tissue which were not properly removed during the procedure and can result in hormone production.

If your dog suffers from any of these conditions, you will need to take them to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Although improper urination can occur after sterilization, it is also possible the dog stops peeing after neutering. This is a normal side effect if it lasts up to 48 hours after the procedure. If the dog still does not urinate after this time, it means they have developed a complication.

We should not offer water until three hours after the procedure so as not to put pressure on the urinary system. After this time has elapses, you can offer water in small quantities. If after 24-48 hours after neutering urination does not return to normal, go to the veterinarian to rule out any serious problem.

Learn more about other reasons for urinary incontinence in dogs related to their food with our article explaining why dogs pee next to their feeder.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to My Dog Is Peeing in the House After Neutering, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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My Dog Is Peeing in the House After Neutering