Urinary Incontinence In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs

By: Dr. Roy Kraemer |
DVM, Bulldog Specialist Veterinarian

Urinary incontinence in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is not due to a single medical problem but rather a manifestation of a wide range of medical conditions.

Bulldog normal urination requires nerves, muscles, and sphincters working voluntarily in sync.

Urinary incontinence in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs / CAUSE:

  • BEHAVIORAL: territorial, fear, anxiety
  • NEUROLOGICAL: such as spinal injury, as in bulldog and French bulldog IVDD, bulldog Spina Bifida, etc (Overflow incontinence)
  • MUSCLES: Injury to the bladder musclesURETER: ureters, bladder bypass, such as bulldog ectopic ureter
  • URETHRA & BLADDER SPHINCTER: Injury, obstruction, or disfunction
  • STONES: kidney, Bladder, Ureter, and Urethra stones
  • PROSTATE: Bulldog prostatitis, Prostate cancer, and bulldog Prostate Hyperplasia
  • INFECTION & INFLAMMATION: Bulldog Cystitis, UTI (Irritation or urge incontinence)
  • ORTHOPEDIC: pelvis fracture and other debilitating orthopedic conditions
  • PU/PD: Urinary incontinence due to excessive drinking, such as bulldog diabetes, kidney disease, and bulldog Cushings disease
  • OBESITY & CONSTIPATION: Due to excessive intraabdominal pressure (Stress incontinence),
  • USMI: Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence

The most common form of bulldog incontinence is likely Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI).

Bulldogs and French Bulldogs USMI CAUSE:

The exact cause of USMI (Urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence) is not fully understood, but it is believed to be linked to a weakening of the urethral muscle and a reduction in circulating estrogen levels.

As a result, USMI is more commonly observed in spayed females compared to intact females or males.

Urinary incontinence in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PRESENTATION:

  • Dribbling of urine
  • Excessive urination
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive drinking
  • Blood in the urine
  • Discolored urine
  • Light water-like vs dark yellow
  • Bed pee
  • Urine spots in irregular spots
  • Irritated skin and skinfold from dampness and wetness
  • Smelly Vaginal Fold & Bulldog Vaginal Skinfold Dermatitis

Urinary Incontinence in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TESTING/DIAGNOSIS

  1. DR EXAM
  2. DIGITAL EXAM: vaginal and rectal
  3. BLOOD: chemistries, hormonal panel, and blood count (CBC)
  4. URINE & CULTURE: Urine analysis and urine culture
  5. IMAGING: radiographs and ultrasound
  6. OTHER: contrast studies, cystometrogram, CT, and excretory urography to evaluate the kidneys and ureters. Urethrocystoscoe (endoscope)

Urinary Incontinence in Bulldogs PREVENTION & TREATMENTS:

Urinary incontinence in Bulldogs and French Bulldog bundle

For optimal treatment outcomes, it’s essential to identify the underlying cause first.

Eng Bulldog V4B StressLess Formula Handou

  • PU/PD: If there is excessive Drinking & Urination, you must treat the disease (diabetes, kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, etc)
  • HORMONAL RESPONSIVE: female-estrogen diethylstilbestrol DES, males-testosterone
  • INFECTION: antibiotics based on culture, and supplements like

bulldog Urinary Bundle - Ultimate

  • STONES (CALCULI): diet change, surgery
  • PROSTATE DISEASE: neutering, antibiotics, Chemotherapy, surgery
  • ECTOPIC URETER(S): surgery
  • NEUROLOGICAL: such as bulldog spina bifida and bulldog IVDD might require lifelong maintenance with a manual expression of the bladder, RX, Diapers, Skinfold wipe & clean with

Fr Bulldog Antiseptic Skin fold XL Wipe

Urinary incontinence in Bulldogs and French Bulldog / TIPS & WARNING:

Below is a slected urinary incontinence tips and warnings list courtesy of Dr. kraemer


Bulldog and French bulldog puppies who are incontinent and nonresponsive to house training should be evaluated for congenital abnormalities such as ectopic ureter (ureters bypassing the bladder sphincter.)

Those bulldogs usually dribble and seem unaware

bulldog ectopic ureter surgery repair


Bulldogs who develop incontinence alongside an increase in water intake should undergo evaluation for disorders causing PU/PD (Polyuria/Polydipsia), which translates to excessive urination and excessive water intake.


A rectal digital examination and palpation can help detect tumors and abnormal prostate size.

Prostate disease is more prevalent in intact male Bulldogs and male French Bulldogs. Therefore, neutering is often recommended to reduce the risk of prostate-related issues.


Incontinence may predispose your bulldog to UTI either due to urine retention (inability to empty the bladder) or damp vaginal folds leading to bully moist skin dermatitis and an ascending infection.

Wipe your female bulldog’s vaginal folds daily and use his urinary chews

V4B Urinary Tract Health Supplement


Bulldog urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence is the most common cause of bulldog urinary incontinence.

The decline in estrogen levels after spaying in female dogs may cause a decrease in the vasculature of the urethra and its supporting tissues


It’s important not to confuse bulldog urinary incontinence with inappropriate urination due to behavioral issues such as dominance, territoriality, or anxiety.

Bulldog hemp relax


It’s crucial to differentiate between urinary incontinence and the inability to hold urine due to excessive drinking. Bulldogs experiencing PU/PD (Polyuria/Polydipsia), characterized by excessive drinking and urine production, often have

  • dilute water-like urine
  • and large volumes of urination

Their urine may contain sugar or high levels of proteins. Blood work and urine analysis can aid in distinguishing between these conditions.


Straining to urinate bulldogs is typically indicative of pain and discomfort, often stemming from underlying issues such as

  • Cystitis
  • Urinary stones
  • Prostate disease

This discomfort may be accompanied by cloudy or discolored urine, which often contains visible blood.

To help diagnose these conditions, diagnostic tests are recommended, including urine

  • urine analysis
  • urine culture
  • radiographs
  • digital rectal exam
  • ultrasound.

These tests help rule out potential causes and provide valuable insights into the underlying condition affecting the bulldog’s urinary health.

Pain medication should be considered as a remedy to the discomfort, as well as  supplements like V4B Bully Comfort and AchLess

Eng Bulldog V4B comfort and Painless handout


Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) should not be administered to bulldogs with high blood pressure (hypertension). Before initiating treatment, it’s important to measure your bulldog’s blood pressure as a baseline assessment. Additionally, blood pressure should be monitored again one month after starting PPA treatment. This monitoring helps ensure the safety and efficacy of the treatment regimen for your bulldog.


Treating bulldog urinary incontinence with diethylstilbestrol (DES) can potentially lead to complications such as pyometra in intact females and anemia due to bone marrow suppression. It’s crucial to monitor your bulldog closely and conduct frequent blood count tests to detect any adverse effects and ensure their well-being during treatment.

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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