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Outcome after Placement of an Artificial Urethral Sphincter in 27 Dogs


  • Presented in part at the 2011 ACVS Symposium, Chicago, IL

Corresponding Author

Christopher Adin, DVM, Dipl ACVS, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University, 602 Vernon Tharp St., Columbus, OH 43210




To evaluate the safety and efficacy of an adjustable artificial urethral sphincter (AUS) in a population of dogs with acquired or congenital urinary incontinence.

Study Design

Case series.


Dogs (n = 27) with naturally occurring urinary incontinence.


Medical records (January 2009–July 2011) of dogs that had AUS implantation for treatment of urinary incontinence were reviewed and owners were interviewed by telephone to assess outcome. Continence was scored using a previously established analogue scale, with 1 representing constant leakage and 10 representing complete continence.


Twenty-four female and 3 male dogs had AUS implantation. Causes of incontinence included urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (n = 18), continued incontinence after ectopic ureter repair (6), and pelvic bladder (3). Medical therapy was unsuccessful in 25 dogs before AUS implantation. Surgery was performed without major complications in 25 dogs; 2 developed partial urethral obstruction after 5 and 9 months. Median (interquartile range) follow-up for the other 25 dogs was 12.5 (6–19) months. Continence scores were significantly improved (P < .0001) between the preoperative period (2 [1–4]) and last follow-up (9 [8–10]). Overall, 22 owners described themselves as very satisfied, 2 as satisfied, and 3 as unsatisfied.


AUS implantation was successful in restoring continence in male and female dogs with both congenital and acquired urinary incontinence. Dogs that develop partial urethral obstruction may require AUS removal.