Urethropexy for the management of urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence in the bitch



Urethropexy was performed on 100 bitches for the management of urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (SMI). The dogs ranged in age from 12 months to nine years (mean 4–5 years). Diagnosis of the condition was based upon clinical, laboratory and contrast radiographic examinations, and clinical response to medical management. In all bitches, incontinence developed in the adult individual and in the majority (89 bitches) after spaying. Radiographic findings were unremarkable in 22 bitches, apart from the presence of an intrapelvic bladder neck. Follow-up periods ranged from 12 months to seven years (mean 2–9 years). Fifty-six bitches were completely cured by surgery, 27 became less incontinent and 17 either failed to respond (nine animals) or showed an initial improvement in urinary function, but then relapsed (eight animals). Nine of these 17 animals underwent a second urethropexy procedure, resulting in a cure in six and an improvement in three cases (follow-up 12 to 41 months, mean 22-2 months). A deterioration in the response rate was observed over time. Postoperative complications were seen in 21 bitches and included an increased frequency of micturition (14 bitches), dysuria (six bitches) and anuria (three bitches).