Small Animal Internal Medicine

Research Abstract

NU15 - Early Clinical Evaluation of Urethral Thermoplasty In The Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Friday, June 15
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: WSCC 616/617

Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common problem in dogs. Effective treatments are lacking, and many dogs demonstrate clinical signs throughout life resulting in subsequent complications and owner frustration. In woman, a minimally invasive procedure, low temperature urethral thermoplasty (LTUT), restores continence by reducing the compliance of the periurethral tissue through controlled application of heat.


Goals of this study were to evaluate the outcomes and complications associated with LTUT in female dogs with incontinence. Dogs underwent extensive medical evaluation and LTUT was performed. In short, the thermoplasty probe was positioned in the proximal urethra via fluoroscopic guidance. Heating of the periurethral tissue was performed in 4 different planes for a total of 64 treatment sites per dog. The treating clinician and owner completed serial questionnaires and incontinence diaries.


Three large breed (23-29 kg) female dogs with naturally occurring UI have been treated. LTUT was performed successfully in each case without significant complication (no leakage or stricture). Follow-up time for the 3 dogs ranges between 3-12 months. Owners reported pre-procedure incontinence scores of 3.5-5 (0 = severely incontinent; 10 = no incontinence), with improvements in score post-LTUT to 9-10 in all dogs. The impact of UI on owner quality of life decreased from between 7-9 (0 = no impact; 10 = constant source of concern) to 0-3 post-LTUT.


LTUT was well tolerated in treated dogs, with improvement in both incontinence and owner quality of life scores. Further evaluation of LTUT in larger case numbers is ongoing.

Carrie A. Palm, DVM, DACVIM

Associate Professor
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

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