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Ectopic Ureters in Dogs

By: Dr. David Diamond

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After discharge from the hospital, the animal must be kept quiet to heal properly. Activity must be restricted for a couple of weeks after surgery. Restricted activity means that the animal should be kept confined to a carrier, crate or small room whenever he cannot be supervised, the animal cannot play or roughhouse even if he appears to be feeling well, and the animal should be confined to a leash when taken outdoors.

Analgesics (pain medications) or anti-inflammatory medications should be given as directed by the veterinarian. Analgesics, such as butorphanol (Torbugesic®) can cause sedation, and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or carprofen (Rimadyl), can cause upset stomach. Your veterinarian should be informed if any adverse side effects do occur.

Oral antibiotics may be given at home for several days if a urinary tract infection is present or suspected until culture results are complete.

The skin incision needs to be monitored daily for signs of excessive swelling or discharge. These can indicate problems with the incision or infection. Contact your veterinarian if these occur.

Approximately 1/3 of patients with ectopic ureters will continue to be incontinent after surgery. If the incontinence persists, the urethral sphincter medications may need to be given long-term. It is common for animals to have some blood in their urine after a repair of ectopic ureters. This bleeding should resolve within a few days. If it persists or becomes profuse, inform your veterinarian.

Straining to urinate is also common after surgery on the bladder. This straining usually decreases over the first few days after surgery. It is important to make sure that the animal is actually getting urine out while it is straining. If no urine is coming out, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Infrequently, the ureteral repair can break down and lead to leaking of urine into the abdomen. If the animal begins feeling poorly after some improvement after surgery, or if the abdomen appears to be getting larger, there could be a problem that needs to be addressed by your veterinarian.

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