Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence is the most common cause of urinary incontinence in dogs. Studies show USMI is associated with the effects and timing of sterilization in dogs, typically occurring in adult, spayed female dogs. However, little is known about the genetic and environmental risk factors that also may influence onset of USMI in female dogs. To learn more about these potential risk factors, researchers will analyze genetic and survey data (presence of comorbidities and environmental exposures including loss of hormones through spay surgery) collected from dogs enrolled in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The researchers will determine the influence, if any, these factors have on the development of USMI at an early stage (within three years of spay surgery), later in life, or not at all. Findings will help inform a larger scale investigation in dogs with USMI that may lead to identification of early risk factors and potential preventive strategies.
Grant amount awarded
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Lauren Baker, DVM, PhD