To explain, the kidneys are located in the lower back and work constantly as a waste filtration system. The end result is urine which is transported to the bladder through 2 tubes called ureters, one for the left kidney and one for the right kidney.
Urine is stored in the bladder until it is eliminated naturally outside the body through the urethra.
Ectopic ureters are congenital and do not develop normally. Instead of connecting to the bladder they may connect to the urethra, the vagina and sometimes the uterus. Since these body parts cannot store urine, the result is leaking, incontinence and often infection.
While ectopic ureters can occur in both sexes, it is usually seen in female puppies under a year old.
Signs are leaking or dribbling urine sometimes and normal urination at other times, licking the genital area, bladder infections.
Diagnosis is made through x-rays, CT scan, ultrasound of the area. A cystoscopy, a probe with a tiny camera at the end, is sometimes employed when other test results are not clear. Laser surgery can often be performed at the same time to correct the problem and results in better continence.
More invasive surgery is also used to help correct the problem. It’s a delicate operation and often, incontinence continues afterwards and further treatment is necessary.
Following surgery, the patient is kept in hospital for several days. There may be urinary straining and discomfort after surgery. A urinary catheter is placed a day or two later to assist in healing. Sometimes, when a cystoscopy is performed, the patient is ableto go home the same day.
Antibiotics and pain relief medications are prescribed for home use as well.