This condition occurs in both male and female dogs, and may be unilateral or bilateral. Concurrent ureteral atresia, renal agenesis and renal dysplasia also occur in association with ectopic ureters in dogs.
Some ectopic ureters attach abruptly to the urethra (extramural) while others tunnel within the connective tissue of the bladder trigone (intramural) before opening distally within the caudal urethra. The latter ureters are more difficult to treat due to secondary ureteral stenosis.
Affected dogs invariably present with chronic incontinence at a young age, although adult-onset incontinence has been observed with this condition.
Diagnosis is usually confirmed by digital fluoroscopic excretory urography or computed tomography. Excretory urography and ultrasonography are not as reliable for accurate diagnosis but have been used to establish a tentative diagnosis.
Visual confirmation can be achieved via cystoscopy or exploratory laparotomy.
Although this is not a life-threatening condition, chronic renal disease is a common sequela and surgical correction is recommended.
A number of methods have been employed including neoureterostomy with resection restricted to the intravesical part of the ureter for intramural ectopic ureter or transurethral cystoscopic-guided laser ablation. In cases where ureteral patency cannot be achieved with intramural ectopic ureters, a ureteronephrectomy may be considered as a salvage procedure.
Dogs with ectopic ureters that were incontinent postsurgically tended to remain unresolved, although phenylpropanolamine administration (1.75 mg/kg orally every 12 hours) may alleviate loss of urethral sphincter tone.
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