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Early neutering of bitches increases incontinence risk
Bitches of certain breeds are more prone to early-onset urinary incontinence
Research reveals link between age and onset

Urinary incontinence affects around three per cent of bitches in the UK. The condition can be distressing and costly for owners and also harm the welfare of affected dogs, owing to an increased risk of urinary infection and dermal lesions stemming from urine-soaked skin.

The link between urinary incontinence and neutering in bitches has previously been suspected, but a study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice provides real evidence on the extent of this relationship.

The results identified an increased risk of 2.12 times of urinary incontinence in neutered bitches compared with entire individuals. Further to this, it identified an increased risk of 1.82 of urinary incontinence in bitches neutered before six months of age compared with those neutered from six to 12 months within the first two years following surgery.

Although there are many benefits to neutering bitches, these results will help veterinary professionals to make evidence-based recommendations on the timing of neutering, whilst taking other considerations into account.

Other key findings include:
  • average age at diagnosis of UI was 2.9 years
  • average time from neuter to UI was 1.9 years.
  • bitches weighing over 30kg had 2.62 times the risk of UI compared with bitches weighing under 10 kg
  • increasing bodyweight was also associated with an increased risk of early-onset urinary incontinence.
The study also indicates that bitches of certain breeds – Irish setters, Dalmatians, Hungarian vizslas, Dobermans and Weimaraners – are more prone to early-onset urinary incontinence than other breeds; which highlights that special care needs to be taken when deciding on whether to neuter these breeds.

The research was supported by BSAVA Petsavers and collected data from anonymised veterinary clinical records of 72,971 bitches.

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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at or 087 219 54 30.