Quarterly Newsletter


The IVG Hospitals Quarterly Veterinary Newsletter features articles of interest to the veterinary medical community, written by veterinarians and veterinary specialists at our four locations.

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Ectopic ureters are further classifi ed into intramural or extramural, depending on how the ureter terminates into a ureteral orifi ce. Extramural ureters are defi ned as ureters that completely bypass the bladder to enter the bladder neck, vagina, vestibule, uterus or urethra. Intramural ureters are defi ned as a ureter that enters into the bladder and then courses through the mucosal and submucosal layers of the bladder to exit at the distal trigone, vesicourethral junction, urethra or vagina. Greater than 95% of ectopic ureters are intramural. Ureters can also be fenestrated with an opening in the trigone and another opening in the urethra, or can form a trough. Most ectopic ureters are larger than normal ureters, but occasionally ectopic ureters can be stenotic, with secondary hydroureter and hydronephrosis. This is more commonly seen in male dogs compared to female dogs. Other congenital abnormalities seen in the urogenital system are very common in dogs with ectopic ureters (table 1). Hydroureter and hydronephrosis are seen in over 90% of male dogs with ectopic ureters Breeds that have been shown to have an increased risk of urinary incontinence include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Newfoundlands, Siberian Huskies, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, English Bulldogs, Welsh Corgis, West Highland White Terriers, Jack Russel Terriers, and Toy and Miniature Poodles. Ectopic ureters are 20 times more common in female dogs than in male dogs. The median age for fi rst occurrence of urinary incontinence in females is less than two months of age. In males, the median age for fi rst occurrence of urinary incontinence, was later at 8 months of age. It is thought that the increased length of the urethra distal to the opening of the ectopic ureter may contribute to improved continence in males. Ectopic Ureters in Dogs ECTOPIC URETERS (EU) ARE A CONGENITAL malformation in which the ureteral orifi ce terminates at a position other than that of the trigone of the bladder. This abnormality arises from the migration of the ureteral bud along the mesonephric duct during embryogenesis. In females, termination of the ureter has been reported in the distal trigone, bladder neck, urethra, uterus, vagina, and vestibule. In males, termination of the ureter has been described in the distal trigone, bladder neck, urethra, seminal vesicles and vas deferens. | 1 | Rachel L. Cooper, DVM, DACVIM Rachel L. Cooper, DVM, DACVIM practices at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, MA. Congenital Abnormalities Percentage Persistent Paramesonephric Remnants ~90% Hydroureter ~50% Hydronephrosis ~25% Short Urethras ~20% Vaginal Septum/Dual Vaginas ~10% Renal Agenesis ~5% Renal Dysplasia ~10% Table 1: Common congenital abnormalities seen in the urogenital system in dogs with ectopic ureters.

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