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Effectiveness of manual bladder expression in paraplegic dogs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Darren Carwardine
  • Jeremy Rose
  • Thomas R Harcourt-Brown
  • Nicolas Granger
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number1
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Apr 2016
DatePublished (current) - 3 Jan 2017


To determine the effectiveness of manual bladder expression in paraplegic dogs whilst comparing urine volumes measured by intermittent catheterization and ultrasound.

Ninety-three bladder volume measurements were prospectively collected from 36 paraplegic dogs.

Residual urine volume was determined by intermittent urethral catheterization and ultrasound estimation.

On average, manual bladder expression voids 49% of urine from the bladder in this population of dogs. There is no correlation between the effectiveness of manual bladder expression and body weight (R2 0.06). Ultrasonographic estimation of bladder volume shows good correlation (R2 0.62) but clinically unacceptable variation in predicting actual bladder volumes (Mean difference, 22 mL; CI, -96 to 139 mL).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance
Manual bladder expression is ineffective at completely emptying the bladder of urine but the effectiveness of the procedure is not affected by body weight. It is still likely to be a useful procedure to prevent a build-up in pressure within the bladder. On average ultrasonographic estimation of bladder volume can be a useful predictor of actual bladder volume but is susceptible to wide variations for individual cases and so should be interpreted with a degree of caution.

    Research areas

  • spinal cord injury, Urinary Incontinence, Urinary Retention, Canine, Dog Diseases, Bladder

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via AVMA at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 235 KB, PDF document


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