I thought our female Chihuahua was housebroken, but lately she's been having accidents. When she gets up from her bed, there will be a wet spot. Lately she's been sleeping on my bed, and there's a wet spot on the comforter in the morning. How do I deal with this? She's 11 months old and we had her spayed about two months ago, so she should have outgrown this problem by now.
Chances are this is NOT a "housebreaking" problem. Your dog may be leaking in her sleep due to a hormonal imbalance that's the result of her spaying. Never fear; you did the right thing in having her spayed, and the problem is completely fixable.
Lack of estrogen sometimes causes female dogs to lose control of their sphincter muscles, which keep the urine from coming out unintended. As long as the dog is awake, she's okay. But when she totally relaxes--when she's sleeping or just very, very physically tired--she may leak.
Your vet can do a couple simple tests--first, to rule out possible bladder infection, and then to determine whether a hormonal supplement is indicated. These days there are two prevalent drug treatments for this condition. One is an estrogen replacement known as Diethylstilbestrol (DES). The other is a bladder sphincter muscle stimulant called Phenylpropanolamene (PPA). These come in the form of small pills given daily, weekly, or at some other interval determined by your vet. They are inexpensive and will end the problem of urine leakage without any major long-term side effects.
For what it's worth, we've had this situation with most of the spayed females we've owned over the past 15 years. To us, doling out those little white pills to our girls is no big deal. We've found, however, that if we get them off schedule and miss a dose, the peeing will start again...so you're looking at a lifelong regimen.