Ectopic ureters are an uncommon congenital defect in dogs. Essentially, the ureter (the small tube carrying urine from a kidney to the bladder) bypasses the bladder and connects instead to the urethra (the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body). Affected dogs are usually incontinent and are predisposed to bladder infections. Also, the kidney may become damaged as the flow through the ureter is abnormal.
Affected dogs were traditionally treated with surgical re-implantation of the affected ureter. This is still necessary in some cases, but many dogs can be treated successfullly with minimally invasive techniques. Here at Texas A&M, we can often use a laser, guided by a cystoscope, to correct the defect. The procedure is less expensive than surgery and the recovery time is minimal.
Image of abnormal ureteral opening close to the neck of the bladder
Guidewire has been placed into the ectopic opening and advanced up the ureter
A yellow ureteral catheter has been placed over the guidewire
The tip of the diode laser is used to cut the membrane between the ectopic ureter and the urethra
The ureteral opening is now in the urinary bladder