The Entlebucher is one of the most handsome dogs that’s native to Switzerland where they have always been highly prized as working dogs, family pets and companions. The breed is rarely seen in the UK and often confused as being a mixed breed although their ancestry dates back hundreds of years. In general, well-bred Entlebuchers are healthy, but that’s not to say that sometimes they develop certain health issues one of which is known as Entlebucher Urinary Syndrome or EUS for short.
The disorder negatively impacts an Entlebucher’s renal/urinary system and it is thought that the disorder occurs in the breed due to a genetic abnormality that develops at the point which a dog’s ureter meets with the bladder. If all is well, urine flows from a dog’s kidneys through the ureter and finally into their bladder until it is expelled. However, when the ureter is not in the correct place but farther down, it causes incontinence and the disorder is referred to as ectopic ureter which is not a life-threatening disorder.
With this said, in the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the condition is more unique is that they can develop ectopic ureters but show no signs of there being anything wrong with them. As such, it can prove extremely challenging for breeders when it comes to breeding from dogs that suffer from ectopic ureters or EUS. The other problem is that for the moment, screening dogs for the disorder is extremely expensive and studies to date have not found enough hereditary data to identify whether an Entlebucher is suffering from an ectopic ureter or if they have developed full-blown EUS.
Unfortunately, some Entlebuchers show no signs of there being anything wrong with them whereas others may “leak” urine on the odd occasion. Some dogs constantly dribble urine which can be extremely worrying for their owners. The most dramatic symptom being total renal failure and then death. With this said, the most common signs of there being something wrong include the following:
A vet would evaluate a dog’s condition before recommending the type of treatment they would want to put in place, bearing in mind that this depends on the severity of a dog’s condition and the abnormalities that have developed. Should an Entlebucher’s symptoms be slight, a vet would typically put them on incontinence drugs. A vet would consider removing a dog’s affected kidney and ureter should their symptoms be more severe, but the procedure must be carried out as soon as possible rather than waiting too long which means a dog can go on to lead full and long life. Unfortunately, if the vet finds that both kidneys have been negatively impacted, the prognosis is poor.
Owners should keep a close eye on puppies and young dogs right up to when they are 2 years old which is when an Entlebucher Mountain Dog may start to show signs of suffering from EUS. A lot of research is being carried out into the disorder, but breeders should not use an Entlebucher that has been diagnosed as suffering from EUS for breeding purposes to reduce the risk of their offspring developing the condition. Should an owner suspect their dog may be having trouble urinating, they should seek veterinary advice sooner rather than later so that their Entlebucher can be thoroughly examined to rule out any other underlying causes of their symptoms. As previously mentioned, should a dog’s kidneys and ureter be severely affected, the sooner they are surgically removed the better the prognosis tends to be.