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Laura Owen

Urinary incontinence and urinary tract cancers; Wound management and reconstruction

During my surgical residency I was very fortunate to train under a great mentor, Professor Peter Holt, at the University of Bristol. Professor Holt has tremendous expertise and an international reputation in the field of urology, in particular urinary incontinence and left me with great enthusiasm for continuing some of his work.

There is much that remains unknown about urinary incontinence, and the complexity of the pathophysiology of urination is part of the appeal of this area of research. There are also aspects that are very similar to conditions that exist in human beings and the dog could prove a good model for further investigation/treatment of human disease.

Currently I am undertaking research projects into two causes of urinary incontinence - urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI) and ectopic ureters. The USMI project is focussing on a comparison of two surgical techniques to treat this condition (colposuspension and artificial urethral sphincter) and the role of urodynamic urethral pressure profiles in assessing these patients pre and intra-operatively. The ectopic ureter project is looking at ureteral position in clinically normal Golden retrievers with the aim of developing a pre-breeding screening programme to reduce the incidence of ectopic ureters (wet puppies) in this breed.

I also have a strong interest in progressing our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract cancers in dogs, which are often diagnosed late and lack good treatment options. 

Wound management and reconstruction my second field of research interest. I am particularly excited by evidence based wound management, negative pressure wound therapy, acceleration of wound healing and novel methods of wound reconstruction.

Key Publications

Evaluation of an axial pattern flap based on the cranial cutaneous branch of the saphenous artery: a cadaveric perfusion study. Murdoch AP, Greenaway SN, Owen LJ & Danielski A. (2016)  Vet Surg. Oct; 45(7): 922-928 

Canine ovariohysterectomy: A survey of surgeon concerns and surgical complications encountered by newly graduated veterinarians. Bowlt Blacklock KL, Langer P, Halfacree Z, Yool DA, Corr S, Owen LJ, Friend E. & Ekiri A. (2016) J Vet Educ. Summer; 43(2):184-9.

Unilateral hydronephrosis and hydroureter secondary to ureteric atresia, and uterus unicornis in a young terrier. Rousset N, Abbondati E, Posch B, Owen LJ and Herrtage M (2011)  J Small Anim Pract. 52 (8) 441-444 

Vacuum-assisted wound closure following urine induced skin and thigh muscle necrosis in a cat. Owen LJ, Hotston Moore A, Holt PE. (2009) Vet Comp Orth Traum. 5: 417-421 

Efficacy of adhesive incise drapes in preventing bacterial contamination of clean canine surgical wounds. Owen LJ, Gines JA, Knowles TG, Holt PE. (2009)  Vet Surg. 38(6): 732-7 

Laura Owen 

Laura Owen

Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery


    Plain English

    Urinary incontinence is often a welfare issue for both dogs and their owners and my research is focussed on both reducing the incidence of this condition, as well as improving treatment options for affected dogs. 

    Urinary tract cancer is a condition affecting dogs, which is often diagnosed late and has few treatment options. I hope to develop our understanding of this area as well as to find novel options for treatment.

    Wounds can be challenging to treat in both dogs and cats and I am interested in how best we can manage these wounds and novel options for wound reconstruction.



    Laura is available for consultancy