Spinal cord injury (SCI) is often accompanied by reduced bladder compliance, which contributes to adverse conditions including urinary tract infections and vesicoureteral reflux. Reduced compliance is, in part, attributed to extensive remodeling of the bladder wall, including the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), known for their ability to remodel the ECM, improves bladder compliance in dogs with SCI. We first evaluated dogs with naturally occurring SCIs resulting from intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH). After characterizing the natural history of urological recovery by cystometry in healthy dogs (n = 10) and dogs with SCIs (n = 20), we conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial in dogs with IVDH-associated SCIs to assess the efficacy of the broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor, GM6001, given within 48 h post-injury. The primary outcomes were bladder compliance, as measured by cystometry, and an ordinal gait score (Texas Spinal Cord Injury Score; TSCIS) at day 42 post-SCI. Dogs (n = 93) were randomized to receive either dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or GM6001+DMSO. There were transient, but significantly (p = 0.023) greater, adverse events (31 of 42; 74%) in the GM6001-treated group relative to vehicle controls (22 of 46; 48%). Whereas there were no differences in TSCIS between treatment groups at day 42 (p = 0.9679), bladder compliance was significantly higher in dogs treated with GM6001+DMSO compared to controls (p = 0.0272). Further studies are needed to determine whether this inhibition results from a direct interaction with the bladder wall or indirectly through neural-based mechanisms.