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What To Do If My Dog Has A Bladder Infection

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Why Uti Screening May Be Necessary Before A Dog Shows Symptoms

How to Tell if a Dog Has a Bladder Infection

While Bailey wasnt yet showing any symptoms of a urinary tract infection, she did have two caution flags that were not in her favor. I suggested to my client that he take a urine sample to his regular vet just as a preemptive measureto make sure that a UTI wasnt brewing.

Two weeks passed and Baileys dad hadnt noticed any obvious UTI symptoms. Without physical changes, it was hard for the client to have the motivation or a sense of urgency to have Bailey checked. He didnt.

Urinating in the house: A classic sign of a UTI

However, several weeks later, Bailey started urinating in the house. She was both leaking urine and having accidents. The client saw the physical evidence and took it seriously.

He drove Bailey to his regular vet for testing. She was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. With antibiotics for her UTI, Bailey was feeling better quickly.

In sharing Baileys story, my hope is that if your dog has predisposing factors that increase the likelihood of a UTI, you will speak with your vet and consider periodic urinalysis checks for good measure.

Your veterinarian is an excellent resource and will appreciate that youre looking out for your dogs best interests by making early detection a priority.

Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs

Approximately 27% of dogs will develop a urinary tract infection at some point in their life, with a large percentage of those being caused by a bacterial infection. However there are a number of other reasons why your dog may be suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of a UTI including:

  • Viral infection

Treating Bladder Infections In Dogs

For common, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, your veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic specific to the type of bacteria identified on your pets urinalysis, and of course, their individual health history. Some cases may also require an anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation in the bladder and provide some pain relief.

If a more complex cause for the infection is suspected, your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic testing. Depending on the results, antibiotics may be prescribed, but treatments including bladder stone removal, special diets to dissolve and prevent stones and crystals, supplements, and changes to your pet’s water intake may be recommended.

Every pets course of treatment is unique your veterinarian will work with you to create a treatment plan that is best tolerated by your dog, based on their specific urinalysis results, their medical history, diet, and lifestyle.

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How Do Dogs Get A Uti

The most common cause of a UTI in dogs is bacteria that enter the urethral opening and travels up the urethra and into the bladder, where it then multiplies and causes infection. This bacteria can come from feces or debris that enters the area. Bacteria is also more likely to develop if your dog has a weakened immune system.

Help My Dog Has Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Bladder Infections in Dogs

If your dog has recurrent urinary tract infections , you are certainly concerned about their persistence. Urinary tract infections in dogs can be very unsettling to dogs. UTI’s lead to dogs peeing frequently and in small amounts, burning sensations and accidents around the home. Veterinarian Dr. Ivana shares what to do if your dog has recurrent urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections in dogs are painful, complex, and potentially dangerous issues occurring in as much as 27 percent of the dog population.

When a housebroken dog starts having accidents around the house, it is a red flag for a urinary tract infection. Straining while urinating, blood speckles in the urine, and licking the genitals are other red flags.

Best-case scenario, urinary tract infections are uncomfortable, and worst-case scenario, if left untreated, are life-threatening.

Dogs suspected of having a urinary tract infection or manifesting changes in standard urinating patterns need to be closely examined by a veterinarian.

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What Are Utis In Dogs

You might think a UTI means your dog has a urinary tract infection caused by a urinary pathogen or bacterial infection. But your dogs urinary tract disease might not be what it seems. Bladder issues often stem from inflammation with no bacteria causing them at all. In fact, many holistic vets say that UTI stands for urinary tract inflammation . This is important to help you treat bladder problems in your dog.

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Treatment Options For Dogs With Urinary Tract Infections

Treatment for UTI focuses on managing pain, giving antibiotics for bacterial UTIs. If there is an underlying cause, this must be addressed as well. Dogs with a recessed vulva often benefit from surgery which helps correct this problem. Some dogs with bladder stones can be treated by changing the diet. This helps prevent the future formation of stones in the bladder. For more information on bladder stones, click here!

Talk to your vet about other or alternative treatments such as supplements and/or acupuncture. Cranberry juice has not been proven to help dogs with UTI, but it can be offered to dogs along with their normal bowl of fresh water. Its important to note that cranberry juice or cranberry supplements are thought to improve bladder health and decrease the recurrence of UTI, but they will not cure a current bladder infection.

Make sure that your dog finishes all medications as directed by your vet. If your dog stops eating, has vomiting or diarrhea, or worsening of UTI symptoms while on medication, call your vet right away.

Follow up with your vet to recheck your dogs urine sample once the medication is finished. This will help determine if the UTI has cleared up or if your dog needs to continue treatment.

How Do You Diagnose A Dog Uti Infection

Vet Minute: Dog Urinary Tract Infection and Bladder Infection in Dogs

Once again if youre noticing any of the previously mentioned symptoms in your dog, its important to take them to the veterinarian for a check-up.

Your vet will do a physical examination to make sure there are no congenital problems that are predisposing them to urine pooling or other factors that could be leading to an infection.

Firstly, they need to perform a urinalysis to check the urine for infection.

The urinalysis will be able to tell the veterinarian a lot of information about whats going on in your dogs urine to rule in or out a urinary tract infection or if its just inflammation or something else going on. The urinalysis will test for:

  • Urine specific gravity or USG

If the urinalysis shows an infection, your veterinarian should recommend running a urine culture. This will help identify what type of bacteria is present and which antibiotic will work against it.

You dont want to put your pet on an antibiotic for a presumed UTI but you dont even know if there is a true infection or if its just inflammation.

Never use an antibiotic without at least a urinalysis!

Antibiotics have a time and a place, but if were using them inappropriately, they will affect your pets gut health and can cause other health issues down the road by upsetting your dogs important microbiome.

Other tests your veterinarian may recommend include an ultrasound, bloodwork, or a radiograph which will help rule out bladder stones, other abnormalities, and bladder cancers.

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About Dog Bladder Infections

Dog urinary problems such as UTI’s are more common in female dogs than in males. Puppies are also at a slightly higher risk.

This is because female dogs, and puppies, have short urethras which allow bacteria to travel through them to the bladder fairly easily.

Occasionally a physical problem with the vulva , bladder or urethra can cause repeated UTI’s in dogs.

Injury, hormone imbalances, cancer, diabetes, kidney problems or prostate issues can cause bladder problems in both male and female dogs.

Certain medications can also play a role in causing crystals or stones to form. These include corticosteroids and certain canine heart medications.

In male dogs, bladder problems are less likely to be caused by bacteria than in females.

Some breeds are predisposed to develop bladder stones or crystals which can cause, or be the result of, a dog bladder infection. These include:

  • English Bulldogs
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

There are two main types of bladder stones and the presence of either of them can cause a bladder infection, or be the result of one.

Because any dog can develop this condition at any age, it’s important for dog owners to be able to recognize the signs

How To Prevent Utis In Dogs

The best thing you can do to help prevent your dog from developing a urinary tract infection is to keep its urinary opening clean. Don’t allow your dog to lie down on soiled surfaces, keep the fur clean and trimmed on its hind end, and if your dog seems to stay wet after urinating, wipe its urinary opening with a baby wipe.

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How Does A Veterinarian Diagnose A Uti

If you suspect your pet may have a urinary tract infection and you take them into the veterinarians office, there are several things we can do to diagnose the illness. First, we will perform a physical exam of the kidneys and bladder and test the urine through urinalysis. We might also need to collect a urine culture or perform blood work or an ultrasound to make sure there are no further underlying problems.

Dog Bladder Infection 101

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A dog bladder infection can be painful and distressing for your dog.

A urinary tract infection like this can even completely prevent your dog from urinating by blocking the urethra. This is a medical emergency and potentially life threatening!

A simple bladder infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria can usually be cleared up pretty quickly with a round of the correct antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian.

But there are sometimes other factors or complications which occur and it’s vital to have your vet make an accurate diagnosis so that treatment is effective.

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How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Urinary Tract Problems

It can be difficult to know if your dog is in pain, and your dog may not show any signs of pain at all. However, some signs may help you determine if your dog is having trouble with their urinary tract:

  • Bloody and/or cloudy urine
  • Spinal cord abnormalities

Urinary tract infections are more common in older female dogs and dogs with diabetes. Dogs with bladder stones are more prone to getting frequent UTIs. In addition, lower urinary tract disease and UTIs are common in senior dogs, age seven and older, of all breeds and genders.

How Long Does A Dog Uti Last

Antibiotic treatment typically lasts from 10 to 14 days, and dogs usually feel better within just a few days. In complicated cases, treatment could take up to four to six weeks for the UTI to entirely clear up. Veterinarians typically do one or more follow-up cultures to make sure the antibiotic is being effective.

Even if your dog feels better within a few days, give them the full course of treatment. Do not stop treatment early. Stopping the treatment early means that not all of the infection-causing bacteria will be killed. Also, the bacteria that are still lingering around increase the risk of future antibacterial resistance.

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Dog Urinary Tract Infections

A Urinary Tract Infection , can make it uncomfortable for a dog to pass urine. The most common cause for straightforward cystitis in dogs is a bacterial infection. However, similar signs may be seen with urinary stones and crystals, bladder inflammation, incontinence due to excessive water consumption or a weak bladder, kidney disease, cancer, stress, spinal cord disease, prostate disease or an abnormality in the urinary tract from birth.

Older female dogs and dogs with diabetes are particularly prone to urinary tract problems.

Some breeds of dog are prone to certain types of bladder stones, including Dalmations, Bichon Frise and Miniature Schnauzers.

Causes Of Bladder Infection In Dogs

Dog bladder infection or Dog urinary tract infection (UTI). Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment!

We mentioned that bacteria and fungi could cause urinary tract infections in dogs, but bacteria are more common, especially E. coli. Typically, a UTI begins when this bacteria enters upward through the opening of the urethra. Harmful bacteria often emerges if the urethra is exposed to feces or if debris gets trapped there. A lack of nutrients in your dogs diet can also lead to a weakened immune system, which may cause a urinary tract infection.

Certain health conditions can lead to urinary tract infections in dogs. Your dog is more vulnerable if they have one of these pre-existing issues:

  • Constantly licking around the urinary opening
  • Persistent demands to be let outside
  • Frequently urinating inside the home
  • Straining or whimpering while urinating

Lethargy, vomiting, weight loss, increased water consumption, changes in appetite, and back pain may also accompany urinary tract infections. However, these symptoms are less common. In some circumstances, dogs may have a UTI but not show any symptoms at all. It is not unheard of for vets to diagnose a urinary tract infection when checking for other ailments.

UTIs are not the only conditions that can affect a dogs urinary tract and bladder. Crystals, bladder stones, debris, and kidney stones can build up and cause serious discomfort. If your dog shows signs of pain or difficulty urinating, its a good idea to take them to a vet first to find out whether or not they actually have a UTI.

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Can Dog Uti Go Away On Its Own

It is not likely for a dogs UTI to go away on its own.

It is always recommended that if your dog exhibits signs of a UTI such as straining to urinate, increased frequency in urination, licking of the genital area, and fever, then you should seek veterinary care.

Urinary tract infections are not only unlikely to go away on their own. Without a dog UTI treatment, they can worsen or even lead to complications.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A Uti

Some common signs that indicate your dog has a UTI include:

  • Urinating small amounts frequently


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  • Dowling, Patricia M. Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections.

  • Burke, Anna. Does Your Dog Have UTI Symptoms or Something Worse? American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 11 Nov. 2021, .

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  • Connect with a vet. Get your pets Rx meds. From home.

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    Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs

    Dog UTI symptoms result from inflammation and pain due to bacteria invading the bladder wall.

    Signs of a UTI in dogs may include:

    • Inappropriate urination

    • Frequent urination

    • Straining to urinate with only a small amount of urine production

    • Blood in the urine

    In more severe cases, where the infection moves into a dogs kidneys, you may see:

    Diagnosing A Uti In A Dog

    Why Does My Dog Pee on My Bed?

    Everything starts with a urine sample.

    A urinalysis is the first step and gold standard in diagnosing a UTI in a dog.

    If you notice any of the above signs that your dog might have a urinary tract infection or are at all concerned about your dogs changes in urination, your veterinarian might ask you to bring in a urine sample when you come in for your appointment. Otherwise, they will get the sample at the hospital.

    There are many vets who dont want a urine specimen collected at home. The gold standard is for your vet to always get a sterile urine sample directly from the bladder. More on this later.

    Getting the Urine Sample at Home

    Many people balk at this idea, saying its impossible to take a urine sample from their dog.

    Its not. Its easier than you think for most folks!

    Try to get your sample during the first potty outing in the morning. Your dog will need to urinate and should have a fairly large volume. This makes collection easier. The first urine of the day may also be of higher diagnostic value to your vet.

    Have a clean, dry container at the ready. Shallow containers work best for females so you can scoot it underneath. Disposable plastic containers work great. They are inexpensive and come with a lid.

    Occasionally folks bring me a urine sample and ask for the container back. This is a bit of a nuisance.

    More tips:

    Getting the Urine Sample at the Vets Office

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