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
Dog Urinary Tract Infections: Signs To Look Out For
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- Cat Urinary Tract Infections: Signs To Look Out For
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Urinary tract infections in dogs, also known as bacterial cystitis, can cause pain and discomfort for your pup. If you suspect your dog has one, its important to get them checked out at the vet as soon as possible. Lets take a look at the signs, symptoms, and treatment options if youre a pet parent who thinks your furry friend might be suffering from a UTI.
What Can Happen If A Dogs Lower Urinary Tract Problems Go Untreated
Untreated lower urinary tract problems can cause serious medical problems for dogs. Along with discomfort, untreated infections can result in partial or complete blockage of the urethra, disrupting urine output and leading to toxic levels of waste buildup.
If your dogs urinary symptoms are caused by a disease or a cancer, the condition can progress if its left untreated, and your dogs symptoms may worsen or increase to include other symptoms. Many serious conditions, like cancers, can be fatal if left untreated. Some can be treated to help your dog live a longer and healthier life, though they are difficult to cure.
Getting the right diagnosis will help you know how to resolve your dogs urinary tract problems and be sure theres nothing else that also needs treatment.
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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.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Any infection that occurs in the presence of an anatomic or functional abnormalities or in an animal that has a comorbidity that predisposes to persistent infection, recurrent infection or treatment failure. Recurrent infections can be further categorised as:
|Reinfection||Recurrence of infection within 6 months of cessation of previous, apparently successful treatment and isolation of a different microorganism|
|Relapse||Recurrence of infection within 6 months of cessation of previous, apparently successful treatment and isolation of the same microorganism|
|Refractory||Similar to a relapse except that it is characterised by persistently positive culture results during treatment|
Co-morbidities that should be considered:
The same principles for diagnosis apply from uncomplicated infections. Presence of underlying factors should be investigated and client compliance with previous therapy ensured, especially in case of relapse. Consider whether the antimicrobial chosen is appropriate in dosing/dosing frequency to achieve adequate concentrations at the site of infection. Urine culture is always needed for ongoing management, antimicrobials should not be changed empirically.
DURATION OF THERAPY
Treatment length may vary depending on the clinical signs/comorbidities goal of treatment is clinical cure and no adverse effects . Microbiological cure is desirable but not necessarily achievable.
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What Are The Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs
In most cases, UTIs are caused by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia Coli. They migrate from the outside through the urethra to the bladder. When the bladder is inflamed, this is called cystitis.
A dog that does not urinate often is more prone to bacterial urinary tract infections, as these bacteria have more time to migrate and develop in the bladder. That’s why it’s important to provide frequent wee breaks for your dog.
Some dogs are also more susceptible to UTIs and can have them repeatedly.
Diet plays an important role as well, as it influences the pH of the urine. A slightly acidic pH is preferred, as the bacteria develop more easily in an alkaline pH environment. See below how to help achieve this optimal pH level.
- Your dog has a harder time holding his bladder.
- They need to wee in small amounts, and more often.
- They start to have accidents in the house.
- Noticeable dripping after they have finished urinating .
- The urine looks darker and smelly.
In the case of a more advanced urinary tract infection, symptoms can change:
- Your pet seems in pain during urination, it seems forced.
- You notice blood in the urine.
- Your dog becomes incontinent .
- Your dog frequently licks its genitals.
- They become more apathetic in general.
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Dog Uti: What Exactly Is It
Often referred to as a UTI, a urinary tract infection in pups is an extremely painful condition.
When bacteria travel to the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra, your pup will probably suffer from UTIs. In most cases, E. coli is the bacterium that will make its way up the urinary tract. If your pup has an overgrowth of fungus in the urinary tract, a UTI is also likely.
Why Does My Dog Keep Getting Utis
Unfortunately, some dogs are more prone to recurrent UTIs. This could be due to an underlying health condition, like diabetes, bladder stones, or a weakened immune system. In some female dogs, chronic UTIs can occur if there are excessive skin folds around the vulva or vagina. These folds can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
If your dog has had several UTIs in close succession, it could be that the infection never totally cleared up. Relapse UTIs usually occur because the infection didnt respond to the antibiotic . Signs of a relapse infection can take anywhere from a week to a month or longer to appear.
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How Are Utis In Dogs Treated
The good news is that treatment for UTIs in dogs is pretty easy. In most cases, it consists of a simple course of antibiotics prescribed by your vet, which often cures your pups painful pee problem right up. To aid the antibiotics, its helpful to increase your dogs water intake, which will help dilute the bacteria in the bladder. For a common bacterial UTI, your pup should start feeling better within 24-48 hours of starting treatment. In some instances, your vet might prescribe pain medication and recommend a diet change if your dog has any crystals in the urine, or if bladder stones are diagnosed. In some cases, surgery is required to remove bladder stones. If your dog has another underlying condition that is contributing to development of a UTI, then treatment is required for those conditions as well to prevent reoccurence.
Monitoring Response To Therapy
Patients with a simple, uncomplicated UTI may not require rigorous monitoring. However, patients with complicated, relapsing, or recurrent infections should be monitored very closely. The following protocol is recommended to monitor response to therapy in patients with relapsing, recurrent, or refractory UTI.3
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Diagnosing A Uti In Dogs
If you suspect that your dog has a bladder infection, she should see a vet right away. The vet will ask you questions about your dogs symptoms and history and do a thorough physical exam. A urine sample will be collected, and a complete urinalysis will show if there is blood, bacteria, or crystals in the urine. Often, a urine culture and sensitivity test is needed to help determine which antibiotics will be most effective against the specific bacteria.
In more serious cases, blood work, x-rays, and ultrasound tests are needed to see if any underlying conditions need to be treated. These may include diabetes, bladder stones, kidney disease, cancer, and more.
Antibiotics For Treating Canine Uti
Canine UTI-or canine urinary tract infection-is also known as acute cystitis. The urinary infection is caused by bacteria and is a painful disease. UTI has higher incidence in female dogs due to their shorter urethras. The condition is fully treatable and the most common treatment contains antibiotics.
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Understanding Drug Pharmacokinetics And Pharmacodynamics Is Essential When Determining The Most Effective Antibiotic Therapy For Utis In Dogs And Cats
Dr. Foster is an internist and Director of the Extracorporeal Therapies Service at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. He has lectured around the world on various renal and urinary diseases and authored numerous manuscripts and book chapters on these topics. He is the current president of the American Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology.
Urinary tract infections are common in small animal practice it has been reported that up to 27% of dogs will develop infection at some time in their lives.1
Most UTIs are successfully treated with commonly used drugs, dosages, and administration intervals. However, infections can be challenging to effectively treat when they involve the kidneys and prostate . In addition, it can be difficult to create an appropriate antibiotic prescription in patients with kidney disease due to reduced drug clearance.
Understanding drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is essential when determining the most effective antibiotic therapy. In addition, successful antimicrobial therapy requires appropriate choice of antibiotic, including dose, frequency, and duration .
Uti Diagnosis And Localization
The gold standard for UTI diagnosis is urine culture. Ideally, all patients with a suspected UTI should have a urine sample collected via cystocentesis and evaluated by aerobic culture and antibiotic susceptibility testing. The techniques used to determine antibiotic susceptibility are disk diffusion and serial antibiotic dilution. The preferred method is serial antimicrobial dilution, which provides the minimum inhibitory concentration of the antibiotic, whereas disk diffusion is considered less reliable and does not provide MICs.
Efforts should be made to identify where the UTI is located within the urinary tract.3,4 Although locations may overlap, UTIs can occur within the bladder , kidney , and/or prostate . Localization is not always straightforward and is best achieved by evaluating the clinical history, presenting signs, physical examination findings, and laboratory and imaging results.
Viral Urinary Tract Infection
Viral-induced disease in humans is increasingly recognized, especially of the upper urinary tract. However, it can be difficult to determine cause-and-effect relationships because viral-induced disease may occur in the absence of detectable replicating virus. Several viruses have been implicated in canine and feline disease .
How To Treat My Dogs Urinary Tract Infection
What can you give a dog for urinary tract infection?
Here a some natural treatments and home remedies over the counter that can greatly help your dog fight a bacterial UTI or blood in dog urine.
In early cases of the disease, these remedies may be particularly effective. For more advanced cases, they are an important asset in completing a vet treatment.
Its important to act early, noting that a bladder infection can gradually evolve into a kidney infection.
Recovery And Management Of Utis In Dogs
Your vet should test your dogs urine following antibiotic therapy for both acute and chronic UTIs. In some instances of chronic UTIs, urine testing will also be performed during treatment, in addition to afterward, to assess the amount of bacteria.
Once urine testing confirms that a UTI is resolved, no further treatment is necessary for dogs with acute UTIs. If your dog has a chronic UTI, they may be kept on urinary tract supplements and probiotics to avoid recurrence.
If your vet diagnoses an underlying medical condition, treatment will aim to control it to avoid recurrent UTIs. Here are a few examples of possible underlying issues and their potential treatments:
Diabetes mellitus: insulin therapy and diet changes
Kidney disease: diet changes, blood pressure management, and fluid therapy
Abnormal vulvar conformation: surgical correction and/or daily cleaning of the perivulvar region
Urinary crystals: increased water intake, urinary tract supplements, and sometimes a dissolution diet
Bladder stones: surgical removal via cystotomy, or in some cases, a dissolution diet
Urinary tract masses: surgical removal and/or chemotherapeutic protocols
Each dog with a UTI should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis since there are so many factors that can contribute to pain and inflammation.
What Do Utis In Dogs Look Like
UTIs can be hard to spot, which is why you should always take note of your pups potty habits. If your dog is attempting to pee small amounts every time you take them outside, needs to go more often, straining or crying when urinating, or having accidents in the house even when they are potty trained, it could be a sign of a UTI. The most obvious and alarming symptom is blood mixed in with your dogs urine if you notice this, you should call your vet immediately.
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How To Prevent Uti In Dogs
Below are three tips for preventing bladder infection in dogs.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections From Occurring
If your dog has recurring UTIs, your vet may recommend taking supplements. Cranberry and vitamin C can help dogs that have chronic UTIs by lowering urine pH, Marx says. But discuss it with your vet before using any treatment. These supplements can make some types of infections worse, especially if certain crystal types are part of the cause.
An underlying medical condition could also be whats behind your dogs multiple UTIs or difficulty getting one to go away. Your vet may suggest additional testing to determine the root cause of chronic UTIs.
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What Is A Urine Culture Test
Most conventional vets will recommend a bacterial culture test as well. Thats because they want to know which bacterial species is affecting your dog so they can choose the right antibiotic. So, if youre planning to avoid antibiotics and use natural remedies for your dogs UTI, you dont need a urine culture.
Complicated & Recurrent Uti
Antibiotics should never be selected empirically for complicated UTI without culture susceptibility results . Management of pyelonephritis, prostatitis, and relapsing or recurrent UTI is often unsuccessful without therapy guided by culture and susceptibility results. However, therapy should be instituted while culture and susceptibility results are being awaited. Rational initial drug choices for complicated UTI include amoxicillin, fluoroquinolones, or trimethoprim-sulfonamide.3
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Fungal Urinary Tract Infection
Fungal UTI is uncommon. As with bacterial UTI, fungal UTI occurs because of temporary or permanent breaches in local or systemic immunity of the lower urinary tract. Funguria may be due to primary infections of the lower urinary tract or secondary to shedding of fungal elements into the urine in animals with systemic infections. Primary fungal UTI is most commonly due to Candida spp, a commensal inhabitant of the genital mucosa, upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract., Candida albicans is the most commonly identified species, followed by Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis other ubiquitous fungi may also occasionally cause primary fungal UTI, including Aspergillus spp, Blastomycosis spp , and Cryptococcus spp.
Blastomyces spp organisms observed by microscopic examination of urine sediment from a 2-year-old castrated male Doberman pinscher.