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Can Dogs Get Urinary Tract Infections

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How Do I Know If My Dog Has A Bladder Infection

Local dogs trained to detect urinary tract infections

The most common signs of bladder infections in dogs include pain or difficulties urinating, blood in urine or in some cases you may notice that your pup is only urinating very small amounts but frequently. Other signs of bladder infections or urinary tract infections include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased thirst

If your pup is displaying any of the symptoms above it’s time to head to the vet for an examination. Bladder infections and urinary tract infections are very uncomfortable and often painful for your dog. When caught and treated early these infections can often be cleared up quickly and easily.

What Is Urinary Tract Infection

The urethra and bladder are normally sterile environments. However, infectious agents can invade the urinary tract and easily colonize, especially if the normal urinary tract defenses are compromised. Defenses against bacteria can be diminished because of factors such as aging or disease . E Coli is the most common bacterium to cause a urinary tract infection .

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Classification Of Urinary Tract Infections

While on the subject of explaining the UTI terminology, we should mention that a urinary tract infection can be classified as:

  • Relapse, this occurs when the new UTI is caused by the same microorganism as the previous infection.
  • Reinfection, this occurs when the new UTI is caused by a different microorganism than the previous infection.

Finally, based on the infectious agent, the UTI can be defined as a:

  • Super-infection, this occurs when the new UTI is caused by a resistant bacteria that was acquired during the initial UTI treatment
  • Persistent infection, this occurs when the original UTI causing agent persists despite treatment efforts.

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Collecting A Urine Sample At The Veterinary Clinic

If you can’t get a sample at home, your vet can take a sterile sample with a needle. “It’s a quick procedure that most dogs tolerate extremely well,” Marx says. In fact, a sterile sample is necessary if your vet wants to run a urine culture. That’s why it’s best to ask your vet first before trying to get a urine sample at home.

Your dog may also need X-rays to check for bladder stones if your vet finds crystals in the urine sample. Bladder stones can cause recurring bladder infections and need to be treated as well.

In most cases, Marx says treatment for a UTI in dogs is a simple course of antibiotics, usually prescribed for seven to 14 days. You should also encourage your dog to drink water to flush bacteria from the bladder.

“Dogs should feel better by 48 hours after starting antibiotics,” Marx says. “Sometimes, it can be as early as 24 hours. But continue the medication for as long as prescribed by your vet to completely clear up the UTI.” Your vet can recheck the urine at a follow-up exam to make sure the bacteria is gone.

How Are Utis In Dogs Treated

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Dogs and Puppies

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.

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Prostatitis Pyelonephritis And Recurrent Uti

Management of these conditions is often unsuccessful unless therapy is guided by culture and susceptibility results. While culture and susceptibility results are awaited, empiric therapy should be instituted .

For patients with prostatitis, the antibiotic must achieve a high enough concentration in the prostatic tissue to cure the infection. Many antibiotics may be inefficient for treating prostatitis because most are not capable of crossing the bloodprostate barrier. Patients with prostatitis should be given a fluoroquinolone until culture results are available. The recommended durations of therapy are 4 to 6 weeks for prostatitis and 2 weeks for pyelonephritis.

Patients with recurrent UTIs often require a wide diagnostic evaluation to determine the cause. Evaluation typically includes urinary tract imaging , cystoscopy, urinary bladder wall biopsy and culture, endocrine testing, and more. Diagnostics should be selected individually and be based on the most likely risk factors.

Patients with reinfection should be evaluated for predisposing risk factors, such as urinary incontinence, anatomic abnormalities , systemic immunosuppression, or endocrinopathies.7

Can Dogs Get Urinary Tract Infections

By Darlene Stott

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Many of us, through no fault of our own, assume that many medical conditions, as uncomfortable as they may be, are specific to humans. But, which conditions can dogs suffer from, too and which ones should you be concerned about? Urinary tract infections in humans are uncomfortable at best and incredibly painful at worst.

In humans, UTIs are an infection of the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. Youll to need to pee more than usual and suffer severe pain when you do pee. Fortunately, with humans, you can treat UTIs with antibiotics. If you are suspecting your dog is suffering from a UTI, as a precautionary measure, you need to ensure you seek medical attention as early as possible in case your dog is suffering from something more serious. But, should you be concerned your dog has developed a UTI? Are they even possible in dogs?

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Preventing Urinary Issues In Dogs

Once your dog has been cleared of their pesky urinary issues, there are a number of ways you can help prevent them from getting another infection. As always, prevention is the best treatment.


First and foremost, hydration is vital to your dog’s health. Specifically, water helps encourage frequent and healthy urination. Therefore, always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, clean water. Additionally, be sure to clean water and food bowls regularly to avoid bacteria build-up.

Cleanliness is Key

As a reminder, the leading cause of urinary issues in dogs is bacteria entering the urethra. This bacteria can be from dirt, feces, contaminated water, or debris. Therefore, be sure to keep an eye on the area and make sure they have a clean slate. Give your dog regular baths, especially after rowdy trips outside or adventures in swimming.

Moreover, most pet stores sell canine-friendly antibacterial wipes. These wet wipes are an easy way to give your dogs downstairs an added level of bacteria-fighting power.

Probiotics and Healthy Bacteria

While urinary issues are caused by “bad” bacteria, they can indeed be prevented by a tactful regiment of healthy bacteria. That’s right folks, we are talking aboutprobiotics for dogs.

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How Are Urinary Tract Problems In Dogs Diagnosed

Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs (UTI’s)

Dogs are examined in afree consultation at Animal Trust where the vet will carry out a physical examination to detect a fever, painful or enlarged bladder or kidneys. Following this, urinalysis is carried out by testing a fresh urine sample for acidity, blood, infection, sugar, concentration and crystals. A urine culture test may also be carried out if bacteria are found in the sample or when an animal experiences recurrent/on-going cystitis.

Blood tests can also be carried out to check for kidney disease, infections and signs of underlying hormonal disorders such as diabetes orCushings disease which may cause your dog to drink more than usual.X-rays and ultrasound scans may be used for ongoing or recurrent UTIs, to check for urinary stones in the bladder or urethra, diagnose bladder tumours and to see if urinary tract anatomy is normal. Prostate and spinal disease may also be picked up on imaging.

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Can Dogs Get Uti From Holding Pee

You run the risk of causing your dog to become ill as a result of forcing him to urinate for an extended period of time. There is some chance that he will be able to do so, but holding it in for an extended period of time can result in infections or urinary crystals. Urine problems can also have an impact on ones behavior.

If necessary, an adult dog can hold its pee for up to 10-12 hours, though this is not always necessary. If you keep your urine in your mouth, you can cause toxins to back up and weaken the bladder muscles. Your dog is more likely to develop urinary tract infections if he or she is overweight. How long can you hold it and when do you need to go potty? Time limits for different life stages have been listed below. Every pound of body weight a healthy dog produces approximately 10 to 20 ml of urine per day. Adult dogs should be allowed to relieve themselves at least three to five times per day outside.

How Do I Treat My Dogs Urinary Tract Infection

Fortunately, treating your dogs UTI is often a relatively straightforward process. Typically, antibiotics prescribed destroy the growth of microorganisms causing infection. In some cases, a special diet may also be recommended to help dissolve urinary stones. The treatment will usually take just 10 to 14 days. While antibiotics are normally taken orally, they can also be injected. In complicated cases, antimicrobial therapy will be prescribed for 4 to 6 weeks, with a urine culture taking place after one week, to ensure it is working. If the infection is because of something more serious, such as a tumor, surgery may well be needed.

Because UTIs in dogs are usually straightforward, dogs will often be fully recovered and back to health in just a couple of weeks. You can expect to see signs of improvement within a few days of your dog starting the treatment. However, in complicated cases, antimicrobials will need to be re-administered and dogs may need more than a couple of weeks before they are fully healed.

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My Veterinarian Sent A Sample Of Urine To A Laboratory For A Culture And Sensitivity Test What Is This

All urinary tract infections are NOT created equal! Even though the most common organism to cause UTIs in dogs is Escherichia coli , there are several other organisms that may be involved. The only way to identify which specific bacteria is to blame, is to grow it in a laboratory. At the same time, the lab can also test which antibiotic is best suited to treat the infection.

Often, a veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic that is among the most commonly used for treating UTIs in order to try to provide immediate relief to the dog. Pain medication may also be prescribed , and a diet change may be recommended.

Once the culture and sensitivity results are received, an appropriate antibiotic will be prescribed. After the course of antibiotics is given, it is important to recheck the urinalysis to confirm that the infection is resolved. If it is not, then it will be important to investigate additional issues that may contribute to a persistent UTI.

What Are Urinary Issues

2010vets: 1394. VIDEO

A urinary tract infection, also referred to as bacterial cystitis, is a bacterial infection of the urinary system. The urinary system is composed of the kidneys, the bladder, the ureters that connect the kidneys to the bladder, and the urethra where urine exits the body. In dogs, urinary issues are more common in the lower urinary tract, specifically in the urethra.

Moreover, urinary tract infections are more common in dogs over the age of seven. Female dogs are more prone to urinary issues due to having shorter urethras than more dogs. Additionally, certain breeds are genetically predisposed to contracting urinary issues. Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, and Bichon Frises are prone to urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder stones. However, dogs of all breeds, sizes, and genders can get urinary issues

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Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs And Cats

Urinary tract infections are more common in dogs, particularly female dogs because they have shorter, wider urethras, but both cats and dogs can potentially succumb to an infection. Some other common risk factors for UTI in cats and dogs include:

  • Weight:Overweight pets with more skin folds have a higher risk of contracting an infection.
  • Immune system: Some pets with weakened immune systems, including older pets and those with dental diseases, may be more prone to urinary tract infections.
  • Physiology: Female pets with inverted vulvas can lead to greater bacteria buildup and secondary urinary tract infections. Conditions that change the anatomy of the genital area can similarly put your pet at a higher risk of UTI.
  • Chronic diseases: Certain chronic diseases, like cancer, diabetes, and Cushings Disease, can lead to urinary tract infections.
  • Immunosuppressive viruses: Cats with FIV or FeLV have compromised immune systems, so they may be more susceptible to urinary tract infections.
  • Obstructions: Bladder stones, kidney stones, crystals, and other obstructions to urine flow increase the chances of bacteria spreading throughout the urinary tract.
  • Medication: Long-term use of corticosteroids can also increase risk of UTI.

What Causes Utis In Dogs

The area around a dogs genitalia is exposed to bacteria from urine, feces, and other types of debris. When bacteria travel up through the urethra and into the bladder, an infection develops. E. coli is a very common cause of UTIs, although there are several other types of bacteria that can also cause infection.

When a dog is very young, elderly, or has a weakened immune system as a result of an illness, the body has a harder time fighting off infection.

If the infection makes its way up into the kidneys, more serious issues like kidney infection , kidney stones, or even kidney failure can occur.

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How Can You Help Prevent Utis In Your Dog

The best things pet parents can do to prevent UTIs in dogs is to make sure they drink lots of water, go to the bathroom on a regular basis, eat nutritious food that will maintain a strong immune system, and have any underlying disorders that contribute to the development of a UTI treated. If your dog suffers from recurring UTIs, your vet might recommend supplements or probiotics.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Utis In Dogs

Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs Signs and Symptoms: UTI in dogs prevention

Similar to UTIs in cats, common symptoms of UTIs in dogs include:

  • Bloody and/or cloudy urine
  • Increased thirst

Make sure youre always watching out for changes in your dogs peeing habits to stop a UTI in its tracks, and be extra vigilant if you know that your lovable breed of dog is more susceptible to bladder stones.

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Are There Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection

You may be wondering what can you give a dog for a urinary tract infection or whether there are home remedies that cure a UTI in dogs. Unfortunately, the answer here is essentially no.

While cranberry extract may be useful in some situations , it is NOT a stand-alone cure for UTIs and should NOT be used that way. The best thing you can do for your dog is to get him or her to the vet if you think a UTI is brewing. And if it is a holiday or weekend when your regular vet isnt open, consider an emergency vet visit.

Does cranberry help a UTI in dogs?

The question of cranberry supplements for UTIs in dogs comes up frequently. In fact, you may have heard about using cranberry for your dogs urinary tract health. Theres a half-truth here.

Cranberry only works against one bacteriaE. coli. You see, cranberries contain substances called proanthocyanidins, which can make it harder for E. coli specifically to adhere to the bladder wall.

In other words, its not going to work for every single type of UTI in dogs. Dont think of it as a panacea. But if you know that your dog is specifically prone to E. coli UTIs, a cranberry supplement such as CranMate® is a great option.

Interestingly, cranberry juice doesnt seem to be as effective as a cranberry extract. So stick to proven supplements rather than pouring your dog a glass of cranberry juice.

Subclinical Bacteriuriato Treat Or Not To Treat

The limited studies performed in veterinary medicine have not shown that subclinical bacteriuria results in complications.8 However, human medicine has shown that more complications may arise when this condition is treated with antibiotics than when it is not. For veterinary patients with subclinical bacteriuria, no therapy is recommended. Neither the presence of antibiotic or multidrug resistance nor pyuria should prompt therapy. The number of bacteria obtained on culture and the presence of pyuria and hematuria cannot be used to differentiate subclinical bacteriuria from cystitis. Patients with systemic disease do not require drug therapy unless they have clinical signs suggestive of UTI. To help prevent struvite stone formation, antibiotic therapy may be considered for patients with subclinical bacteriuria caused by urease-producing bacteria .

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