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Canine Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

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Urinary Tract Infections In Male Dogs

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

Urinary tract infections in male dogs are likely less common than urinary tract infections in female dogs, but they too deserve attention. Male dogs are less predisposed to urinary tract infections because of their anatomy. Compared to female dogs who have a much shorter urethra making bacteria more likely to climb up, male dogs have particularly urethrae, making it more challenging for bacteria to crawl up and reach the bladder to set up an infection. Following is some information about urinary tract infections in male dogs from veterinarian Dr. Samantha Bartlett.

Urinary tract infections in male dogs are less common than in female dogs.

Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs

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JD Foster


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 animals, developing in up to 27% of dogs.1 Nearly all infections are caused by pathogenic bacteria, although some are caused by fungi or viruses, albeit rarely. Most bacterial lower UTIs result from bacteria ascending the external genitalia and urethra. Less commonly, bacteria travel through the bloodstream and colonize the urinary tract.

Numerous innate defense mechanisms help prevent UTIs. Complete and regular voiding, along with the intrinsic properties of urine , help create a urinary tract environment that is hostile for microbes. Anatomic barriers and mucosal defenses further prevent adherence of virulent bacteria to the urothelium.

Elimination of the virulent organism can enable restoration of the normal permeability and integrity of the urothelium. Successful antimicrobial therapy requires an appropriate choice of antibiotic, including dose, frequency, and duration.

Symptoms Of A Uti In Dogs

If your dog is unable to control their bladder , showing signs of pain, discomfort or straining while peeing, is thirsty or has been excessively licking their genitals, theyâre possibly experiencing symptoms of a UTI, Dr. McCullough says.

âIf a pet parent notices signs of a UTI in their dog, they should contact their veterinarian right away,â she adds. âThe veterinarian will typically want to obtain a urine sample and may ask that pet parents collect a fresh urine sample in a clean plastic container to bring to the appointment or may want to collect the urine sample in a sterile manner at the appointment.â

UTI symptoms sometimes mimic more severe conditions like diabetes, cancer, bladder stones, kidney disease or urinary blockages. So, your vet may recommend blood work, X-rays or an abdominal ultrasound to ensure your pup isnât struggling with any underlying conditions, Dr. McCullough says.

Itâs worth noting that UTIs are more common in female dogs because they have larger urethras, making it easier for bacteria to enter and travel to the bladder.

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What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Lower Urinary Tract Problems

Pay attention to your dogs behavior, because its not easy to spot all your dogs symptoms.

If you notice symptoms of pain and discomfort, especially difficulty urinating, call your dogs vet to figure out whats causing the problems and the best way to treat them.

American Kennel Club: Does Your Dog Have UTI Symptoms or Something Worse?, Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs.

Banfield Pet Hospital: Lower Urinary Tract Disease .

Canine Health Foundation: Canine Lymphoma.

Merck Manual Veterinary Manual: Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections.

MSPCA-Angell: “Lower Urinary Tract Diseases of the Senior Dog.”

Peoria Area Veterinary Group: Urinary Tract Problems in Dogs.

Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira: Analysis of lower urinary tract disease of dogs.

VCA Hospitals: Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs.


What Does A Urinalysis Look At

Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs  Symptoms, Prevention &  Treatments

If your cat presents to your veterinarian with urinary signs, your veterinarian will first perform a urinalysis. The urinalysis can reveal so much important information about the urine when a UTI is suspected. Your veterinarian will look at the following:

  • urine-specific gravity
  • pH
  • ketones
  • glucose
  • bilirubin
  • blood
  • protein

Once these levels are measured, the urine specimen is placed into a centrifuge and spun down to allow cells and other debris to accumulate at the bottom of the sample tube. That debris can then be evaluated under magnification, and this examination can reveal the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals.

What is seen under the microscopes magnification can lead to the next steps of assessing the dogs urinary tract disease. For example, if there are crystals in the urine, your veterinarian may recommend radiographs or an ultrasound of the abdomen in order to look for bladder stones.

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What Are Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs

Urinary tract infections in dogs are usually caused by bacteria in the urine. There are lower and upper UTIs, but lower UTIs are more common. Lower UTIs affect the bladder and/or, in male dogs, the prostate. Upper UTIs affect the kidneys and/or ureters .

UTIs in dogs are considered either acute or chronic. Acute UTIs usually occur infrequently and are easy to treat with antibiotics and pain medications. Chronic UTIs are defined as three or more episodes of UTI in a year, or two or more episodes of UTI within a six-month period.

A UTI is also considered chronic if it cannot be fully cleared with antibiotic therapy. Chronic UTIs can be frustrating, and though they are often treated and cleared, they tend to return.

Early Stage Testing For Kidney Disease In Dogs

Microalbuminuria refers to the presence of very small amounts of albumin in urine. It may indicate underlying health problems and is sometimes an early warning sign of primary kidney disease. Many conditions can potentially lead to microalbuminuria . A simple test, early renal damage test , may be used to detect microlbuminuria. A small amount of urine collected in a sterile container is needed to run this test. Microalbuminuria does not mean that your pet has serious kidney disease, and your veterinarian will recommend further testing to look for hidden disease if microalbuminuria is detected.

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How Vets Diagnose Utis In Dogs

There are many ways to tell if a dog has a UTI and to investigate the underlying causes for why an infection occurred in the first place. Its important to obtain a definitive diagnosis whenever there is evidence of urinary tract disease, or else UTIs may come back.

Here are the ways that veterinarians test for UTIs in dogs.

Changes In Urination Habits

Bernese Mountain Dog Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

Like it or not, most of us are attuned to our dogs elimination habits. Many of us have been caught in the act of examining our dogs poop by non-dog owners, and the same goes for urination. This attention to detail is more than just excessive caring it can help your veterinarian diagnose a medical condition before it gets out of hand.

Changes in your dogs urination habits always necessitate a visit to your veterinarian. While accidents in the house could be a behavioral issue, they could also be a sign of a serious medical condition. Accidents or increased frequency in urination may be symptoms of diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushings disease, cancer, trauma, or urinary tract infections, just to name a few possible conditions. Your vet my suggest certain supplements or medications.

Also Check: Causes Of Urinary Incontinence In Females

If A Dog Isnt Urinating Frequently/properly Its Less Likely That The Bacteria Are Getting Flushed Out

Next, if a dog urinates infrequently and/or doesnt empty the bladder fully, he or she is at a greater risk of getting a UTI. This is the case for two reasons.

First, a good flow of urine pushes out the bacteria that might have started to ascend up the urethra to the bladder.

Think about the bacteria like little mountain climbers. If every time they start to climb up the mountain an avalanche comes along and forces them down to the base of the mountain, they will never summit the mountain . But if the avalanches are infrequent, the bacteria may have time to get to the bladder.

Second, the longer the urine sits in the bladder, the more time the bacteria have to set up shop and multiply in the bladder.

If the dog urinates frequently and effectively empties the bladder, the bacteria that make it to the bladder get deposited on the ground fairly soon after arriving to the bladder. That doesnt leave as many bacteria in the bladder. However, infrequent urination gives the bacteria lots of time to multiply.

Also sometimes a dog is unable to sufficiently empty the bladder due to conditions such as IVDD in dogs, a spinal stroke in dogs, or other neurologic or orthopedic problems. The residual urine in the bladder can act as a storehouse for the bacteria. Since more urine, and therefore potentially more bacteria is left behind, this makes a UTI more likely.

What Happens If Your Dogs Urinary Tract Infection Goes Untreated

In addition to pyelonephritis as mentioned earlier, if a bladder infection goes undiagnosed and untreated, a dog can develop struvite bladder stones. Not all bladder stones are related to infection. However, this specific typewhich are quite common in dogsare directly correlated to an infection in the bladder.

Bladder stones can then predispose your dog to more UTIs, and the cycle continues. In addition, they are quite uncomfortable for your dog.

Imagine having a handful of rocks bouncing around in your bladder. It probably wouldnt feel so good! Finally, a small bladder stone can also get stuck in the urethra. When this happens, your dog may be unable to urinate, which is a medical emergency.

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Common Symptoms Of Bladder Infection In Dogs

Pain, difficulties urinating, blood in urine, straining to urinate and urinating very small amounts but frequently are all common signs that your dog may be suffering from a bladder infection. Other indications of bladder infections or urinary tract infections include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased thirst
  • Lack of energy

If your dog is showing any of the symptoms above it’s time to head to your vet. Bladder infections and urinary tract infections are often painful for dogs. That said, when diagnosed and treated early these infections can often be cleared up quickly and easily so the sooner you can get your pup to the vet the better.

How To Prevent Utis In Dogs

BestLife4Pets Dog UTI Bladder Support Supplement  Natural Urinary ...

If you know that your dog is having chronic urinary tract infections, its possible to use these natural products.

In addition, as discussed earlier, making frequent trips out to allow your dog to urinate regularly is a good strategy to adopt.

Ask a nutrition expert, such as a vet, to make sure that your pet’s food is adequate.

Finally, providing fresh water and encouraging your dog to drink plenty of water is an important benefit in the prevention of UTIs in dogs.

Now that you are well-equipped to identify a dog UTI at the first sign, be sure to have these ingredients and our natural products on hand to help your pooch of its symptoms.

The faster you act, the more successful you will be in your treatment. And your dog will thank you for it.

You can keep cranberries, apple cider vinegar and vitamin C in your kitchen, as most are just as effective for your own urinary tract infections!

In addition, you will have all the delicious elements needed to concoct a good salad!

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Collecting A Urine Sample At The Veterinary Clinic

If you cant get a sample at home, your vet can take a sterile sample with a needle. Its a quick procedure that most dogs tolerate extremely well, Marx says.

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.

What Can I Give My Dog For A Urinary Tract Infection

Our Winston-Salem vets often see dogs suffering from urinary tract infections . In fact, it’s estimated that up to 27% of dogs will develop a UTI at some point in their life. Below, we share some of the most common symptoms of this condition in dogs, and what you can give your dog if they have a UTI.

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Urinary Tract Infections And Anemia In Dogs

Dogs suffering from urinary tract infection due to kidney problems are more susceptible to anemia. This is mainly due to low erythrocyte production. Anemia can also be caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli or by mycoplasmas such as Mollicutes. In any case, it will be essential to go to the vet to determine the cause of the anemia.

You can tell if your dog suffers from anemia by checking their mucus membranes . A healthy dog’s mucus membranes should be dark pink. If they are excessively pale or even white, it is possible your dog is anemic.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs – Types, Signs & Treatment, we recommend you visit our Infectious diseases category.

What Can Happen If A Dogs Lower Urinary Tract Problems Go Untreated

Urinary Infection In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment

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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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs

A urinary tract infection is a broad term for different types of infections which occur in the dog’s urinary tract. The urinary tract is part of the dog’s waste drainage system, getting rid of the waste biproducts of metabolism in the form of liquid urine. It is made up of the kidneys, ureters , the bladder and the urethra..

A UTI can occur randomly in any dog. However, those who suffer from a poor diet, do not have adequate hygiene care or are immunosuppressed are more susceptible to contracting one.

It should be noted that a urinary tract infection is not the same as cystitis. Although both terms are often used synonymously, cystitis specifically refers to inflammation of the dog’s bladder. The two are often linked since such inflammation can be the result of a urinary tract infection, but it is not the only cause of cystitis in dogs. In this way, cystitis is a type of urinary tract infection, but it is not the only kind.

Generally, UTIs prohibit urination. If your dog is incontinent, it is usually due to another cause, although it can be related if they only produce a small amount.

Causes Of Urinary Infection In Dogs

Urinary tract infections in dogs, and in any other animal, are caused by microorganisms. Bacteria is the main cause of a UTI in dogs. Although viral and fungal infections could occur, they are very rare. When a dog has a bacterial infection in another part of the body, it is possible for the infection to spread to the urinary system. When a dog does not urinate regularly enough, it can increase the possibility of urinary infection.

Certain diseases may also cause a urinary tract infection. These can be related to hormonal changes, development of tumors, kidney stones or other ailments which affect a dog’s growth. Since UTIs affect the body’s waste management system, it can also be related to ingesting something inappropriate.

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Be Observant And Proactive To Help Recognize Early Signs Of A Uti In Dogs

  • Keep a mental journal of your dogs bathroom habits. By watching for changes, youre more likely to recognize early signs of a UTI.
  • If you think your dog may have a urinary tract infection, please dont wait or wonder. Make an appointment with your veterinarian. Catching UTIs early can help prevent it from getting worse and turning into a more serious condition.
  • On a related note, take your dog to your veterinarian for yearly physical exams. And if your dog is a senior , your dog may benefit from more frequent visitsat least biannually. Sometimes a UTI is found through a routine screening test. Other times your vet may find a UTI based upon little clues in the history or physical exam.
  • If your dog has predisposing factors such as a neurologic condition or one of the diseases on the list I shared earlier, be extra vigilant. The same goes for dogs taking a medication that may make a UTI more likely.
  • As an example of the importance of the part you can play as your dogs biggest advocate, lets meet Bailey. This sweet senior dog had both predisposing factors AND was taking medications that increased the likelihood of a UTI. Her story paints a clear picture of the importance of observation and how subtle a UTI can be.

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