What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Lower Urinary Tract Problems
Pay attention to your dogâs behavior, because itâs not easy to spot all your dogâs symptoms.
If you notice symptoms of pain and discomfort, especially difficulty urinating, call your dogâs vet to figure out whatâs causing the problems and the best way to treat them.
American Kennel Club: âDoes Your Dog Have UTI Symptoms or Something Worse?,â Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs.â
Banfield Pet Hospital: âLower Urinary Tract Disease .â
Canine Health Foundation: âCanine Lymphoma.â
Merck Manual Veterinary Manual: âBacterial Urinary Tract Infections.â
MSPCA-Angell: “Lower Urinary Tract Diseases of the Senior Dog.”
Peoria Area Veterinary Group: âUrinary Tract Problems in Dogs.â
Pesquisa VeterinÃ¡ria Brasileira: âAnalysis of lower urinary tract disease of dogs.â
VCA Hospitals: âUrinary Tract Infections in Dogs.â
Preventing Utis In Dogs
UTIs in dogs are highly preventable. In order to minimize your dogs risk of contracting a urinary tract infection, take the following steps:
Provide fresh, clean water every day. Drinking clean water helps to flush away any bacteria that has accumulated in the urinary tract.
Routine grooming, especially around the urinary opening, and regular bathing can help prevent bacteria from entering the urinary system. Keep the area clean and free of debris, scratches, etc.
Provide plenty of opportunities for your dog to go outside for a pee break. Its not good for dogs to hold urine in for very long periods of time.
Feed your dog a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Probiotic supplements can build up the growth of healthy bacteria in a dogs body.
Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system.
Regular vet check-ups can identify problems before they get serious.
What Are The Common Signs Of Urinary Tract Disease In Dogs
Signs associated with urinary tract disease will vary depending on the condition afflicting your dog. Here are some common signs of urinary tract disease in dogs:
Frequent Attempts to Urinate
Is your dog peeing for the umpteenth time today? Dogs with urinary tract disease often urinate an abnormal amount of times each day because little to no urine is being expelled each time. This is obviously very frustrating and also dangerous because when a dog is blocked they are unable to rid themselves of bodily toxic waste products through their urine. Take your dog immediately to your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is blocked, as this can be a life threatening condition.
The pain associated with urinary tract disease may be so severe that some dogs will lick their penile or vaginal area as a way to try and self-soothe. Dogs with urinary tract disease may also be more irritable than usual.
Blood in the Urine
Dogs with urinary tract disease will often have urine which is blood-tinged or discolored. Females are often at greater risk for urinary tract infections that lead to blood in the urine than are males.
Urinating indoors is not always a medical issue, but you should be concerned of it, especially when combined with any of the other aforementioned symptoms.
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Does Yogurt Help Uti In Dogs
Supplementation with B vitamins and antioxidants in times of stress, as well as offering cooling foods such as raw fruits, vegetables, and yogurt to reduce the symptoms of urinary tract infection. Foods that are known to aggravate UTIs include asparagus, spinach, raw carrots, tomatoes, and dairy products.
Uti Symptoms Return Repeatedly Can It Be Something Else
Repeated presentation of typical UTI symptoms could the be the sign of a more serious condition canine bladder cancer . Often, a positive diagnosis of TCC/UC will be found after rounds of antibiotics to treat symptoms do not fully resolve. The dog may then be evaluated for the presence of a tumor, usually via urine cytology, abdominal ultrasound, and/or cystoscopy. These procedures are expensive, invasive and take additional time, which allows for the mass to continue to grow and spread within the bladder and potentially beyond.
Diagnosis is now easier with the free-catch urine analysis test: CADET BRAF Mutation Detection Assay. The CADET BRAF Mutation Detection Assay is a non-invasive, free-catch urine analysis test that can detect canine bladder cancer months before symptoms present, allowing for the earliest therapeutic intervention.
Note: The information in this article is meant to inform you about urinary tract infections in dogs and is not meant to take the place of a veterinary diagnosis. If you have questions about your dogs health or possible symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.
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Diagnostic Approach For Animals With Recurrent Uti
The standard diagnostic evaluation for dogs with recurrent UTI should include CBC, serum biochemistry profile, urinalysis, urine culture, abdominal radiographs and ultrasound. The history should be reviewed for diseases or drugs that could contribute to immunosuppression. Physical examination should include careful examination of the vulva and peri-vulvar skin for evidence of recessed or “hooded” vulva with perivulvar dermatitis that may contribute to reinfection of the urinary tract. Subtle abnormalities of the perivulvar region is easily overlooked during routine physical examination and should be carefully evaluated in dogs with recurrent UTI. Rectal examination should also be included as a standard part of the physical examination to evaluate the urethra for masses or uroliths that could contribute to recurrent UTI.
Testing for hyperadrenocorticism should be performed if there is any data that might support the presence of hyperadrenocorticism. If available, cystoscopy is recommended for diagnostic evaluation for dogs with recurrent UTI if an underlying cause has not been identified during initial work-up. Cystoscopy helps rule out anatomic abnormalities, polyps, neoplasia or uroliths and permits mucosal biopsy for culture, cytology and histopathology.
Giant Kidney Worm Infection
Giant kidney worms, known as Dioctophyma renale, are a type of parasite that can infect the kidney and the abdomen of dogs. However, they are uncommon parasites in pet dogs. This is one of the largest parasitic worms known and can reach 40 inches in length. Female worms are bigger than males. Both sexes are blood red in color. They lay eggs that are barrel-shaped and yellow-brown in color. The urine of infected dogs contains these eggs.
Dogs catch the worm by eating infected raw fish, frogs, or certain common backyard worms . Once a dog begins digesting the infected fish, frog, or worm, the giant kidney worm makes its way out of the bowels of the dog, into the liver, and finally into the kidneys. Often the worms do not make it all the way to the kidney and end up instead in the abdomen.
Once in the kidneys, the worms cause blockage and destruction of kidney tissues. The right kidney is the one most commonly infected. If both kidneys become infected, kidney failure may result. Other problems that can result from this infection include inflammation of the abdominal cavity, bands of scar tissue in the abdomen or intestines, and liver disease. Signs of the infection include blood in the urine, excessive urination, weight loss, and pain in the abdomen or in the area around the kidneys.
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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
Sanderson, Sherry Lynn. The Urinary System of Dogs. Merck Veterinary Manual, Merck Veterinary Manual, 15 Nov. 2021, .
Dowling, Patricia M. Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections. Merck Veterinary Manual, Merck Veterinary Manual, 15 Nov. 2021, .
Dowling, Patricia M. Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections.
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, .
Common Urological Ailments. PennVet.com, https://www.vet.upenn.edu/veterinary-hospitals/ryan-veterinary-hospital/services/advanced-urinary-care/urinary-care-services/common-urological-ailments.
Burke, Anna. Does Your Dog Have UTI Symptoms or Something Worse?
Dowling, Patricia M. Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections.
Connect with a vet. Get your pets Rx meds. From home.
Signs Of Urinary Tract Disease In Dogs
Although symptoms of UTIs or other urinary tract disease may vary they include:
- More or less frequent urination
- Straining or inability to urinate
- Loss of appetite or weight
Some dogs dont show any obvious signs.
If you notice any changes in your dogs urination habits , call your Jacksonville vet.
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What Is Urinary Tract Disease
Urinary tract disease is actually just a general term used to describe several afflictions that can affect the urinary tract, the body’s drainage system for removing wastes and extra water. The urinary tract includes two kidneys, two ureters , a bladder and a urethra. Here are just a few urinary tract conditions that can affect your dog:
Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs
This occurs when bacteria invades and colonizes in the urinary bladder, urethra, and sometimes even the kidneys. Dogs of all ages can be affected by urinary tract infections, but vulnerability generally increases with advancing age. Additionally, female dogs are more susceptible to bacterial infections of the lower urinary tract than males. Urinary tract infections can lead to bladder stones called struvites.
Bladder Stones in Dogs
This occurs when a solid mass made up of mineral and acid salts form in the bladder, often because your dog’s urine contains too much of certain substances that form the crystals. While bladder stones can affect any dog, some dog breeds are more susceptible to certain types of bladder stones than others. For example, bladder stones containing calcium and oxalic acid are more likely to be found in Schnauzers, Bichons, Lhasa Apsos, and Miniature Poodles. Bladder stones containing uric acid , on the other hand, typically affect Dalmatians, Yorkshire Terriers, and English Bulldogs.
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.
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Treatment: The Importance Of Nutrition
The dog food your dog eats plays an, important role in his overall health and well-being. Balanced nutrition is an essential part of an active, healthy lifestyle. When your dog has urinary bladder stones, it is even more important to feed the right dog food. Foods high in magnesium, phosphorus, protein and calcium have been linked to stone formation. Veterinarians believe feeding your dog a food with restricted amounts of these minerals can assist in the dissolution of some types of stones that have formed in his urinary tract. For accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for your dogs urinary tract health.
And remember, any dog that has been treated for urinary tract disease runs the risk of contracting it again. Therefore, it’s important to continue with the nutritional management of the disease and watch closely for the recurring symptoms.
What Does A Urinalysis Look At
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
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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How Are Lower Urinary Tract Problems Diagnosed
Diagnosing lower urinary tract problems requires a visit to the veterinarian. Your vet will do a physical examination that includes checking the kidneys and bladder. They will also likely perform a urinalysis. They may also need to do a urine culture, blood work, ultrasound, or radiographs depending on their findings.
These evaluations can help your vet determine if your dogâs urinary tract problems are caused by a UTI, or if they have another underlying condition like those listed above, including, stones, cancers, or tumors.
What Is A Urinalysis And What Does It Look At
A urinalysis is an important screening tool that examines chemical properties of the urine sample. It also allows for a visual inspection of the urine to look for things like crystals, cells, or bacteria. This test may be performed in-house by your veterinarian or by an outside laboratory either way, results are typically available within 24 hours or less.
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Antimicrobial Use Guidelines For Treatment Of Urinary Tract Disease In Dogs And Cats: Antimicrobial Guidelines Working Group Of The International Society For Companion Animal Infectious Diseases
J. Scott WeeseAcademic Editor: Received
Urinary tract disease is a common reason for use of antimicrobials in dogs and cats. There is a lack of comprehensive treatment guidelines such as those that are available for human medicine. Accordingly, guidelines for diagnosis and management of urinary tract infections were created by a Working Group of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases. While objective data are currently limited, these guidelines provide information to assist in the diagnosis and management of upper and lower urinary tract infections in dogs and cats.
This document contains guidelines developed in 2010 by the Antimicrobial Guidelines Working Group of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases. During the course of guideline development, it became abundantly clear that there are significant limitations in objective, published information. Accordingly, recommendations are based on available data, whenever present, along with expert opinion, considering principles of infectious diseases, antimicrobial therapy, antimicrobial resistance, pharmacology, and internal medicine. Corresponding guidelines for human medicine were evaluated, with careful consideration of the abundant differences between species.
2. Simple Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection
2.1. Summary of Recommendations for Uncomplicated UTIs
2.1.1. Diagnosis of Uncomplicated UTIs
2.1.2. Treatment of Uncomplicated UTIs
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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Dogs That Are Prone To Utis
Any dog breed can develop a urinary tract infection, but female dogs develop UTIs more commonly than male dogs.
Male dogs have longer urethras, requiring the bacteria to travel farther to invade the bladder. Picture the bacteria getting tired on their long trek and either giving up on their journey or dying before they make it to their destination.
Dog breeds that are prone to bladder stones are more prone to UTIs in generalespecially chronic, recurrent UTIs. This is due to the stones rolling around in a dogs bladder and breaking down its defense mechanisms, causing inflammation.
Breeds that are predisposed to chronic UTIs secondary to bladder stones include:
Types Of Dogs More Likely To Have Urinary Incontinence
While urinary incontinence can happen to any dog, it is more likely in certain types.
Female Dogs. Middle-aged to older spayed female dogs are prone to what is referred to as âspay incontinence.â This is a form of incontinence commonly caused by lower estrogen levels, which can lead to a loss of muscle tone in the urethra. In some cases, incontinence may be caused by a weak bladder. This condition is referred to as weak bladder sphincter incontinence. Your vet may call it Urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence . It is the most common cause of urinary incontinence in spayed female dogs.
Older Dogs. Bladder leaks are not an uncommon occurrence in older dogs. This is because the urethral muscles are not as strong as they used to be. As your dog ages, they may have a harder time holding in urine.
Often, incontinence starts when dogs are mature or middle-aged. Several factors are thought to play a role in USMI. These include:
- Abnormal bladder positioning
These tests can help determine the root cause and best treatment plans for your dog. A urinalysis may prove your dog has a bladder infection. Some other tests, like blood tests, may be necessary to rule out underlying causes like diabetes or Cushingâs disease. Radiographs can rule out urinary stones, and ultrasounds will rule out tumors or growth in the bladder. Depending on the findings of these tests, other tests may be necessary too.
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