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Urinary Tract Symptoms In Dogs

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Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs

Symptoms for UTIs in Cats and Dogs

Treatment of an infection of the urinary tract is typically straightforward. In cases of an uncomplicated UTI, treatment will be the administration of antimicrobials . The treatment will last between 5 to 14 days and is usually administered orally. There are also injectable options available.

In the case of a complicated UTI, antimicrobial therapy may be prescribed for 4 to 6 weeks, with a urine culture advised before starting treatment. If a tumor is involved, surgery may be an option. Any underlying cause or complication must be addressed along with the treatment for the urinary tract infection to have complete resolution. In both complicated and uncomplicated UTIs, pain relief medication will be given if needed.

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Can A Dog’s Bladder Infection Go Away On Its Own

Although in some cases bladder infections in people clear up without the need for medical care, this is unlikely to be true for your dog. It is also the case that, since our canine companions are unable to tell us how they are feeling it is best to have any symptoms of illness checked out by your vet. Left untreated your pup’s bladder infection could become much more severe and lead to complications.

It could also be the case that your dog’s bladder infection symptoms are due to a more serious underlying condition in need of treatment. When it comes to your pet’s health it is always best to err on the side of caution.

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.

Show Sources

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 Veterinária Brasileira: âAnalysis of lower urinary tract disease of dogs.â

VCA Hospitals: âUrinary Tract Infections in Dogs.â

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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.

My Dog Suddenly Started Asking To Go Outside Very Frequently A Sample Of Urine Revealed A Bladder Infection How Did This Happen

Possible causes of urinary incontinence in dogs.

Urinary tract infections are fairly common in dogs. Dogs with UTIs generally attempt to urinate very frequently whenever they go outside. They also may strain to urinate, or cry out or whine when urinating if it is painful. Sometimes you might even see blood in their urine. Dripping urine, or frequent licking of the genitals, may also signal that a UTI is present. Urine that has a very strong odor to it can also be a sign that your dog has an infection.

“A break in housetraining is a red flag that something is wrong in the bladder.”

A break in housetraining is a red flag that something is wrong in the bladder. If this should happen to your previous well-mannered dog, a UTI may be to blame.

Generally, a UTI occurs when bacteria travels up the urethra and into the bladder. Urine in the bladder is supposed to be sterile, but once bacteria find their way there, they can grow and reproduce, causing a UTI. Additionally, some dogs will develop bladder stones in conjunction with their UTI, which opens the door for additional health issues.

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What Are The Signs Of These Types Of Tumors

The signs of urinary tract tumors depend on what area of the urinary system is affected. Tumors of the ureters, bladder, and urethra can cause hematuria , dysuria , difficulty urinating, and frequent urination. Recurrent and often unresolving secondary urinary tract infections are commonly associated with these types of tumors. If the tumor obstructs the ureter, preventing the flow of urine to the bladder, the kidney will swell with urine causing signs of abdominal pain. If the tumor obstructs the urethra, there may be lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, straining or the inability to urinate.

“The signs of urinary tract tumors depend on what area of the urinary system is affected.”

Tumors of the kidneys can cause abdominal pain, blood in the urine, or non-specific signs such as lack of appetite, nausea or vomiting, weight loss, fever, lethargy, and swelling of the abdomen. Occasionally kidney tumors can cause increased urination and drinking.

Because many urinary tract tumors will spread to other areas in the body , there may be signs elsewhere . Kidney pain can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from back pain.

What Can I Do To Prevent A Uti From Occurring In The Future

Your veterinarian will let you know if there is anything that can be done to prevent your dogs UTI from recurring. Often, a diet change may be recommended. They may also recommend some medications or supplements that can help to change the pH of the urine, making it harder for an infection to take hold. It is best to discuss UTI prevention with your veterinarian in order to put into place strategies that have been shown to be effective.

Contributors: Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPH Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CRPP

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How Can I Treat A Uti At Home For My Dog

Here are some at-home dog UTI treatment options:

Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics for Dogs. This dog UTI treatment is made with prebiotics and probiotics for gut health. A dogs health begins in the digestive system Honest Paws ensures there are healthy bacteria for a healthy gut biome to promote better and faster recovery. The probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, while the prebiotics stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria. The formula uses antioxidant-rich foods to promote immune system function and inulin, their natural prebiotic, to promote the growth of 6 strains of healthy bacteria that help to strengthen the immune system and promote good digestion.

What Does A Urinalysis Look At

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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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Was Your Pet Food Recalled

Dont let your dog urinate on the way to the vet. You might even leave your dog in the car and go into the office and ask for a vet techs assistance.

There are many smells at the vet, and your dog might deliver that cherished sample on the way in the door, missing another golden opportunity.

If the vet tech is also unable to get a sample right away, there are a few options:

  • You can leave your dog a the office for a few hours until their bladder is full again.
  • Or your vet might suggest getting a sample directly from your dogs bladder. This is called a cystocentesis.


The best urine sample is one that is collected directly from the bladder via a needle a cystocentesis.

Second best is a catheterized sample, which is fairly easy in male dogs but quite difficult in females. You cant really catheterize a female dog without some kind of sedation.

Inserting a needle directly into the bladder sounds horrible to some folks, but it is usually simple, nontraumatic and over in about 5 seconds. This is also the only way to get an absolutely sterile sample, which is needed for certain urinalyses.

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.

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How Are Urinary Tract Problems In Dogs Diagnosed

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.

Uti Diagnosis And Localization

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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.

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Monitoring Response To Therapy

Patients with sporadic cystitis may not require rigorous monitoring. However, patients with prostatitis, pyelonephritis, or recurrent infections should be monitored very closely. Recurrent cystitis does not necessarily require a prolonged course of antibiotic therapy. The following protocol is recommended for monitoring response to therapy in patients with recurrent UTI.9

  • Reculture urine after 5 to 7 days of antibiotic therapy. Doing so confirms that the prescribed dose and frequency of the drug were successful in treating the isolated organism. This culture also may reveal an additional isolate that was not identified on the initial culture. Observation of any bacterial growth at this time suggests treatment failure reconsider the choice of antibiotic and dosage and administration frequency.
  • Reculture urine 3 days before discontinuing antibiotic therapy. This step is optional, but it confirms that when therapy was discontinued the culture was still negative. Positive bacterial growth at this stage suggests a refractory infection or newly inoculated organism. Patients with a positive culture should be investigated for any nidus of infection , and treatment should be altered and new therapy instituted for the same duration as previously intended.
  • Reculture urine 7 to 14 days after discontinuing antibiotic therapy. Positive growth should prompt investigation for causes of relapse or reinfection.

What Causes This Cancer

The reason why a particular pet may develop this, or any tumor or cancer, is not straightforward. Very few tumors and cancers have a single known cause. Most seem to be caused by a complex mix of risk factors, some environmental and some genetic or hereditary.

Urinary tract tumors are most common in middle-aged to older animals. However, a rare form of primary kidney cancer called a nephroblastoma usually occurs in dogs less than 1 year of age and young cats. Its cause is related to genetic changes that occur early in life. In German Shepherds, a mutation of a specific gene is associated with renal carcinoma and the development of a nodular skin condition called dermatofibrosis.

Bladder tumors in dogs have been linked to being overweight and to exposure to certain insecticides. It has also been proposed that chronic bladder infections and inflammation may increase the risk of developing bladder cancers. Certain breeds of dogs are more likely to develop bladder tumors, including the Scottish Terrier.

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What Are The Signs Of Bladder Stones In Dogs

Bladder stones start out small but over time can grow in number and/or size. Dogs with bladder stones typically have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Urinary accidents
  • Discolored urine
  • Licking around the urinary opening

These clinical signs can be seen with other diseases affecting the urinary tract , so the diagnosis of bladder stones has to be confirmed with either an X-ray or ultrasound.

Nsaids For Pain Relief

Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats

Since urinary tract infections can be quite uncomfortable, your vet may also prescribe a NSAID to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Its important to note that not only are UTIs distressing for your dog, but they can also be quite dangerous. Thats why it is important to seek treatment from a vet right away rather than trying to treat your dog at home.

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Why Uti Screening May Be Necessary Before A Dog Shows Symptoms

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.

Baileys Story: Predisposing Factors Play A Role In Utis In Dogs

Bailey, a massive black Newfy, was scheduled with me for acupuncture. She had recently become acutely paralyzed, most likely due to a fibrocartilaginous embolism . I will never forget meeting her because Baileys owner pushed her into the office on a luggage cart like they have in the Marriott lobby. Unusual but brilliant.Fortunately, with time and treatment, Bailey regained mobility. But her problems were not limited to her limbs.

She also had bladder involvement. The nerves that innervate the hind legs come from the same general area in the spine as the nerves that run to the colon and the bladder. This is why its not uncommon to see bladder involvement with hind limb nerve damage.

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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.

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