Monday, June 10, 2024

What Causes A Dog’s Urinary Tract Infection

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Preventing Urinary Issues In Dogs

Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs (UTI’s)

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 dogs 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. Thats right folks, we are talking aboutprobiotics for dogs.

Cranberry Bladder Health Supplements

We recommend ourPetHonesty CranBladder Health Chews. These tasty treats will:

  • Reduce the frequency of urinary issues
  • Improve bladder functionality

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My Dog Wont Go Potty Without Me

If your dog refuses to urinate outside, the best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical problems. If your dog is having UTIs, is having pain when climbing stairs, or is incontinent, medication may be the solution.

The weekly advice column Dog Gone Problems, written by Omaha dog behaviorist David Codr, is published here. Readers send in questions about dog behavior to Codr, who responds to them. Our dog refuses to potty outside unless we take him for a walk. How can I train my dog to go out by himself? Once your dog has received the command word, wait for it to be said again. Ignore him if he barks or jumps at you. This two-step process can be repeated twice more during the next 24 hours if you want to take the dog out.

This should be done slowly so that the dog gradually adjusts to doing business with you a little farther away each time. If you dont want to go to bed early, empty the water bowl an hour before you do. It is critical to break your puppy out of his or her potty before going to bed. It is impossible to stop your dog from responding when you pull the water before bed. When your dog barks at 2 or 4 a.m., do not allow him to leave the house.

Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs

Some dogs may be asymptomatic with a urinary tract infection. Signs that a dog is suffering from a bacterial invasion can vary, depending upon the extent of the infection and whether underlying diseases are complicating the illness. If you feel that your dog is having difficulty urinating, or is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, take him to the veterinary clinic without delay.

  • Licking of the urinary opening
  • Apparent difficulty urinating
  • Urinating in small amounts, frequently
  • Slow, painful voiding
  • Voiding large amounts of urine because of increased thirst

Urinary tract infection is usually classified in two ways.

  • Uncomplicated UTI
    • There is no underlying structural, functional or neurological abnormality found
    • The UTI will usually improve within 48 hours of commencement of treatment
    • The treatment course is 5 to 14 days
  • Complicated UTI
    • There is a predisposing cause for the UTI
    • Treatment could involve a therapy course of 4 to 6 weeks

Also Check: Natural Way To Get Rid Of Urinary Tract Infection

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

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.

Underlying Health Condition Causing The Infection To Return

Possible causes of urinary incontinence in dogs.

If there is a true infection thats been treated and has gone away , having it return yet again within a few months means that the UTI is a symptom in itself of another issue. The most common possibilities include:

  • Bladder or Kidney Stones
  • Cushings Disease
  • Other rare causes that we wont delve into due to the likelihood of me panicking you about all the possibilities

If I am suspicious of an underlying cause, I start first with an x-ray of the abdomen to look for a bladder stone. Most bladder stones contain some sort of mineral that makes them fairly easy to see on an x-ray. Its also a lot cheaper than an ultrasound so it makes a good first choice.

There are a few types of bladder stones, however, that dont show up on an x-ray but would require an ultrasound to identify. I had a case earlier this year involving urate stones that were invisible until we did an ultrasound.

Bladder masses nowadays can sometimes be diagnosed with the urinalysis. Transitional Cell Carcinoma is one of the most common types of bladder cancer and the cell for which its named is sometimes shed into the urine and seen during testing.

If I see an unusual amount of transitional cells in a urine sample, my next recommendation is to do an ultrasound. While an x-ray could show the bladder mass, I want an ultrasound to really look inside and see just how bad things are.

Also Check: Bladder And Urinary Tract Infections

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.

Dog Urinary Tract Infections: Signs To Look Out For

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.

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How Are Lower Urinary Tract Problems Treated

The vet will determine your dogâs treatment plan after they diagnose the underlying cause of the problem. The best treatment will depend on whatâs causing the symptoms.

After your dogâs diagnosis, your veterinarian may recommend some of the following:

  • Surgery to remove bladder stones or tumor
  • Surgery to correct congenital abnormality

If the vet determines your dogâs urinary tract problems are being caused by an underlying condition, theyâll seek to treat the underlying cause first.

Antibiotics are the typical treatment for UTIs in dogs, and the vet may also prescribe pain medication, because UTIs can be very uncomfortable for dogs. If your vet prescribes antibiotics, make sure you give your dog all of the medication, even if they appear to be doing better, to be sure the infection is resolved and to help prevent reinfection.

After the antibiotics, itâs important for your vet to recheck the urinalysis to confirm the infection is gone. If not, theyâll need to look for other issues that might be causing continued or repeat infections.

How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated

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

You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:

  • Nitrofurantoin.

Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.

If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.

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Read Also: Reasons For Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

How Does A Dog Get Urinary Issues

Urinary tract infections are caused by the unwelcomed entry of bad bacteria through the urethra. Typically, this bacteria is sourced from feces or dirt that gets caught in your dog’s undercarriage, so to speak.

Most often, E Coli is the bacteria responsible for causing urinary issues. However, the bacterias Porteus, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Streptococcus, Corynebacterium, and Pseudomonas can also cause urinary tract infections in dogs.

Signs And Symptoms Of Utis In Dogs


One of the best ways to tell if your dog has a UTI is to look for changes in their bathroom behavior and routine. Do they need to be let out more frequently? Are they dripping urine or whining in pain when they need to relieve themselves? UTI symptoms in dogs are not that different from humans. But it is essential to pay attention to your dogs cues and emotional and physical state.

  • Whimpering or physical distress during urination
  • Excessive licking around the urethra

A urinalysis from a veterinarian is the only definitive way to determine whether your dog has a UTI. These tests can also rule out other conditions like stones, diabetes, and more.

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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.

Subclinical Bacteriuriato Treat Or Not To Treat

5 Natural Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs

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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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.

Common Causes Of Bladder Infections In Dogs

Bladder infections are somewhat common affecting up to 27% of dogs and have many potential causes. Typically, theyre a result of bacteria traveling up the urethra and into the bladder. Dogs can pick up bacteria from the environment, swimming, or even spread from their own rectal or genital areas.

Some medical conditions and abnormalities that can predispose dogs to bladder infections include:

  • Endocrine diseases like diabetes and Cushings disease
  • Body abnormalities like a recessed vulva or vaginal stricture, allowing urine to pool or accumulate improperly
  • Bladder tumors or obstructions
  • Secondary to drugs that affect the immune system like steroids and chemotherapy
  • Kidney or prostate disease

Read Also: How To Overcome Urinary Incontinence

What Causes Bladder Infections In Dogs

Accidents in the house, asking to go out frequently or in the middle of the night, drinking more water, or simply acting out-of-sorts can all be indications that your dog may have a bladder infection .

Figuring out if your dog has a bladder infection is important for their overall comfort, but also helps prevent infections from becoming a recurring issue and resistant to treatment.

How Does A Vet Check For A Uti In Dogs

Symptoms for UTIs in Cats and Dogs

Pennys devastating story covers the importance of the early portion of early detection. Next, lets address the detection portion. After your vet performs a comprehensive physical exam and checks your dogs vital signs, he or she will want to examine a sample of your dogs urine.

In some cases, your dogs veterinarian may need to collect a sterile sample from the dogs bladder by cystocentesisdrawing the urine directly from the bladder using a needle. It sounds awful, but it is a very common, safe procedure and most dogs barely seem to notice. Also, it is the best way to get an idea of what the urine in the bladder is like, especially if your vet plans to culture your dogs urine.

You see, as we have discussed, bacteria can live around the external opening of the urethra and even start crawling up the urethra. So, if you collect a sample of your dogs urine when he or she urinates , that urine contains anything that was in the bladder PLUS whatever bacteria or debris were in or around the urethra.

Your vet may still be able to assess whether or not your dog has a UTI based on that sample, but sometimes the results are ambiguous. Plus, that sample isnt useful for a culture because of the bacteria from the urethra and surrounding skin.

By the way, in the event that your vet does want you to collect a urine sample at home, check out the tips in my blog, 7 Tips for Improving Your Dogs Lab Tests.

Recommended Reading: Over The Counter Medicine For Male Urinary Tract Infection

How To Treat Bladder Infection In Dogs

Antibiotics are the number one treatment for bladder infections in dogs. In some cases, your veterinarian may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or pain killers depending on the severity and underlying cause of your pet’s bladder infection.

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

It’s also important to note that your dog’s bladder infection symptoms could be caused by a more serious underlying condition that needs veterinary care. When it comes to your pet’s health it is always best to err on the side of caution and see your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

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