What Dog Food Is Good For Urinary Problems
Consider a prescription diet Large companies like Hill’s, Royal Canin, and Purina Pro Plan offer these formulas. Talk to your vet about which is best for your pup. Urinary tract problems can be painful for your pet and result in a near-constant need to have your pup have access to a place to go to the bathroom.
Five Signs Of Utis In Dogs
More Frequent Urination
One of the earliest signs of a UTI in dogs is a greater need to urinate. An increase in urination can be from drinking more water than usual, but it could also indicate an underlying condition. You may notice that you have to open the door for your dog more often to let your dog out or take them for more frequent walks.
Excessive Licking of the Urinary Opening
Dogs do not only lick themselves to clean their bodies they also lick to soothe pain and irritation. If you notice that your dog has become much more focused on licking themselves around the urinary opening, they may be experiencing pain from a UTI.
Accidents in the House
House-trained pets do generally not urinate indoors. They will generally be relaxed and capable of signaling that they need to use the bathroom before relieving themselves. If they do have an accident, it could hint that something is wrong.
Straining When Urinating
Listen to the sounds that your dog makes when they urinate. If it appears that they are straining to urinate, or whimpering in pain, a UTI or other serious condition is likely to be blamed.
Bloody or Cloudy Urine
The surest sign that your dog is suffering from a UTI is blood in their urine. If you ever spot blood in your dogs urine, then you need to take the time to have them tested by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Can Cranberry Juice Prevent Utis
Some of your girlfriends may have told you drinking cranberry juice can prevent UTIs. However, theres just not enough evidence to say whether its effective, and Dr Mcmullin advises against it.
Whilst this was best practice up until a few years ago, cranberry juice is no longer recommended to help treat or prevent UTIs. In fact, it can even interact with some antibiotics and reduce their effectiveness, says Dr Mcmullin.
If youre looking for something extra to help with the discomfort, Dr Mcmullin says a urinary alkaliniser like Ural is a great option whilst waiting for your antibiotics to kick in and treat the infection.
Urinary alkalinisers change the pH of the urine, which reduces the burning sensation and discomfort associated with UTIs. Its important to continue taking your full course of antibiotics though, even if you feel better, as they only provide symptom relief and dont treat the underlying infection, advises Dr Mcmullin.
If you ever experience any symptoms associated with a UTI or feel like somethings not quite right, dont delay in seeking medical attention as youll probably need a round of antibiotics to clear things up.
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Treatment For Utis In Dogs
Based on your dogs urine test results, your vet will prescribe an appropriate antibiotic for you to administer as directed.
For acute UTIs, vets usually prescribe an antibiotic for 1-2 weeks. If urine culture and sensitivity testing reveals resistant bacteria, then treatment will include an antibiotic found to fight off that particular bacteria.
To clear the infection for chronic UTIs, treatment will address the underlying cause. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for 4-8 weeks and are based on urine culture and sensitivity to avoid antibiotic resistance. In rare instances of chronic UTIs, your vet may prescribe a lifelong antibiotic for your dogs comfort.
Your vet may also prescribe pain medications, anti-inflammatories, and probiotic supplements to help treat and clear the infections.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections From Occurring
Some pet parents try giving their dog yogurt for a UTI, which is thought to balance a dog’s microbiome in general. But this method has varying results and doesn’t necessarily work for every dog. It’s best to ask your vet for a recommendation instead of trying a home remedy to prevent or treat UTIs.
Marx says the best thing you can do to prevent another UTI is to make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water. Also, take frequent walks or provide a lot of potty breaks for your dog throughout the day.
If your dog has recurring UTIs, your vet may recommend taking supplements. “Cranberry and vitamin C can help dogs that have chronic UTIs by lowering urine pH,” Marx says. “But discuss it with your vet before using any treatment. These supplements can make some types of infections worse, especially if certain crystal types are part of the cause.”
An underlying medical condition could also be what’s behind your dog’s multiple UTIs or difficulty getting one to go away. Your vet may suggest additional testing to determine the root cause of chronic UTIs.
Symptoms Of A Canine Urinary Issues
First of all, in order to properly asses possible health problems in dogs, it is important to know what their neutral baseline is. For example, you should know when and how often do they typically go to the bathroom. Additionally, keeping track of eating and drinking habits is a good idea. Finally, knowing their normal energy levels and general temperament is imperative.
Consequently, in the event symptoms of a budding health ailment arises, you will spot the disturbance quicker and easier. In the case of urinary tract infections, the following symptoms may present themselves:
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Increased incidents of “bad potty” in the house
- Difficulty urinating
- Incontinence or uncontrolled “dribbling”
- Excessive licking of nether regions
If you suspect your dog is suffering from a canine urinary tract infection, visit your veterinarian for further examination. It will be helpful if you bring a urine sample with you to the vet. Ideally, you should collect urine “mid-stream” directly from the source. This ensures the best possible sample for veterinarian testing. If this is impossible, you can collect a urine sample from the ground or floor. However, these samples will be contaminated with bacteria and impurities from the ground.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
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:
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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Underlying Health Condition Causing The Infection To Return
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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Utis In Dogs
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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Causes Of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs
In most cases urinary tract infections occur when bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract inhabit the genital area and then start moving up the urethra.
Certain issues and conditions serve as risk factors because they promote bacteria buildup and multiplication. The most common risk factors include:
- Systemic conditions affecting the immune system function like Cushings disease, obesity, hypothyroidism, and diabetes
- Stones, polyps, and tumors in the bladder
- Stones or tumors in the kidneys
- Prolonged use of certain medications like steroids or chemotherapy
- Weakened urinary sphincters as a result of old age or spay procedures which leads to persistent urine dripping
- Neurological problems
- Functional or structural abnormalities which lead to urine drops and moisture getting trapped in the genital area and acting as perfect breeding ground for germs.
Basically, any dog can develop a urinary tract infection. However, females are more likely simply because, in females, bacteria need to make shorter trips to reach the urinary tract structures than in males.
According to the American Kennel Club, certain dog breeds like Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus, and Bichon Frises are more likely to develop urinary tract infections.
Perhaps this is due to their tendency of forming urinary tract stones and stones are a risk factor for UTIs.
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.
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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Can Utis Be Prevented
While not a cure for UTIs, providing more water for your dog can lessen the chance of this infection from starting. Be sure your dog always has plenty of fresh, clean waterchange the bowl when you see globs of drool or food floating around. Let your dog outside more often if possibledont let him hold it for hours and hours. This can prevent an accident from happening in your home as well! You can also give your dog probiotic supplements to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria. Last, make sure the area around your dogs urinary opening is clean of any debris, scratches, etc. Most pet stores sell antibacterial wipes, which can be used to clean this area.
Diagnosing A Uti In Dogs
A urine sample needs to be collected and tested. If the dog shows symptoms indicative of an infection, a urinalysis and a urine culture can be performed simultaneously.
Urinalysis : Common UA findings for a dog with a urinary tract infection may include:
An excess of white blood cells
Presence of bacteria when the sediment is checked under the microscope
Excess protein in the urine
When a dog drinks an excessive amount of water, the urine may become too diluted to allow detection of bacteria or white blood cells. Many dogs with a UTI have no abnormalities on their UA, so a urine culture must be carried out to determine if theres an infection.
Urine culture: This is the only test that actually confirms a urinary tract infection is present. Urine is spun in a centrifuge to separate out the solids from the liquid. The solid part, known as the sediment, is placed in a container and incubated for bacterial growth. The confirmation of bacteria allows for further examination, including whether the bacteria are known to cause disease or likely to be harmless. The antibiotic profile helps doctors determine which antibiotics will work against the infection. Urine culture results are typically available within 3 to 5 days.
Urinary tract infections can be classified as uncomplicated or complicated:
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Sneaky Utis Are No Match For Informed Pet Parents
In conclusion, I believe in you. You know your dog better than anyone else. And with this information on the sneaky ways of UTIs, youre prepped to help your dog live the happiest, healthiest life possible.
If you sense any abnormality in your dog, and certainly anything related to the urinary tract, please call your veterinarian. Like all medical issues, the sooner it is diagnosed, the easier, cheaper, safer, and faster it can be resolved. And ultimately, that is the very best thing for our dogs.
Recovery Of Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs
Repeated urine cultures are sometimes necessary to verify if the antimicrobial agents have done the trick. In the case of a complicated UTI, the usual culture after one week of treatment will be repeated, prior to the end of the medication period, and then again a week to 10 days after the treatment has stopped. This may seem excessive but is absolutely essential in order to conclude if the chosen protocol will cure your pet of the pain and infection.
Though most UTIs clear up without complication once the treatment has begun, there can be instances where the antimicrobials do not seem to be effective.
- Noncompliance by the pet owner. Never stop the treatment before the veterinarian gives the go-ahead.
- The treatment may need to be repeated because the initial course was not long enough.
- There could be an antimicrobial resistance, in which case a different one will need to be prescribed.
- There could be an underlying cause that was not previously discovered or recognized.
Chronic urinary tract infection might require low dose continuous therapy. Low dose therapy might be discontinued once the veterinarian verifies, through urine culture, 6 months of bacteria free urine.
Studies are in process to determine if giving your dog cranberry juice, or extract can be beneficial for non-adherence of bacteria to the urinary tract .
As always, contact the veterinary team at any time if you have questions or concerns about the treatment prescribed for your furry family member.
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Causes Of Recurrent Uti
Common causes of UTI relapse include inappropriate antibiotic use , failure to eliminate predisposing causes , deep-seated infections that are inaccessible to the antibiotic , and emergence of drug-resistant pathogens. Common causes of apparent reinfection include failure to eliminate predisposing causes for UTI , systemic illness , presence of multiple pathogens in which only sensitive pathogens were eliminated by therapy, and spontaneous reinfection.
Most UTIs occur from ascending bacterial infection. There are normal host defenses that protect the urinary tract from infection. Normal voiding washes bacteria out of the urinary tract before they can establish an infection. Normal canine and feline urine is bactericidal from high osmolality and extremes in pH . Urothelium has also intrinsic antibacterial properties. Mechanical factors including the urethral high pressure zone, length of urethra, ureteral peristalsis, and ureterovesical “flap valves” act as mechanical barriers to ascending UTI.
Urinalysis And Other Tests
Sometimes your vet will be able to analyze the urine sample at the clinic that day. The veterinary team may use an automated analyzer or a urine dipstick and manual microscopic examination of the urine to look for signs of a UTI.
If white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria are all present in the urine, this makes infection likely. The urinalysis also can look for crystals that may indicate bladder stones, check the concentration of the urine, and screen for abnormal levels of other substances such a protein or glucose.
If the clinic doesnt have the equipment for the urinalysis or other specialized tests are indicated based on the in-clinic urinalysis, your vet may send the sample to a diagnostic lab. The lab can analyze the sample and also perform a culture and sensitivity test. The urine culture reveals which bacteria are growing in the urine and the sensitivity test indicates which antibiotics are the most likely to be effective against that bacteria.
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