Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C limit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
- Urinate when you feel the need. Do not wait.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Clean the genital area before and after sex, and urinate shortly after sex.
- Women should not use feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches.
- Cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight clothes and nylon underwear trap moisture. This can help bacteria grow.
- Repeated bouts of urinary tract infections can be treated with small doses of regular antibiotics.
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.
Urinary Tract Infections And Self
Shireen N. Farzadeh, PharmD Candidate 2019St. Johns University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New York
Emily M. Ambizas, PharmD, MPH, BCGPAssociate Clinical ProfessorSt. Johns University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New YorkClinical Specialist, Rite Aid PharmacyWhitestone, New York
US Pharm. 2017 9:4-7.
Urinary tract infections are the most commonly occurring infections, affecting approximately 150 million people worldwide each year.1 In the United States alone, the societal costs of UTIs are estimated to be $3.5 billion annually.1 UTIs can affect both men and women, but they are especially common in women of childbearing age.2 Most women will experience at least one episode during their lifetime by 32 years of age, more than half of all women will have reported having at least one urinary tract infection.2,3 Almost 25% of women will have a recurrent infection within a year.2
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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.
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs
There are trillions of bacteria that live in the environment. A dogs external genitalia hold onto a lot of bacteria from direct contact with the environment, licking/mouth contact, and normal bacteria found on the skin. A UTI forms when bacteria enter a dogs urethra from their external genitalia and enter their bladder.
A healthy bladder has defense mechanisms that help prevent bacteria from causing an infection. These mechanisms break down most types of bacteria. However, when these mechanisms are not functioning well or are broken down due to this invasion, the bacteria penetrate the bladder wall, causing inflammation and pain. Viruses and fungus can occasionally invade the bladder wall, too, with similar effects.
Acute UTIs in dogs are usually caused by bacteria going up into the urethra and infecting the bladder.
Chronic UTIs can be due to a number of underlying causes:
A reaction to immunosuppressive drugs
Why It Is Done
A home test for urinary tract infection may be done to:
- Find a UTI, especially in people who have UTIs often.
- Check how well treatment of a UTI is working. If you are being treated for a UTI, you can test your urine at home to see if the antibiotics have cured the infection.
- Test young children who have frequent bladder infections but may not be able to report their symptoms. A home test for these children is done under a doctor’s care.
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Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
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How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Bladder Infection
Health care professionals use your medical history, a physical exam, and tests to diagnose a bladder infection.
A health care professional will ask if you have a history of health conditions that make you more likely to develop any type of UTI. During a physical exam, the health care professional will ask you about your symptoms.
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Recovery And Management Of Utis In Cats
Most cats will fully recover within 7-10 days of developing a urinary tract infection, but they may need to remain on a canned diet for longer. Your vet may check a urine sample after treatment to determine if all the bacteria are gone.
Occasionally, cats will develop repeated urinary tract infections. Cats with recurring UTIs often require more testing to determine the underlying cause.
Uti Or Something Else
Although burning during urination is a telltale sign of a UTI, it can also be a symptom of a number of other problems such as a vaginal yeast infection or certain sexually transmitted diseases . These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Simple lab tests are available to distinguish a UTI from an STD. Interstitial cystitis also has many of the same symptoms as a urinary tract infection. It can happen in both men and women and can start after a UTI. A cystoscopy, a thin tube and camera that is inserted into the bladder, can not diagnosis interstitial cystitis, but it can help identify abnormalities in the badder that cause cystitis.
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Cultures And The Laboratory Diagnosis Of Utis
Routine bacterial urine cultures. Urine culture may not be necessary as part of the evaluation of outpatients with uncomplicated UTIs . However, urine cultures are necessary for outpatients who have recurrent UTIs, experience treatment failures, or have complicated UTIs. Urine cultures are also necessary for inpatients who develop UTIs. The bacterial culture remains an important test in the diagnosis of UTI, not only because it helps to document infection, but also because it is necessary for determination of the identity of the infecting microorganism and for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. This is particularly true because of the increased incidence of antimicrobial resistance.
Catheterized patients and many patients with infections of the lower urinary tract have colony counts much lower than 105 cfu/mL if the specimens are obtained via suprapubic aspirate or catheterization . Accordingly, the most appropriate diagnostic criterion for urine culture specimens obtained via suprapubic aspirate or catheterization is a bacterial concentration of 102 cfu/mL .
Interpreting culture results for urine specimens yielding common urinary tract pathogens.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
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How Are You Tested And Screened For A Uti
If you are experiencing symptoms like painful urination or a frequent urge to use the bathroom, you might be headed toward a UTI diagnosis. To find out for sure, youll need to have a healthcare professional, like your general practitioner, test your urine for both bacteria and other components that could indicate a urinary tract infection. When diagnosing a UTI, a urine test should be standard protocol. That, however, is not always the case. In fact, less than one in five patients treated for a UTI actually has a laboratory urine test to diagnose their problem, according to 2019 study in the journal E Clinical Medicine.30120-8/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 2)
What Natural Supplements Can I Take To Prevent Another Uti
There is little evidence that natural supplements can prevent UTIs, but you can try cranberry supplements or probiotics. Cranberries contain antioxidants that may help prevent bacteria in the urinary tract from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Drinking 10 to 30 oz of cranberry juice per day may be beneficial. Probiotics may help prevent UTIs by supporting the bodys natural microorganisms in the flora.
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How Do They Work
You can buy over-the-counter UTI dipstick tests at your local drugstore or online. They work much like a pregnancy test: Each kit comes with a testing strip . You wet a test strip by holding it in your urine stream for a few seconds. Or, you can collect urine in a clean cup and dip the strip into the sample. Wait 1 to 2 minutes for the color of the test strip to change. This will vary depending on the brand you use. Check the chart on the home test kit to find out if youâve tested positive for a UTI.
Home test kits might be useful if you have UTIs that keep coming back. They check for white blood cells and bacteria in the urine. But the results can be affected by a number of things, like medications youâre taking. And studies show that urine cultures are far more reliable for showing whether you have a UTI.
The bottom line: See your doctor to be sure, no matter what your UTI home test reveals.
What Uti Test Should Children Have
A UTI diagnosis in a child requires both a urinalysis and a urine culture, according to the most recent clinical practice guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In order to gather a proper urinary sample from a very young child, catheterization or a suprapubic aspirate is often recommended. Alternatively, your healthcare provider may simply leave the child diaper-free in order to obtain a sample when the child urinates. Some physicians collect urine using a bag. Samples obtained in this way, however, have a high rate of contamination, making results unreliable.
For children who are potty trained, a midstream urine sample should be collected. Its often recommended that girls sit backward on the toilet, in order to widen the labia and prevent contamination.
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What Happens When A Uti Goes Untreated
Thanks to early diagnosis and proper treatment, the vast majority of lower urinary tract infections result in no complications. However, if left untreated, a UTI can have serious ramifications notes the Mayo Clinic, including:
- Premature birth and low birth weight
- Kidney damage, which can occur is an untreated UTI spreads from the bladder to the kidneys.
What Do The Results Mean
If there are nitrites in your urine, it may mean that you have a UTI. But, even if no nitrites are found, you may still have an infection. That’s because some types of bacteria don’t change nitrates into nitrites.
Your provider will also look at other results of your urinalysis, especially tests that look for signs of white blood cells in your urine. White blood cells in urine may also mean you have a UTI. To learn what your results mean, talk with your provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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Treatment For Utis In Cats
If you see any signs of UTI in your cat, take them to the vet. For male cats, it can be fatal to wait even a few hours. For female cats, feed them canned food only and see the vet within 24 hours. You should not try to treat the UTI at home with things like cranberry products, which have not been proven to be effective for UTIs in cats.
Urinary tract infections in cats are usually treated with antibiotics. Often, vets also recommend feeding an all-canned diet for a period of time since dry foods often result in a more-concentrated urine, which can lead to urinary tract problems.
If your cat is particularly uncomfortable, your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory pain medicationespecially if treatment is delayed a few days while you wait for test results. Acute infections usually receive a relatively short course of antibiotics, while chronic UTIs may require longer antibiotic use.
Uti Causes And Risk Factors
The most common cause of a UTI in the urethra is a sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two STDs that can cause a UTI. STDs are also the most common cause of UTIs in younger men.
Prostate problems can also cause UTIs. An enlarged prostate is common in older men and can block the flow of urine. This can increase the odds that bacteria will build up and cause a UTI.
Prostatitis, which is an infection of the prostate, shares many of the same symptoms as UTIs.
Diabetes and other medical issues that affect your immune system can also make you more likely to get a UTI.
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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.
Can You Have A Bladder Infection Without Pain
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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.
Urinary Tract Infection Testing With Your Healthcare Provider
Your healthcare provider will ask about symptoms and past medical history.
The most frequent test performed is a urinalysis. To prevent bacteria on your skin from contaminating your urine sample a clean catch urine sample may be recommended, Youll be sent to a bathroom with sterile wipes and a collection cup for your urine.
To provide a clean urine sample:
- Women: Sit on the toilet, spread the labia, and wipe the labia area and the opening of the urethra with a sterile wipe front to back. Urinate briefly into the toilet with the labia spread. Then, stop the flow of urine, hold the cup in place, and urinate into the sterile cup provided.
This urine sample is then tested for bacteria and white blood cells. A healthy person can have bacteria in their urine, so a diagnosis of a UTI is made based on the results of the urinalysis along with symptoms.
In cases where a UTI keeps coming back, is serious or is complicated, a urine culture may also be done. Although this test is not needed for diagnosis, it can help find the best treatment because it will tell your healthcare provider what type of bacteria are causing the infection. It usually takes about two days to get results of the culture.
Although much less common, other tests may be done to find the cause of a recurrent or complicated UTI. An example would be a UTI caused by a stone in the kidney. These other less common tests include:
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Can Men Get Utis From Women
Men can get UTIs from women during sex, by getting the bacteria from a woman with the infection. However, this is unlikely.
Typically, the infection arises from bacteria that are already present in the mans body.
A doctor can diagnose a UTI by carrying out a physical examination, taking a medical history, and through laboratory tests.
The doctor may perform a physical examination that includes:
- checking the vital signs
- checking the abdomen, bladder area, sides, and back for pain or swelling
- examining the genitals
The doctor may ask if the person has had other UTIs in the past, or a family history of UTIs.
They may also question the person about their symptoms.
Laboratory tests are required to diagnose the infection as the symptoms of a UTI can be common to other diseases.
A urine sample is usually needed to look for the presence of pus and the bacteria causing the infection.
Men may be asked to give a urine sample. A man will need to start the urine stream to clean the urethra, and then collect a midstream sample in a cup. As bacteria multiply quickly at room temperature, this urine sample is either sent to the laboratory immediately or kept refrigerated until later.
The doctor may also ask for a urine test strip, also known as a urine dipstick test. This is a quick test in which a plastic or paper ribbon is dipped into the urine sample and then removed. If the person has a UTI, the ribbon will turn a particular color.