It's been noted that at least a quarter of all dogs will suffer from a unitary tract infection at least once in their lifetime. This condition can cause serious pain and discomfort. Below, our vets in White Hall talk about the common symptoms of urinary tract infections, the uncomfortable symptoms your pup may experience and what the treatment options are.
Dog Urinary Tract Infections: Causes
So how does a dog get a urinary tract infection? Approximately 27% of dogs will develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their life, with a large percentage of those being caused by a bacterial infection. These are not the only possible causes of urinary tract infections in dogs though. Some of the other possible causes include:
- Viral infection
- Urinary stones
- bladder inflammation
- Weak bladder
- Fungal infection
- Kidney disease
- spinal cord disease
- Prostrate disease
Dog Urinary Tract Infections: Symptoms
The symptoms associated with dog urinary tract infections are no joke. Your dog will be in pain which can be quite difficult to handle as a pet parent. Some of the other possible symptoms of dog urinary tract infections include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Accidents in the house
- Dribbling urine
- Loss of bladder control
- Blood in urine
- Signs of pain while urinating
- Licking excessively following urination
Treating UTIs in Dogs
If your dog has a UTI it is essential to see your vet for an examination so that the cause of your dog's symptoms can be diagnosed.
The treatment recommended to clear up your pup's UTI will be determined by the underlying cause of your dog's symptoms.
If your dog has a urinary tract infection some of the treatment options may include:
Managing the Pain of UTIs
- A UTI can be a very painful condition for your pooch to deal with. To help relieve pain caused by UTIs your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatories for your pet, or in severe cases stronger painkillers may be administered by injection.
Antibiotics to Help Clear Up The Urinary Tract Infection
- If your dog's UTI is being caused by a bacterial infection, your vet may prescribe a round of antibiotics for your pet. If your vet prescribes antibiotics for your dog's UTI you can expect to see an improvement within a couple of days. However, it's important to continue antibiotic treatment until the full prescription has been used up. Ending treatment early can lead to a reinfection that may be harder to fight.
Treating the Related Conditions
- Underlying conditions such as diabetes or Cushing's disease can lead to recurring urinary tract infections in dogs. If your dog has an underlying health condition, treatment may focus primarily on the underlying condition as a means of stopping the infections from happening. In some dogs, prostate disease can be controlled with chemical or surgical castration, and the growth of bladder tumors may be slowed with medications.
Change in Diet to Manage Symptoms
- For some dogs, a diet specially formulated to alter urine acidity, and prevent stone formation can help to reduce the inflammation that can lead to UTIs in dogs. Supplements may also help to encourage your dog to drink more in order to dilute the urine.
Surgery For Severe Cases
- Large urinary stones that persist in spite of dietary modifications may need to be surgically removed. Dogs typically handle this surgery well and see an improvement in 1-2 weeks. In some cases, stones may be analyzed to determine the most appropriate ongoing treatment for your pup.
Urethral Sphincter Medication
- Your vet may prescribe medication to help 'tighten' your dog's urethra to help control the release of urine. This treatment is typically used in dogs experiencing incontinence with no detectable underlying cause.
Bladder Support Medications & Supplements
- Your dog may benefit from ongoing treatment with antioxidant, probiotic and prebiotic supplements which aim to support the gut good bacteria' and improve the overall condition of your pup's gut lining. If you'd like to give your dog supplements, be sure to speak to your veterinarian first in order to prevent problematic drug interactions from occurring.
100% Pure Cranberry Juice (No Juice Blends)
- Cranberry juice is frequently used to fight urinary tract infections in people, and can sometimes be helpful in fighting UTIs in dogs. It is believed that pure cranberry juice can help to prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the wall of your dog's bladder, meaning that it can be flushed out of your pup's system faster. Consult your vet before giving your dog cranberry juice, or any other natural treatments.
If your dog is displaying symptoms of a urinary tract infection it is essential to seek veterinary care. UITs can be a symptom of a very serious underlying condition, and left untreated a UTI could go on to cause more serious conditions such as kidney disease.
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.