Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

By Maria Posted in dog care /

The canine urinary tract is composed of two sections: upper (kidneys and ureters) and lower (bladder and urethra). Infections occur more often in the lower tract but can spread upward if left untreated. Because their urethra is shorter, female dogs are at a higher risk of urinary tract infections than males.

photoIf your dog has urinary tract infection (UTI), he may whimper or strain when he tries to urinate. Infected urine usually burns as it goes out of the body, causing discomfort. He may also be lethargic or have a fever. If you press his tummy lightly and he whimpers or groans, it means there is some tenderness in the area.

Your pooch may pace back and forth and try to avoid going to the bathroom because of the pain associated with it. However, it is likely that he will go outside more frequently than usual because the bladder is irritated and with greater urgency because he has put it off. This can lead to accidents inside the home.

Should you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s time to get a diagnosis. Your vet will want a urine sample, which you can collect at home. You will need a large spoon and a disposable cup. When your dog starts to pee, put the spoon under the stream of urine and dump it into the cup. Take a moment to note the smell. Infected urine usually has a foul odor. You might also see pus, blood, or crystals. Even if you don’t, there may still be some microscopic changes in the urine.

A urinalysis will be conducted on the sample you bring to your vet. This will determine the pH level of the urine, how concentrated or dilute it is, and how much protein it contains. The urine will also be examined under a microscope to identify any blood cells, bacteria, or crystals. If you’re unable to bring a urine sample, your vet may withdraw urine from your dog’s bladder with a catheter or aspirate the urine by inserting a needle through the abdominal wall and into the bladder.

Your vet will most likely check if there is anything blocking your pooch’s urinary tract, because an obstruction can cause the same symptoms as a UTI. Blockage can be the result of kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, or a tumor growing near or in the urinary tract. Your vet will feel your dog’s abdomen for swelling or lumps. He will also perform a rectal exam to examine the urethra and, for male dogs, feel the prostate.

Antibiotics are used to treat UTI’s. If the infection is caught in the early stages, antibiotics will be prescribed for 14 days. If it has already reached the kidneys, 30 days of treatment will be required.

It is important to finish all the antibiotics even if your dog starts to feel better after only a few days. Taking antibiotics for fewer than the prescribed number of days leaves a small amount of bacteria, allowing the infection to return. When this happens, the bacteria will be stronger and may become resistant to the antibiotics, making treatment more difficult and more expensive.

At the end of the treatment period, your vet will likely take another urine sample to make sure that your dog is completely healthy. If he isn’t in the pink yet, another round of antibiotics will be prescribed.

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One Response to “Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment”

  1. http://puregarciniacambogiablog.org Says: April 17th, 2013 at 12:04 pm

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