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Dogs UTI

Dogs UTI

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Canine UTIs

In the early stages, canine urinary tract infection (called cystitis) can be difficult to spot because clinical symptoms aren't always recognizable. Even though these infections are painful, dogs often have a high pain threshold and will suffer in silence.

 

Symptoms of Canine UTI

  • Frequent urination

  • Increased thirst

  • Blood in urine

  • Difficulty urinating

  • Cloudy urine

  • Incontinence

  • Urinating in uncustomary places like inside the house

  • Abnormally smelling urine

  • Depression

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fever

  • Inflammation of the external genitalia

  • Licking of the vulva in females

  • Vaginal discharge in females

  • Lethargy

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms it may be a sign that they are suffering from a urinary tract infection.

 

Causes

In dogs, a simple urinary tract infection is commonly caused by bacteria, either intestinal or environmental. The bacteria enters and ascends the urethra of your dog, proliferating in your canine's urinary bladder. In rare cases, the infections can be caused by fungi or viruses.

With these types of UTIs, infections can spring up anywhere along the dog's urinary tract. If the infection goes up into a place like the kidneys, it could cause some potentially serious problems like kidney infections and septicemia.

While female dogs are more vulnerable to these simple infections because of their shorter urethras, male dogs can get them, too.

Recurring infections are a sign that your dog might have a complicated UTI, one that has an underlying reason for recurring. These are more difficult to identify and treat because the underlying cause of them must be dealt with.

Causes of recurrent UTIs in dogs include:

  • bladder tumors,

  • polyps,

  • uroliths (stones),

  • cancer,

  • kidney failure,

  • neurological disorders,

  • elevated pH levels in urine that promote bacteria growth and diabetes and

  • bacterial resistance to antimicrobial drugs.

Detection of a UTI in your dog need not be complicated. A veterinarian will usually do a routine urinalysis as part of your dog's annual check up. If you are between vet visits and you suspect that your dog might have a UTI, there are inexpensive home testing kits you can buy and conduct at home to let you know if you need to schedule a vet appointment.

Antibiotics are the usual first wave of treatment for canine UTIs. If the UTI returns, things get slightly more complicated. The vet will have to take a culture sample from the urine to see exactly what microorganism is responsible for it. The vet will also try to identify any preexisting conditions in the dog that might be the cause, such as the aforementioned conditions related to complicated UTIs.

While simple canine UTIs usually heal up well after a treatment of antibiotics, fungal infections can be more difficult and for complicated UTIs, the prognosis is quite variable from animal to animal depending on the circumstances.

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