The most common lower urinary tract disease in dogs over 7 years of age is incontinence related to a weak urinary sphincter muscle, enabling urine to “leakage” out. Bacterial infections are also typical. Endocrine diseases such as adrenal disease and diabetes mellitus can incline dogs to bacterial infection of the lower urinary tract.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and urinary tract stones are common in dogs. Due to the fact that these conditions can be painful, it’s crucial to understand what to expect in your dog.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Problems in Dogs
When dogs get UTIs, they may strain or have difficulty urinating, it may hurt for them to urinate, and they might have blood in their urine.
Breaking housetraining is another possible sign of a bladder problem. You may not know that there’s blood in your dog’s urine unless you see a pinkish stain on the carpet where he had an accident. Or you might see that when you’re gone, your typically well-behaved dog is peeing near the door and producing a large volume of urine. It helps to be very observant about your dog’s urination routines so you will notice if he seems to be straining or taking longer than regular to urinate.
Take your dog to the veterinarian if you observe the following signs:
- Frequent urination
- Breaking housetraining
- Blood in the urine
- Dribbling urine
- Crying out while urinating
- Straining to urinate
- Regularly or fanatically licking the genital area
What Causes UTI in Dogs?
To get a diagnosis, your vet will have to examine a urine sample for the presence of leukocyte, which indicate infection, or crystals, which suggest that the dog might have bladder stones. A urinalysis is a start, however culturing the urine– taking a sample and letting bacteria grow– allows us to understand for sure if there’s an infection and recognize the bacteria triggering it. It generally takes a few days to get the results of a urine culture.
Without a culture, your veterinarian cannot understand precisely which antibiotic to prescribe or perhaps if one is needed. Because of the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, we don’t prefer to recommend antibiotics unless they are absolutely required and we understand exactly which bacteria to target.
A culture likewise tells us other things about what may be causing the issue. For example, it’s a long, hard slog for bacteria to make it all the way up the male urethra. We do not view as many bladder infections in males since of that, so when they do have one, we know that something more serious may be going on, such as kidney or prostate infection or stones that are affecting the urinary tract.
Dogs can develop numerous kinds of urinary tract stones. We commonly see struvite stones, which frequently form in conjunction with bladder infections. We likewise see calcium oxalate stones. Any dog can get these, however small types such as Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos and Yorkshire Terriers seem to be predisposed to them, as are Miniature Schnauzers and Bichons Frises.
Some types are understood for a predisposition to particular types of stones. Male Dalmatians are prone to urate stones, and Scottish Deerhounds and some Dachshunds and Bulldogs are likely to develop cystine stones.
If we believe bladder stones, blood work and radiographs can help us to make a diagnosis. Sometimes, though, stones are hard to discover. Then we use more sophisticated treatments such as radiographs with dye, ultrasound or cystoscopy, which lets us take a look around inside the urethra and bladder.
Making an appropriate diagnosis is essential. We never ever want to presume that a dog has a garden-variety urinary tract infection and miss the real issue.
How to Treat Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs?
As soon as we have a diagnosis, we can prescribe a specific antibiotic when it comes to an infection or advise an unique diet to liquify stones. In some cases both are needed. For example, struvite stones normally liquify easily with an appropriate diet, and antibiotics may be had to treat an accompanying urinary tract infection.
Medications that Help
Many UTIs can be successfully treated with a course of antibiotics that lasts between 7 and 14 days. Antibiotics for dogs, like Cephalexin or Clavamox, are the most common treatment for UTIs due to their ability to ruin and hinder the growth of bacteria. Some vets recommend a follow-up urine culture after antibiotic treatment is complete to validate that the infection has been eradicated.
In some cases family pets with predisposed conditions might have to be on a long-lasting low-dose antibiotic treatment to prevent recurrent infection. Long-lasting use of any antibiotic comes with certain risks such as developing a resistance to antibiotics, so thoroughly discuss this option with your vet. Make sure to get all of the info and talk about side effects with your vet prior to administering any medication.
Can you do anything to prevent UTIs or stones in your dog? It’s not a silver bullet, but I constantly advise a drinking water fountain for family pets. Getting more water into your dog is never a bad thing. Many pets are brought in to running water, so a water fountain might encourage them to drink more. And for particular kinds of stones, we definitely wish to see the dog drinking plenty of water and urinating regularly, since that’s going to clean the crystals out prior to they can get together and start becoming stones.
Often nutraceuticals can be handy accessories to UTI treatment. Based on successful studies in women, your veterinarian may suggest probiotics to assist prevent recurring UTIs. Probiotics are thought to help by displacing the bacteria causing the infection and boosting the immune system’s response to infection-causing bacteria.