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- To treat your dog’s bladder infection, a vet will likely prescribe antibiotic treatment. Additionally and depending on your dog’s condition, painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs might be prescribed too.
- Symptoms of bladder infection in dogs include incontinence or urine accidents inside the house, straining or pain when peeing, blood or pus as well as crystals in the urine, and many more.
- Similar to humans, a dog develops urinary tract infection when bacteria travels up the urethra to the bladder where it multiplies and causes inflammation.
Did you know that bladder infection is one of the most common medical condition humans share with dogs? The symptoms and treatment of a dog’s bladder infection are also remarkably similar to those for a human’s.
Bladder infection in dogs can be a very serious problem. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems for your canine companions. I will discuss some of the most important tips for preventing bladder infections in dogs.
UTI in dogs
According to studies, 14 percent of the world’s dog population will get a bladder infection; and there is a 10 percent chance that a dog’s health issues are related to a bladder infection.
While any breed can get a bladder infection, recurring infections are more common in Poodles, Labrador Retrievers and middle-aged to senior German Shepherds. As with humans, females are more likely to get them since their urethras are shorter than those of male dogs. Making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder and other internal systems. According to studies, spayed female dogs are more prone to bladder infections than unspayed females. (But that is no reason not to spay your pet!)
While they’re rarely life-threatening, if left untreated, bladder infections can lead to serious health issues such as kidney stones or renal failure.
What are the Symptoms of Bladder Infection in Dogs?
According to vets, these are some of the symptoms that may indicate your dog has a bladder infection:
- She wants to go outside frequently
- Urinates in the house even though she is housebroken
- She urinates frequently in small amounts
- She may appear to strain or be in pain when she urinates
- The urine has a foul odor
- There is blood or pus in the urine
- The urine is cloudy, dark colored or contains crystals
Additional warning signs: Dogs bladder infections
- She frequently licks her genitalia (probably to relieve the burning sensation)
- Lacks energy
- Frequently drinks water and seems to have an insatiable thirst
- There is tenderness in her lower stomach area
Note that the symptoms for prostate cancer are similar to those for a bladder infection. So if he shows these symptoms, a vet will also likely want to rule out prostate cancer.
What Causes Of Bladder Infections in Dogs
As with humans, a dog’s urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria travels up the urethra to the bladder where it multiplies, causing pain and inflammation. However, it is noted that the bacteria can also come from the dog’s intestinal tract, the vulva and vagina in a female, or the prostate in a male.
The bacteria that your dog may ingest from unclean water or contaminated food are transmitted through the blood and the lymphatic system. UTIs in dogs are typically caused by escherichia coli (more commonly known as e-coli) inside your dog’s bladder. Other bacteria associated with bladder infections in dogs are esterococcus, coagulase positive straphylococcus, proteus mirabilis, klebsiella and pseudomonas.
In her response to an i Love Dogs Ask a Vet question, Dr. Michelle Hoag said urinary tract problems in dogs “are usually secondary to another underlying issue, although they can occasionally just get a primary ascending urinary tract infection because of squatting to urinate in a dirty place or because of a recent bout of diarrhea (in female dogs).”
Dr. Hoag said that other possible reasons include hormonal problems with the endocrine system, such as diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome, a urinary tract abnormality, such as a persistent hymen, ectopic ureter or a urethral sphincter disorder, or a problem within the urinary system, such as bladder or kidney stones or an infection in the kidneys.
The blood and lymphatic systems transport germs that your dog may acquire from unclean water or contaminated food. According to uti-in-dogs.com, “this causes traces of the bacteria escherichia coli inside your dog’s bladder. If this bacteria is not flushed out, it can cause further infection of the urinary tract.”
What Is the Procedure for Diagnosing a Bladder Infection?
Your vet will give your dog a physical examination and then perform a complete urinalysis, as well as a urine culture where a sample of your dog’s urine is tested and cultured to determine the bacteria present.
In addition to the urinalysis, your vet may do blood work to rule out diabetes and other diseases that cause similar symptoms. Any kidney or bladder stones will also be indicated in the blood work results.
If your pup’s bladder infection cannot be detected with the urinalysis or blood work, your vet may perform an ultrasound on your dog, or subject your dog’s urine to a fungal culture to see if the infection is caused by fungi.
What Treatment Options Are Available for a Bladder Infection in Dogs?
After a thorough examination of your dog’s urine. The veterinarian will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics to cure her bladder infection. The type of antibiotics your vet prescribes will be based on the bacteria identified. Based in the urine culture, the vet should be able to tell not only the bacteria present but which antibiotics this bacteria is sensitive or resistant to. This information in important for the antibiotic treatment plan.
After the course of antibiotics is completed, another urine culture should be performed to make sure the infection has cleared. If the dog’s bladder infection symptoms keep reappearing, he might need further blood testing and even x-rays and ultrasound to rule out other more serious underlying condition which need to be addressed immediately.
Antibiotics for bladder infection in dog
Some pet owners don’t like to give their dogs antibiotics because they worry about possible side effects. While it is true that antibiotics may also kill beneficial bacteria in your dog’s system, it will still cure the UTI symptoms that makes your dog suffer. Vets also like stress that if a dog is already taking antibiotics or steroids for other reason, bladder infection in itself can be a side effect.
Home remedies for a dog’s urinary tract infection
Advocates of homeopathic remedies and homemade treatments recommend giving your dog citrus juices, such as orange or cranberry juice. Which increases the urine’s acid level to help ward off bacteria. Many pet parents also swear by the effectivity of apple cider vinegar to correct a dog’s pH balance.
Other people like using herbs with antibacterial properties such as bearberry and barberry. There are also cranberry supplements that are safe for dogs. However, experts warn that these supplements and natural remedies do not really treat urinary tract infections, but only help manage the symptoms. This is why I still recommend to see your veterinarian and get a diagnosis with proper antibiotic treatment if necessary.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Bladder Infection?
Pet owners can take the following steps to prevent a dog from getting a bladder infection:
- Bathe your dog at least once a week so bacteria from her urine won’t travel to the urethra and create an infection.
- Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, clean drinking water.
- Try to have it restrained to a clean wide area so it cannot spread microbes everywhere it goes. He must be comfortable but leashed.
- Take your dog on frequent walks (at least twice a day if possible) to encourage urination and thus prevent the build-up of bacteria.
- Avoid treating your dog with corticosteroids, which may increase the risk of infection.