Urinary tract infections can be uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous for your dog. But how do you recognize the early warning signs?
Urinary tract infections in pets are common. A urinary tract infection is defined as an infection caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites in the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The infection is usually caused by bacteria in the environment or the intestines that enters the urethra and proliferates in the urinary bladder. Urinary tract infections may lead to increased frequency of urination, urgency, bloody urination, and inappropriate urination in your pet. Urinary tract infections occur more often in dogs and less often in cats.
Urinary tract infections are more common in dogs than in cats. Overweight pets with extra skin folds are at risk. Some female pets may have inverted vulvas that lead to bacterial buildup and secondary urinary tract infections. Very often, pets with weaker immune systems including geriatric pets as well as those with dental disease will more likely be prone to urinary tract infections. Chronic diseases such as , , cancer, and immune suppressive viruses in cats such as (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) may lead to urinary infections as well. Pets with a history of urine dribbling and involuntary urination also should be evaluated for urinary tract infection prior to starting medications such as (for dogs) for urine incontinence.
References Urinary Tract Infection in Dog:
Does Your Dog Have a Urinary Tract Infection? Learn the Symptoms
If not identified and treated in a timely manner, a canine urinary tract infection can endanger your dog's life, especially if the infection spreads from your pet's urinary tract to the rest of the animal's body. But with early detection and proper treatment a UTI doesn't have to be life threatening. A dog with a urinary tract infection will feel an increased need to urinate. You may notice your dog repeatedly expressing a need to go back outside to relieve himself. He may also begin to have "accidents", such as urinating indoors. If the frequency of your dog's urination increases, be very sure he doesn't have a canine urinary tract infection before you assume it's a behavior problem. You may also notice your dog nervously pacing around, indoors or outside. The first warning sign of a canine urinary tract infection is if your dog seems to be in pain or discomfort while urinating, especially if he is whimpering during urination. Any strain to urinate is a bad sign. If this is happening to your dog, it's time to find out if she is displaying other symptoms of a UTI. Your vet will test to rule out stones or obstructions, which can present symptoms similar to those of a UTI. If that is ruled out, your vet will conduct a urinalysis (to do so, the vet will obtain a sample of your dog's urine). If your dog has a urinary tract infection, your vet will perform a bacterial urine culture to confirm the presence of bacteria and identify the kind of bacteria that is causing the infection so the appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed.