Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

How Dangerous Can A Dog Urinary Tract Infection Be For Your Aussie?

Australian Shepherd

Cathch the signs of a urinary tract infection in your dog early and get them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

While you may believe that a dog urinary tract infection is no more dangerous than it is for humans there is one factor you need to keep in mind. Urinary tract infection in dogs can be much worse because they may not exhibit symptoms until things have gotten much worse than they would have likely gotten with a person. That's because a dog just won't be able to tell you what is happening. So it is up to you to be alert.

Owners who know their dogs well will be best able to see the signs and symptoms earlier and save them from unnecessary suffering and risk.

What Is Dog Urinary Tract Infection?

So let's start at the beginning and find out what a dog urinary infection is. The infection itself can actually be caused by different bacteria. For example E. coli, Staphylococcus and Proteus spp. (species) are the most common bacteria responsible but there are also others. This is one reason why it is so important to get to a vet as soon as you suspect a UTI with your dog.

Before your vet can proceed with a treatment they have to test for which bacteria they are dealing with as they are not all affected by the same antibiotic treatments. While a urinary tract infection in dogs is due to different types of bacteria we also need to address the initial cause that allowed for the infection to take hold in the first place.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs?

A UTI in dogs can be caused by many things. Some of them can be extremely serious and may even constitute a medical emergency. So, to reiterate—you need to see your vet so he/she can diagnose a UTI and its cause as soon as possible.

Contributing factors to the development of a urinary tract infection in dogs can be stones, crystals or inflammation in the bladder, incontinence (urine leakage), cancer, prostate disease and even stress. Diseases like diabetes mellitus can also be suspected as the crystals which develop can cause irritation and damage to the bladder and urethra. Any of these causes can allow bacteria to get a foothold.

Why You Need To Be Concerned About Dog Urinary Tract Infection?

Once the bacteria has taken hold it can quickly become a serious and even life threatening condition. In addition to being painful for your dog, the infection could spread to the kidneys leading to kidney failure and stones could result in a blockage of the urethra interrupting urination resulting in a rupture of the bladder.

The longer you wait, the greater the suffering of your dog, the greater vet bill and the greater the chances of a tragic outcome. Don't take the risk. Be alert for signs of a urinary tract infection in your dog.

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has A UTI?

A urinary tract infection in dogs has tell-tale signs. It's best if you are already familiar with your dog's normal habits like the frequency of urination and how long they generally take. While some of the ways you can tell if your dog has a UTI are subtle others are more obvious.

  • Cloudy urine which may also contain blood and have a strong door
  • Difficulty urinating and/or passing small amounts of urine
  • Incontinence; urine leakage / loss of bladder control
  • Passing more urine and/or increased frequency
  • Soiling in the house
  • Yelping in pain when passing urine
  • Frequent licking
  • Drinking more water
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in appetite / weight loss
  • Intense back pain

What Can Be Done About Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs?

Since there are many possible causes for a dog urinary tract infection your veterinarian will use a wide range of treatments. Here are some common approaches to deal with the infection and the underlying cause.

  • Antibiotics may be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments
  • Other medications / supplements
  • Urinary acidifiers or alkalinizers
  • Nutritional changes
  • Increase in water intake
  • Intravenous or subcutaneous fluid therapy
  • Surgery or other treatment to remove bladder stones or tumor
  • Surgery to correct congenital abnormality
  • Treatment of underlying condition that is contributing to urinary problem (e.g. diabetes mellitus)

Don't Underestimate The Seriousness Of A UTI In Dogs

The symptoms of a urinary tract infection in dogs can range from no visible symptoms to extreme pain requiring emergency medical treatment. Be alert to changes in your dog's urine and behavior when urinating. The sooner you can spot the signs and get your dog the medical attention they need the better. icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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