What Are Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Dogs?

Have you ever noticed your pup whining when they go to the bathroom? Or maybe they seem to go more often than usual? As a dog owner, it’s important to understand what might be going on down there. Urinary tract infections are actually pretty common in dogs, and they can cause some uncomfortable symptoms for your furry friend. But don’t worry, UTIs are very treatable if caught early. This article will cover the signs of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs, potential causes, when to call your vet, and how to help your dog feel better fast. You’ll be an expert on your dog’s plumbing issues in no time! Getting familiar with UTIs now will prepare you in case your pup ever has tinkling troubles.

Signs and Symptoms of UTIs in Your Dog

Urinary tract infections in dogs, or UTIs, occur when bacteria enter the urinary system and infect the urethra, bladder, or kidneys.They’re quite common and can affect dogs of any age, sex, or breed.The most common symptoms of a UTI in dogs are frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, dribbling urine, or licking the genital area excessively. If your dog exhibits these behaviors, it’s best to have your vet examine a urine sample to determine if bacteria are present.

Diagnosing UTIs in Dogs

Your vet will take a urine sample from your dog to check for signs of infection like white blood cells, red blood cells, bacteria, and elevated protein levels. A culture and sensitivity test can also determine the specific bacteria causing the infection and which antibiotics will be most effective. X-rays or ultrasounds may be needed for complicated or recurrent UTIs to check for bladder stones or other abnormalities.

Treating UTIs in Dogs

Most UTIs in dogs are caused by bacteria like E. coli, Proteus, Staph, or Strep, so antibiotics are typically very effective. A round of medication, usually lasting 7 to 14 days, should eliminate the infection. It’s important to give all antibiotics as prescribed and return for a follow-up urinalysis to confirm the infection has cleared.  Recurrent or resistant infections may require special diets, supplements, or procedures to prevent future UTIs.

By understanding the signs, diagnosis, and treatment of UTIs in dogs, you can work closely with your vet to keep your pup healthy and comfortable. Catching infections early and following through with complete care recommendations are key to your dog’s urinary tract health and wellbeing.

How to Treat and Prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Dogs

How to Treat and Prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Dogs

The good news is UTIs in dogs are usually easily treatable. Once diagnosed, your vet will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics to clear the infection. Make sure to give your pup the full round of medication as prescribed to knock out the bacteria causing the UTI.

Hydrate Your Dog

Increasing your dog’s water intake will help flush out their urinary tract and speed healing. Offer extra opportunities for your dog to drink, especially right after they’ve been outside. You can also add a bit of low-sodium chicken or bone broth to their water to encourage them to drink. 

Provide Cranberry Supplements 

Cranberry supplements, just like for humans, may help prevent UTIs in dogs. Cranberry works by preventing bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. You can find cranberry supplements formulated for dogs to add to their food or water.

To help prevent future infections, make sure your dog has easy access to fresh, clean water at all times. Take your dog out frequently for potty breaks, and thoroughly clean up any accidents in the house to avoid bacteria buildup. For female dogs, hygiene around their genital area is especially important. Gently wipe from front to back and be sure the area is dry after they go out.

With treatment and preventive care, UTIs in dogs can typically be resolved quickly and recurrence avoided. Paying close attention to your dog’s potty habits and hydration, and providing supplements when needed, can help keep your pup’s plumbing problem-free.

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