Urinary tract infection in dogs
Like people, dogs can also suffer from a urinary tract infection. We should know that most cases occur in bitches but any dog can suffer from this condition. This problem can affect any of the structures that form the urinary tract and should be treated quickly to avoid major problems in the future.
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In this article from YourCatCareguide we will tell you about the urinary tract infection in dogs , explaining how this disease is, why it occurs, what its symptoms are and what treatment is appropriate for it.
However, you should always keep in mind that the veterinarian is the only person who can make a real diagnosis of this disease. Regardless of whether your puppy is an adult, puppy or senior, take him to the veterinarian to start treatment as soon as possible.
What is a urinary tract infection?
Urinary tract infection can occur at random in any dog. However, those suffering from poor nutrition or few care, immunodepressed dogs, are susceptible to contracting the infection more easily.
The urinary system allows the body to properly eliminate toxic and disposable substances that the body does not need. This system, formed by the kidneys, ureters and urethra, allows us to get rid of what we do not need.
Urinary infections are caused by microorganisms that lodge in the urinary tract. They can be housed in our dog’s body if they come in contact with a sick dog but can also develop on their own. For example, dogs that do not urinate often enough are susceptible to a urinary tract infection because the bacteria they should evacuate go up to the bladder.
Finally, we warn that certain diseases can lead the dog to suffer from urinary infections. The onset of hormonal changes, tumors, stones, excessive moisture or other diseases can cause a urinary tract infection.
The urinary tract infection is given different technical names depending on the area in which it is found, as follows:
- Urethral infection: urethritis
- Bladder infection: cystitis
- Prostate infection
- Kidney infection: nephritis or pyelonephritis
The bacterium most commonly causing urinary infections in dogs is Escherichia coli . However, other genera of bacteria that are also frequent are: Staphylococcus , Proteus , Enterococcus , Klebsiella , Streptococcus , Enterobacter , Chlamydia and Pseudomonas .
Although bacteria are the most frequent pathogens in these infections, the urinary tract of dogs can also be infected with fungi, mycoplasmas, viruses, algae and parasitic worms.
Urinary infections are more frequent in females, since their urethra is shorter and wider, and they urinate less frequently than males. This facilitates the entry of pathogens and colonization of the urinary bladder. However, infections in males, although less frequent, are more difficult to treat, since antibiotics have less access to the sites where bacterial colonies form, especially when prostatitis has occurred.
When the infection is not treated properly, there is a risk of bacteria passing into the bloodstream causing sepsis that can be fatal or infects other organs.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs
In many cases the symptoms can be difficult to detect and it is common for the infection to appear during a veterinary visit for different causes. In other cases, the symptoms are more evident. The most common symptoms of urinary tract infection in dogs are:
- The dog urinates more often.
- The dog urinates little amount and often seems to have pains in doing so.
- The dog makes efforts to urinate, but can not or can only eject too little. In these cases, there may be an inflammation of the prostate or kidney stones or urethra. It is essential to take the dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
- The urine is cloudy.
- Urine smells bad.
- There is blood in the urine .
- The dog urinates in places where it is not customary to do so (for example, a well-mannered dog may urinate indoors).
- Mild or elevated fever .
- Loss of appetite.
- Depression and lethargy.
- Vaginal discharge in the case of females.
- Inflammation and irritation around the external genitalia.
- Frequent licking of the penis or vulva.
Diagnosis of urinary tract infection
The diagnosis of urinary tract infections is made through clinical symptoms and urinalysis . When necessary, a urinary culture is also made . All these procedures must be carried out by a professional. Although you consider that your puppy has obvious symptoms of a urinary tract infection, you may have overlooked a disease that has caused this situation.
Urine analysis is done with a reactive tape that is introduced into the urine sample. With this you can know the pH of the urine, the levels of proteins, ketones, glucose, bilirubin, nitrates and other substances indicative of organ function. The color, odor and general appearance of the urine are also evaluated. In addition, a sample is observed under a microscope to see if there are fungi, bacteria, white blood cells or other indicators of infection.
Urinary culture is necessary to know the specific bacterium causing the infection. It is most commonly used when initial treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics does not work. In cases where stones, inflammation of the prostate, or other obstructive or structural problems are suspected, X-rays and ultrasound are often used .
Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs
The treatment for bacterial urinary infections is the administration of antibiotics . Generally , broad-spectrum antibiotics are used that give good results, but in cases where they do not work, specific antibiotics should be given to the bacteria that causes the infection. It is important to administer the prescribed antibiotic for as long as the veterinarian indicates, even if the symptoms disappear sooner.
Non-bacterial infections are treated with other medications, such as fungicides and antiparasitics . When there are obstructions caused by stones or prostatitis, these problems must be treated at the same time as the infection. In addition, your veterinarian will recommend a diet that allows you to restore normal urine pH , which becomes alkaline during infection.
The prognosis will depend on the complication of the infection as well as the causative agents . Simple infections caused by bacteria usually have an excellent prognosis. On the contrary, fungal infections are more difficult to treat. More complicated urinary infections have a variable prognosis, depending on each case.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infection
To prevent urinary infections in dogs, it is important to allow the dog to urinate frequentlyand to make sure that fresh and clean drinking water is always at his disposal . This helps to eliminate bacteria from the urethra.
How often the dog urinates is usually the most common cause. Bacteria can not be drawn to the outside unless the dog urinates frequently. This situation occurs, for example, when the dog stays too long closed, or when he suffers from diseases that prevent him from moving properly, such as osteoarthritis, and therefore he refuses to move.
For dogs that are predisposed to develop calculi in the urinary tract, it is possible for the veterinarian to recommend a specific diet that will reduce the formation of these structures. The pH of the dog’s urine (the degree of acidity or alkalinity of urine) is influenced by feeding. A feed that alkalinizes the urine facilitates the appearance of infections.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest that you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles that might be products of Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs , we recommend that you enter our section on Infectious Diseases .