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Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs

Dogs could seem infallible — in any case, they often chew things which might be never alleged to be eaten — but they will still get sick once in a while. Like individuals, canine can endure from urinary tract infections (UTIs), which may cause disagreeable symptoms like ache whereas urinating, frequent urination and incapability to urinate. It may well also result in different urinary illnesses.

Urinary tract infections have two major classifications: lower urinary tract disease (LUTD) or higher urinary tract infections. Infections that happen in the decrease urinary tract involve the bladder and/or urethra, whereas upper urinary tract infections target the kidneys and ureters, which may typically be extra critical. Infections in the lower urinary tract are usually extra widespread as a result of there’s less ground the micro organism needs to cover. As soon as micro organism enters a canine’s urethra, its first cease is in the decrease urinary tract, the place it will probably wreak havoc. Infections unfold to the upper urinary tract once they go untreated, allowing the bacteria to proceed up the ureters and into the kidneys.

“Pets can get lower urinary tract disease (LUTD), which is an infection or inflammation of the bladder and/or the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body),” explains Dr. Russi, DVM, Banfield Pet Hospital.

Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria that naturally makes itself residence in or on the physique by accident gets into an space it’s not purported to be. Micro organism like Streptococcus and Escherichia coli are widespread causes. Other widespread causes of UTIs in pets might embrace endocrine illnesses and accidents.

“There can be several causes of LUTD, including bacterial infection, stones, anatomical defects, incontinence or even cancer,” Dr. Russi says.


Symptoms of UTIs in pets are lots like the signs of UTIs in humans.

“If your pet has frequent or difficult urination, painful urination, inappropriate urination, blood in the urine and/or excessive licking of the genital area, he may have a LUTD,” Dr. Russi explains.

As for “inappropriate urination,” that would imply something from incapability to urinate, straining to pee, cloudy or bloody urine, sudden peeing in the house, and more. Dogs with UTIs may additionally vomit or exhibit signs of back pain. Like with humans, canine with UTIs might pee extra typically. For example, a canine that sometimes sleeps by means of the night time might rise up to go to the toilet a few occasions.

A dog who peed on the floor, wanting up. Images © damedeeso | iStock / Getty Pictures Plus.

Dogster’s own Government Editor Melissa Kauffman lately experienced UTI with each her canine. “We had no idea,” she says. “One of our dog’s was having some health issues, so we attributed his restlessness at night and drinking more water to that. Turns out, not only did he have a UTI, but our other dog one too, and we didn’t notice any symptoms with him.” Each canine are 10 years previous, and UTIs can grow to be extra widespread as they grow old. “Once we found out one dog had a UTI, we tested the other one — and he had it too,” she says.

“If you notice any of these symptoms or anything seems off with your pet, it’s important to contact a veterinarian who can help determine the cause of the issue,” Dr. Russi advises.


When diagnosing UTIs in pets, operating checks is vital, identical to in diagnosing UTIs in people. With humans, a physician would possible have you ever pee in a cup, then run a check. Since our canine can’t actually goal for cups, the testing course of is a bit of totally different and sometimes, extra complicated. Capturing a urine sample in canine may be especially troublesome because UTIs may trigger a dog to not be capable of pee or to urinate in small quantities. That’s the place cystocentesis comes in. Cystocentesis is a process in which veterinarians insert a needle into the bladder by means of the stomach wall in order to seize a urine pattern. Once captured, a veterinarian will check the pattern.

“There are several tests that can quickly assist in making a diagnosis, including a urinalysis, blood chemistry panels, X-rays  or ultrasound,” Dr. Russi says. “A veterinarian will use the diagnostic tools best suited for the pet’s individual needs paired with a thorough physical exam and review of patient history to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.”


With most bacterial infections, the simplest obtainable remedy typically includes drugs and easily encouraging your canine to pee. This could mean walking your canine extra incessantly and encouraging him to drink a enough amount of water.

Based on Dr. Russi, remedy for UTIs in canine, “can consist of antimicrobial therapy, urine pH control, medications or dietary modifications.” To be able to naturally regulate the pH stability of your canine’s urine, you possibly can add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl, which can help manage the micro organism. Alternatively, you’ll be able to attempt the identical factor with adding recent lemon juice in the water bowl. Keep in mind, the more your canine drinks water, the more doubtless she is to flush out the an infection. Some homeopathic formulation bought at pet shops might embrace pure components reminiscent of blueberry, cranberry or echinacea.

A dog drinking water out of a bowl.

A dog consuming water out of a bowl. Images ©K_Thalhofer | Thinkstock.

Dr. Russi continues, “In serious cases, placement of a urinary catheter to allow for urination, intravenous fluid treatments, or possible surgical correction may be necessary.”


Usually, the prognosis of a urinary tract infection in pets is sweet. Dr. Russi advises that it’s necessary to stick to your pet’s remedy plan, however in most instances, UTIs or LUTDs usually are not something to worry about.

“While each pet is unique, if you follow the proper treatment plans given by your veterinarian, your pet should make a speedy recovery,” Dr. Russi adds. “As part of your pet’s treatment plan, your veterinarian might recommend having your pet re-checked with a follow-up urinalysis to monitor recovery.”

In fact, there are some instances in which urinary tract infections turn into very critical. This most often happens when infections travel from the decrease tract to greater up in the urinary system.

“In some cases, urinary tract infections can lead to serious side effects such as the development of bladder stones, prostate infections, infertility, kidney infections, and even blood infections,” Dr. Russi says.

Because of this, it is crucial to watch your pet as much as potential and take notes of all his signs. Should you’ve already gone to the vet for this problem, you may need to contemplate booking a follow-up appointment so your pet can get a follow-up urinalysis.

How one can forestall UTIs in canine

In some instances, way of life and dietary modifications might be made in order to quash a pet’s probability of creating an an infection.

“Your veterinarian can recommend ways you can help prevent LUTDs in your pet, depending on their unique needs and lifestyle,” Dr. Russi says.

These way of life modifications can embrace including high-sodium broth to your dog’s food, encouraging them to drink more, and including blueberries, cranberries and echinacea into your canine’s weight loss plan. Extra frequent walks might additionally enhance your dog’s probability of getting a UTI.

Bone broth is another great food to feed your dog. Photography by: ©Madeleine_Steinbach | Getty Images

Bone broth is one other nice meals to feed your canine. Images by: ©Madeleine_Steinbach | Getty Photographs

Dr. Russi provides that encouraging behaviors that naturally maintain the bladder free from an infection is among the most proactive things you can do because the pet mother or father.

“For dogs, avoid prolonged periods of urine retention whenever possible,” Dr. Russi advises. So, in brief, take your canine out to pee regularly. To ensure that this to work, nevertheless, you’ll need to encourage extra water consumption first. Some issues you can do embrace adding high-sodium broth to your canine’s food. The sodium will make your dog thirstier, inflicting him to drink extra. (Solely do this if your veterinarian recommends it as it might exacerbate other health issues your dog might have.) It’s also possible to find specially formulated meals for canine with UTIs at your local pet store or prescription diets via your veterinarian.

“While female dogs typically empty their bladders completely when they urinate, male dogs often only urinate small amounts at a time, keeping a reservoir available for marking territory,” Dr. Russi continues. “It may help with male dogs to take them for a long walk before going to work or bed, allowing them to completely empty their bladders. As with people, repeatedly being forced to wait to urinate can promote UTI development!”

Staying properly hydrated can even assist deter the development of UTIs in pets.

“It’s also important to make sure your pet always has access to clean water to stay hydrated,” Dr. Russi adds. “The act of urination can physically remove bacteria that is trying to make its way up the urethra. Appropriate hydration can help reduce the chance of stone formation which can complicate or contribute to a urinary tract infection.”

Understanding if your dog is more vulnerable to UTIs might be crucial to preventing them. Urinary tract infections are extra widespread in canine ages 7 and up and in addition, females. Male canine have an extended urethra, which makes it harder for micro organism to get into. Some breeds are additionally more prone than others, as their bodies are more likely to develop kidney stones. These breeds embrace Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terriers, because of their anatomy; since each of these breeds are usually shorter, they’re nearer to the ground, which means their urethra may be more steadily uncovered to feces left on the bottom.

Concerning the writer:

Stephanie Osmanski is a freelance writer and social media marketing consultant who specializes in well being and wellness content. Her phrases have appeared in Seventeen, Entire Canine Journal, Mother and father Journal and extra. She is presently pursuing an MFA in Artistic Writing at Stony Brook Southampton and writing a memoir. She lives in New York together with her Pomsky, Koda, who is an emotional help animal coaching to be a licensed therapy dog.

Study extra about UTIs and other widespread well being problems in canine at