Canine Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms and Prevention

By Tess Thompson

Canine or feline urinary incontinence often foreshadows other ailments that could be worse and difficult to treat. There is a strong possibility of diabetes or other endocrinal disorder simultaneously occurring with canine and feline urinary infections. For instance, in dogs, if the bacteria travel beyond the urethra or bladder, a urinary tract infection then carries the risk of spreading to organs like the kidney or heart.

It is therefore extremely pertinent to understand how urinary tract infections can be prevented. Detection of symptoms at an early stage also helps, since a UTI is easily treatable with antibiotics. If the condition is attended to in time, critical damage to other organs can be avoided. Early detection is possible if you watch for the initial signs of a urinary tract infection in dogs, which includes:

  • Frequent urination, often at places the dog is not supposed to.
  • Whining or yelping in pain when trying to urinate.
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Pus or blood in urine.
  • Crystals in urine.
  • Making an effort but not actually urinating.
  • Frequent licking of the genital area.
  • Foul-smelling urine.
  • Incontinence/inability to control urine.
  • Tenderness in the area near the bladder.
  • Fever and lethargy.
  • Pain in the lower back.

Many of these symptoms are common and similar to other diseases. Painful urination, incontinence, hematuria (blood in urine), and lumbar pain are associated with diabetes, benign or malignant growths in the bladder, kidney masses and prostatitis. Breeds like the miniature schnauzer, dachshund, Dalmatian, pug, bulldog, Welsh corgi, basset hound, beagle and terrier are genetically predisposed to urinary calculi (a hard lump produced by the concentration of mineral salts in the urine). A veterinarian will usually advise urinalysis to rule out other causes of urinary problems before going in for urinary infection treatment.

The encouraging part is that urinary tract infections in dogs can be easily prevented by taking some simple measures. Holding urine for too long often leads to development of bacteria in the accumulated urine. If your dog is dehydrated easy, elimination of urine is hampered, which too can cause urine to remain in the bladder for too long. To facilitate the easy passing of urine, make sure that the dog bowl is always filled with fresh, clean water. Keep track of the dog's need to urinate and ensure he has easy access to the designated place whenever the need arises. Complete emptying of the bladder is necessary to prevent UTIs in puppies as well as adult dogs.

Ingestion of toxins and chemicals can lead to a situation where the body's organs are overworked, leading to poor performance of important organs like the kidney and the liver. Passive smoking not only harms humans, but it is also injurious to dogs. Keep the environment around your dog as clean as you can.

The urinary tract is normally sterile. The urethra is the most common entry point of bacteria. Humans are normally advised to keep their private parts clean. If possible, do as much as you can keep the dog's genitals clean.


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