Treating a UTI in Dogs

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UTIs, or Urinary Tract Infections, can be very painful for dogs, and potentially dangerous, but is treatable.

Symptoms of UTI in dogs include difficulty and (or) bleeding while urinating and constant licking of the privates. Older female dogs and dogs with diabetes mellitus are more likely to develop a UTI, but it can affect the general population as well. Dog UTI treatment is accessible and can help the dog in the long run. 

What causes urinary tract infection in dogs?

The most common reason for UTI is a bacterial infection – when E. Coli bacteria enters upwards through the urethral opening, it causes this illness. The infection can also develop when feces enter the urethral opening, or the dog’s immune system is weak. However, there may other underlying causes such as:

●      Stones, crystals and debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra

●      Bladder inflammation or infection

●      Incontinence from excessive consumption of water or weak bladder/hormonal issues

●      Trauma

●  Cancer, congenital abnormality and prostrate disease

Symptoms of a UTI

Urine and stools are the easiest markers to observe and determine the health of a dog — any change in consistency, habits or colouration will have an underlying cause and may need attention. In the case of a UTI, this is how you can identify it for proper dog UTI treatment:

●      Urine will be cloudy or have bloody colouration

●      The dog may feel pain and whimper while urinating and try to strain, or will pass urine in frequent but small quantities

●      Urination in the house or wanting to be let outside often

●      Dribbling urine

●      Constant licking around the urinary opening

●      A strong odour

●      Increased water consumption

●  As the infection spreads, fever, lethargy, runny eyes or dry nose and other symptoms will appear.

Dog UTI prevention

The early signs of a UTI are fairly noticeable in dogs. You will notice that your dog will have difficult urinating and might itch and scratch the area constantly. Frequent licking of genitals is also a signal that you need to check your dog for a UTI. Remember that a UTI can come back at any time, so treating your dog should include a holistic plan that will at least prevent reoccurance. Puppy UTI treatment is easier as they are less likely to have co-morbidities, so medicating the dog to cure it of its UTI comes with less complications.  

Prevent urinary tract infections easily

Some simple steps that can help in the prevention of UTIs are:

●      Ensuring dogs have sufficient and clean drinking water

●      Regular and thorough grooming including the genital area, especially in long-haired dogs

●  Scheduling regular loo breaks because the longer the urine stays in the bladder, the more the opportunity for bacteria to multiply[1] 

Dog UTI test: How is a UTI in dogs diagnosed?

Your dog’s veterinarian will perform certain blood tests/blood work that can determine the existence of a urinary tract infection in the dog. A urinalysis is a test to study the urine of a dog in order to determine an infection.

Cystocentesis is when the urine is taken directly from the bladder in order to test its bacteria levels.

Diagnosis of a UTI

Different conditions that commonly fall under urinary tract infections (UTI) include:

●      Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB),

●      Cystitis (bladder infection)

●      Prostatitis (infection of the prostate), and

●  Pyelonephritis (infection of kidney)

To determine the exact issue, the vet should do a urinalysis and possibly urine culture. They may recommend a complete blood count (CBC) test that will show the level of infection, liver and kidney function tests that will show any compromise of the organs, and an ultrasound to determine if there is any thickness or swelling of internal organs.

Complications that can occur if UTI is left untreated

Dog UTI treatment is important because it can cause other problems in your dog’s health. Some of these complications are blood poisoning, cancer, loss of vital reproductive organs, and kidney failure. If the UTI remains for too long, kidney stones are liable to occur.

Dog UTI treatment: What will the vet prescribe?

Effective remedy for a UTI

Do not medicate your dog without consulting with a veterinarian.

The doctor will prescribe antibiotics for UTI in dogs for a period of 10 to 14 days to treat the infection. This may be accompanied by a common acidity regulator such as Rantadine. A list of possible medication is mentioned below and can be bought from a medical store for humans.

●      Cefpodoxime 100mg/10kg/ day for Proteus and E-Coli infections

●      Cephalexin 200mg/10kg/ day for Staphyloccocus, Streptococcus, Proteus, E-Coli and Klebsiella infections

●      Doxycycline: 100mg/10kg/day for Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and some activity against E-Coli

●  Gentamycin: 100mg/20kg/day for Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Proteus, E-Coli and Klebsiella

Home remedies for dog UTI treatment

There is so much good food you can feed to your dog that have health benefits and preventative properties. Diet affects the pH levels in urine, so ensure that you feed your dog food that does not cause an imbalance here. Look to your vet to recommend a vitamin C supplement. It is also important to keep your dog extremely well-hydrated in order to naturally flush out bacteria through the act of relieving itself.

Further steps to address an underlying cause include:

●      Dietary changes including increasing water intake

●      Using wet wipes to clean the urinary opening

●      Urinary acidifier or alkalizer

●  Surgery may be required if there is a congenital condition or to remove bladder stones/tumour

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How do I know my dog has a UTI?

There are some common and confirmed symptoms of UTI in dogs that you need to look out for as dog parents. When you see your dog whining or crying while urinating, incontinence and disrupted urine passing, frequent licking of the genitals, bloody or cloudy urine etc, it is time to take your doctor to the vet as they may have UTI. 

2. How long does a UTI last in dogs?

A dog UTI can last for some time if not treated. Upon detection and beginning of broad spectrum antibiotics, it takes 2 weeks to recover. UTI is a painful process and early detection and treatment can save your dog from a lot of suffering.  

3. Can a dog UTI cure itself?

A dog UTI can not cure itself normally. It is essential to see a vet and get a proper dog UTI treatment that includes Urinalysis and some blood tests to decide which medications to prescribe. When left untreated, UTIs can lead to kidney stones and other diseases. 

4. How can I treat my dog’s UTI at home?

It is advised against treating such serious issues at home but there are certain home remedies for dog UTI that help lower the pain and can be used for maintenance of a healthy system in your dogs. Cranberry juice and apple cider vinegar have been proven beneficial in treating UTIs in humans and the same applies to dogs as well but please consult your Vet before use. In addition, ensure that your dog is hydrated and has proper intakes of vitamin c.  

5. What can I give my puppy for a UTI?

In a dog UTI treatment, broad-spectrum antibiotics are used. In the case of a puppy, the treatment and recovery process is much faster. Apart from that, there is no major difference in the treatment procedures for both. To provide relief to your puppy during a UTI, ensure that it gets a lot of liquid-based diets and focus on balancing its pH level. You can also consult a vet in order to get some over-the-counter medicine. 

The information contained in VOSD Vet Advice™ is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical action which is provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.

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