Young German Shepherd sitting on an examination table being checked over by a vet.

Symptoms, causes and treatments of UTIs in dogs

Lower urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are a frequent diagnosis of urinary problems, particularly among female dogs. An infection normally occurs when bacteria from debris or bodily fluids enters the urinary tract accidentally, although the infection can be a symptom of a weakened immune system. UTIs also occur if your dog has a chronic illness such as kidney or bladder disease or diabetes.

If your dog has a UTI, it will attempt to urinate frequently, often straining to do so and not necessarily being able to. Their urine might be cloudy or bloody, and they may dribble urine. They might also lick around the urinary opening to try and alleviate any irritation. In severe cases, your dog may also have a fever.

Your vet will conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of your dog’s UTI. If it is an infection, they will be treated with antibiotics. You should also encourage your dog to drink plenty of water so they are urinating frequently.

Symptoms, causes and treatments of bladder issues in your dog

Bladder problems are common in dogs, and are often related to UTIs and urolithiasis. The bladder is responsible for storing urine, with muscles connected to the bladder signalling to your dog when it’s time to urinate. Obstructions, include stones or growths, can interrupt these signals, while an infection can cause irritation and pain.

The symptoms of a bladder problem can include difficulty urinating, frequent attempts to urinate and weak or non-existent urine when your dog is eventually successful. Your dog may have a distended abdomen and be in pain, and in severe cases may lose its appetite or vomit.

Treating bladder problems may involve your vet putting a catheter on your dog to relieve their bladder while the vet identifies the cause of the issue. A complete blockage of the urinary tract can be fatal, as your dog won’t be able to get rid of waste products, so your vet may recommend surgery. They could also suggest medication and dietary changes to help manage any bladder problems in the future.

Because of importance of the urinary tract in ridding your dog of toxins, it’s crucial you contact your vet if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned here. Your vet will be able to determine the cause and provide you with the best care possible for your pet.

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