Have you ever suffered from a urinary tract infection? If so, you know how uncomfortable it can be. You may be surprised to learn that your dog can suffer from urinary tract infections too. Many dog owners are not aware of this, so knowing the signs of an infection is beneficial.
While some dogs may never have one in their lifetime, the dogs that do suffer from them show symptoms that their owners may not even realize are indicators.
The Most Common Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection Are:
- Urine accidents inside the house
- Frequent urination
- Blood in the urine (this may be pink or red)
- Crying or whining while urinating
- Frequently licking the genital area
- Dribbling urine or the inability to urinate
If your dog shows these signs it’s important to take him to the Veterinarian for an evaluation. The Veterinarian will need a to perform a urinalysis. The urinalysis will show whether there are white blood cells present in your dogs urine or not. White blood cells in the urine indicate an infection. While the presence of white blood cells suggests an infection, it’s vital that this is confirmed by performing a culture. Culturing the urine and allowing bacteria to grow will allow the Veterinarian to be absolutely certain there is an infection and most importantly what type of bacteria is causing it.
A culture is vital because it allows the Veterinarian to know which antibiotic to treat your dog with due to the type of bacteria found. If no bacteria is present there is no need for an antibiotic. Veterinarians prefer not to prescribe antibiotics unless it’s absolutely needed due to the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A culture can also help determine if something else is going on in your dog’s body besides a urinary tract infection. A dog may exhibit signs of a urinary tract infection, but the type of bacteria found in the culture may indicate issues that are more serious than initially thought. For example, the culture may show that there is an issue in the kidney, prostate, or there may be kidney stones that are affecting the urinary tract.
How to Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Most importantly remember the symptoms of a urinary tract infection and look out for them. The sooner your dog receives treatment, the better he will feel. Some dogs are susceptible to reoccurring urinary tract infections, so it’s advised to know the signs and follow the directions and treatment plan your dog’s Veterinarian puts into place.
Many Veterinarians suggest giving your dog a daily urinary infection preventative. It’s also extremely beneficial to ensure your dog has access to water to drink throughout the day. Not only will it help your four legged pal to stay hydrated, but drinking plenty of water results in regular urinating. This helps to flush out and reduce the chance of bacteria growing in the urinary tract.