How can you tell if your puppy has a UTI? Tips and Tricks

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections in Puppies

Each puppy may display symptoms of a UTI differently, if at all. However, much like a UTI in a human, the infection is painful for your puppy and you will likely notice his discomfort when he tries to relieve himself. Other symptoms can include:

  • An increase in the frequency of urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Small amounts of urine being passed at bathroom breaks
  • Difficulty or pain while urinating
  • Blood or pus in the urine
  • Urine that is cloudy or dark
  • Urine that has a smelly odor
  • Constantly licking his genital area
  • Appears to have abdominal pain
  • If your puppy is displaying any of these symptoms, he likely has an infection and should be taken to the vet for proper diagnosis.

    While a urinary tract infection is painful and uncomfortable for your puppy, it is generally not life-threatening. However, misdiagnosis can interfere with house training and result in accidents that are beyond the puppy’s control.

    In rare cases, a UTI may also be a sign of an underlying problem like Cushing’s disease in dogs, bladder stones, canine kidney failure, diabetes in dogs, or even bladder cancer. And if left untreated, a UTI can cause permanent damage to your puppy’s kidneys. So it is important to have a vet examine and properly diagnose you puppy.

    To diagnose a UTI, your veterinarian will perform a urinalysis to check for an infection and evaluate kidney function. Further diagnostic tests such as a culture or bloodwork may also be completed in order to determine the type of infection and rule out other health concerns. Your vet may also choose to take x-rays of your puppy to see if there are any stones or abnormalities in the urinary tract or bladder.

    The exact course of treatment will depend on your puppy’s specific case, but will likely involve antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria present in the body. Your vet may also recommend fluid therapy to help flush out the urinary tract and kidneys. If your puppy appears to be in a lot of pain, the vet may also prescribe pain medication to help. If bladder stones are present, surgery may be required to remove them.

    When administering antibiotics to your puppy, it is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions explicitly. Do not stop the antibiotics until directed, even if your puppy appears to be feeling better. If the round of antibiotics is not completed, the UTI could recur.

    As with most medical conditions, prevention is always better than treatment. Though there is no hard and fast prevention for urinary tract infections in puppies, you can try the following to help avoid them:

  • Drink Water: Encourage your puppy to drink plenty of water by ensuring that a full bowl of clean and fresh water is always available.
  • Cool It Down: On hot days, toss some ice cubes in your puppy’s bowl to help cool the water down.
  • Use Flowing Water: Many dogs and puppies like to drink from running water. If your puppy is particularly adverse to a bowl, consider purchasing a pet drinking fountain.
  • Give Probiotics: If your puppy is experiencing chronic UTIs, ask your vet if probiotics might help.
  • Keep It Clean: Be sure to frequently clean your puppy’s bowls to keep them clear of bacteria and mold. This is especially important when your leave food and water out all day for your puppy to consume freely.
  • Switch Food: Again, if your puppy is prone to UTIs, talk to your vet about switching to a dog food made specifically to promote urinary tract health.
  • Get a Checkup: An important step in keeping your puppy healthy and happy is to have annual checkups, which will help avoid health issues like UTIs.
  • Collecting a Urine Sample at the Veterinary Clinic

    If you cant get a sample at home, your vet can take a sterile sample with a needle. “Its a quick procedure that most dogs tolerate extremely well,” Marx says. In fact, a sterile sample is necessary if your vet wants to run a urine culture. Thats why its best to ask your vet first before trying to get a urine sample at home.

    Your dog may also need X-rays to check for bladder stones if your vet finds crystals in the urine sample. Bladder stones can cause recurring bladder infections and need to be treated as well.

    In most cases, Marx says treatment for a UTI in dogs is a simple course of antibiotics, usually prescribed for seven to 14 days. You should also encourage your dog to drink water to flush bacteria from the bladder.

    “Dogs should feel better by 48 hours after starting antibiotics,” Marx says. “Sometimes, it can be as early as 24 hours. But continue the medication for as long as prescribed by your vet to completely clear up the UTI.” Your vet can recheck the urine at a follow-up exam to make sure the bacteria is gone.

    Symptoms of Bladder Infection in Dogs

    The most common signs of bladder infections in dogs include pain or difficulties urinating, blood in urine or in some cases you may notice that your pup is only urinating very small amounts but frequently. Other indications of bladder infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs) include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Reduced quantity of urine
  • Accidents inside your home
  • Whimpering while urinating
  • Licking the genital area
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Lack of energy
  • If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms above its time to head to your veterinarian. Bladder infections and urinary tract infections are very uncomfortable and often painful for dogs. That said, when caught and treated early these infections can often be cleared up quickly and easily so the sooner you can get your pooch to the vet the better.

    Dog bladder infection or Dog urinary tract infection (UTI). Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment!

    Bladder infections and other bladder issues are as common in dogs as they are in people and just as painful and uncomfortable. Today our Citrus County vets share the causes, symptoms and treatments for bladder infections in dogs.