Does Your Dog Have A Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, can occur in both male and female dogs. So, as a dog owner, it's important that you know the symptoms of this problem and what to do if you think your dog may have a UTI.
Symptoms of a UTI
Dogs who have UTIs often have difficulty urinating. Your dog may appear to be straining when he or she urinates, or they may yelp or whine when urinating. Some dogs also have blood in their urine when they have a UTI. You may notice them urinating in the house, urinating more often than usual, or taking longer to urinate than usual. Frequently licking the genitals can also be a sign of a UTI.
Diagnosing a UTI
If you think your dog may have a UTI, it's time to call the vet. Your vet can take a sample of your dog's urine and analyze it to determine what bacteria are present. The test may take a day or two, since your vet will have to culture the urine (give the bacteria time to replicate in the sample) before a diagnosis can be made.
Treating a UTI
Once your vet knows what kind of bacteria are causing your dog's UTI, he or she can prescribe an antibiotic that works against that strain of bacteria. In most cases, this will be an oral antibiotic that you can give to your dog at home. Make sure you administer the antibiotic for the full recommended time. Otherwise, your dog's infection may come back even worse.
You'll also want to make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water, as this will flush out the urinary system. If your dog does not seem very interested in drinking, offering some canned chicken or beef broth a few times per day will help.
Preventing a UTI
Once your dog has had a UTI, he or she will be more likely to develop one again. You can help prevent UTIs by increasing your dog's water intake. Make sure water is available for him to drink at all times. Feed all or mostly wet dog food rather than dry kibble, or you can pour chicken broth over the dry kibble before feeding it to your dog. If your dog does develop repeated UTIs, Consider switching your dog to a food made specifically for UTI-prone dogs. These foods contain special ingredients that help prevent the infection-causing bacteria from clinging to the urinary tract.
To learn more about UTIs and protecting your dog, speak with s veterinarian at Apple Valley Animal Hospital.