How to treat urinary tract and bladder infection in dogs

How To Treat Urinary Tract And Bladder Infection In Dogs

Is your dog in pain when peeing. Your dog may need your help.  Read how to tell if your dog needs help and why it is so important to treat urinary tract and bladder infection in dogs.

A colleague at work was recently telling me about how his dog, Ruff, was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. His dog was in pain and was rushed him to the vet. This prompted me to learn more about it to help others recognize the signs and seek help quickly.  A urinary or bladder infection can escalate to becoming very serious without the correct treatment. 

treat dog urinary tract and bladder infection

What causes urinary tract problems in dogs?

There are many causes of urinary tract problems and pain in dogs. Some of these include:

  • bacterial infections
  • Incontinence / weak bladder
  • bladder stones or crystals in the urine
  • obstruction of the urethra
  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Stress
  • Spinal cord abnormalities
  • Congenital abnormality
  • Prostate disease

Bacterial Infection

A bacterial infection can irritate the walls of the bladder. Dogs with an infection have the continual urge to pee,  even when there is in no urine present.

Dogs can get a infection when:

  • Bacteria travels up the urethra 
  • Adrenal disease and diabetes
  • Medications that surpress the immune system
  • Scar tissue from previous infections 

Dogs may frequently pass small amounts of urine, often tinged with blood. You may see your dog squatting and straining pee and it may be painful for them to urinate.

Although more common in females dogs, bladder infection can occur in any dog. Due to bladder infections in male dogs being uncommon, it is wise to consider that something more serious may be going on. This could include kidney or prostate infection or stones that are affecting the urinary tract.

There is not need to panic if you see these signs. Just get you dog along to the vet for a check-up.​

Bladder stones

Dogs can develop several types of urinary tract stones which can form along with bladder infections. 

Bladder infections can change the chemical makeup of the urine, which causes minerals in the urine to form small crystals or bladder stones. Bladder stones will increase the bladder irritation in your dog.

On some occasions, bladder stones can also block the outflow of urine, which is a serious emergency situation.

Any dog can get bladder stones but small breeds such as Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Miniature Schnauzers, Bichons Frises and Yorkshire Terriers seem to be predisposed to them. Other dogs that are prone to stones include male Dalmatians, Scottish Deerhounds, some Dachshunds and Bulldogs.

Sign that your dog needs your help

Accidently peeing in the house is a typical indicator of potential urinary tract or bladder infection, your normally well-behaved and house trained dog is peeing near the door and producing a large volume of urine.

Look for the following signs that your dog may have a lower urinary tract infection:

  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine / cloudy urine
  • Loss of bladder control / dribbling urine
  • Straining / crying out while urinating
  • Frequent or obsessively licking the genital area
  • Strong odor of urine
  • Sever back pain

Upper urinary tract infection affect the kidneys, can be extremely serious and may cause the following:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Change of appetite / weight loss
  • Fever
  • Tenderness of lower abdonmen

Be super observant about your dog’s peeing habits and if you notice your dog straining or taking longer than normal to pee, take your dog to the veterinarian.

Your dog may need immediate medical attention, especially if your dog is straining to urinate or crying out in pain. Don’t wait, get to the vet.

There are home test kits available if you suspect urinary tract and bladder infection in your dog.​ These kits test for Blood, Leukocytes (White Blood Cells) and Nitrite. You may wish to have these on hand.

How to treat urinary tract and bladder infection in dogs

Determining the cause of the urinary tract and bladder infection?

Your vet will start with a physical examination and take a urine sample. An analysis is often performed depending on your dog’s condition. Diagnosis may also required a urine culture, blood work, radiographs or ultrasound.

Your vet will identify the type of bacteria that is causing the infection so that your vet can determine whether an antibiotic is necessary and ensure the correct one is prescribed.

Because of the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is wise not to prescribe antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary and we know exactly which bacteria to target.

Making a correct diagnosis is important. We never want to assume that a dog has a garden-variety urinary tract infection and miss the real problem.

Can you do anything to prevent infection or stones in your dog?

There are measure that can be taken to decrease the chance of your dog getting an infection.

  • Ensure your dog is eating appropriate and healthy food
  • Plenty of clean drinking water
  • Maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness
  • Visit the vet regularly to maintain good overall health

For stones, your dog need to drink plenty of water and urinating frequently, because that’s going to wash the crystals out before they can get together and start turning into stones.

 Your veterinarian may recommend probiotics to help prevent recurring infection. Probiotics are thought to help by reducing the bacteria causing the infection and enhancing your dogs immune system.

How to treat my dog for urinary tract and bladder infection

Treatment for a simple bladder infection usually consists of a week or two of antibiotics. 

Because urinary problems are so varied and potentially serious in nature, you should go to the vet. Depending on your dog’s diagnosis, the following may be recommended:

  • Dietary change
  • Increase water intake
  • Urinary acidifiers or alkalinizers
  • Intravenous fluid therapy
  • Surgery
  • Treatment of any underlying conditions
  • Herbal Supplements

Natural treatment for urinary tract and bladder infection in dogs

Rather than give your dog antibiotics, which may cause side effects, some dog owners prefer to follow a more natural approach to treat urinary tract infection.

Whether your dog's infection is caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, or crystals, there are many natural remedies you can try if you wish to avoid antibiotics.

Only do this if you know what you are doing and seek advice from a Naturopathic Vet on the best treatment for you dog.

There are several herbal remedies that are thought to be effective and include:

  • Juniper berry is known to increasing the rate at which the kidneys filter out impurities and increases urine production.
  • Parsley leaf is an effective diuretic has antiseptic qualities that are great for treating urinary tract infections.
  • Uva Ursi leaf is one of the most powerful natural astringents available that can attack a variety of pathogens. It can also reduce the inflammation associated with these infections.
  • Marshallow root stimulates the immune system and attacks bacteria that cause these infections, while also soothing and reducing irritation.
  • Cranberry or Blueberry will prevent the bacteria from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract.
  • Supplementation with B vitamins and antioxidants in times of stress.
  • Cooling foods such as raw fruits, vegetables, and yogurt will reduce the symptoms of urinary tract infection.

Herbal Supplements

There are some good natural treatments for UTIs  without using harmful drugs & antibiotics. Look for only the best ingredients. Cranberry Dog Chews ingredient include cranberry fruit extract supplement with Apple Cider Vinegar which also helps to prevent flea, bladder infection & kidney infections. Cranberry stops bacteria and flushes them out in the urine. This parmaceutical grade formula remedies bladder pain, control inflammation relief and is a good post antibiotics medicine treatment. 

Cranberry Chews do not contain byproducts, wheat, corn, animal digest, grains, soy, egg, potato, shrimp, crab, shark, gluten, avocado. It provides pure & holistic nutritional vitamin boost and is easy and convenient to use.

How to treat urinary tract and bladder infection in dogs

Apple Cider Vinegar

The website, EarthClinic.com has submissions from dog owners on numerous home remedies for bladder infection. 

An overwhelming response suggests Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) as a treatment for urinary tract and bladder infections. Here are some excerpts on the treatment with ACV for their dogs infections.

  • “I put 2 tablespoons of ACV in a small bowl, a little handful of kibble to help her eat it. She licked the bowl clean in a short minute. She went right to sleep and then this morning I did another 2 tablespoons of ACV in her breakfast bowl. She ate it all and was then sound asleep on the bed. No fuss to go outside. She has peed on her walks but no extra tinkling. I can tell that her body temp is not as hot as it had been the past week and her eyes have stopped discharging”
  • “OMG this totally works and works fast! I mixed 2 tablespoons each ACV and honey. Had to coax my puppy into eating it but he got it down. Within 3 hours he started leaking urine for a few minutes at a time. Within 5 hours he is urinating slowly. He is no longer in a permanent squatting position and has perked up considerably. Cannot believe how fast and simple this was. My poor puppy has been miserable for days waiting for our vet apt tomorrow. Now he's taking food and drinking! Will continue this treatment twice a day for a week”
  • “The Apple Cider Vinegar helped! I teaspoon BID (twice a day) mixed in the wet food plus some chopped parsley from my garden and my dog is his normal self again. No more accidents around the house. This is day 4 of the treatment, and we could put our steam cleaner back in the basement”

Apple cider vinegar is a rich source of enzymes, potassium and other useful minerals that is said to prevent the bacteria that causes the infection from growing.

If you add apple cider vinegar to your dog's diet, only use a raw, natural unfiltered variety. These still contain the beneficial qualities required to improve health. 

What can happen if my dogs infection goes untreated?

Untreated urinary problems can lead to serious medical problems, pain and discomfort and be potentially life threatening if it moves into the kidneys.

If a stone blocks the urethra and prevents your dog from peeing, kidney failure may occur, bladder rupture and may be fatal.​

Urinary tract infections in pets are serious, get your dog to a vet as soon as symptoms arise in order to get a diagnosis and begin treatment.

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