Urinary Tract Infections
If you've noticed
that your dog has recently been whining to go out more often,
he may be suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI). In addition
to frequent urination, the following signs may indicate a UTI:
or difficulty urinating
Blood in the urine
Foul smelling urine
Urination in inappropriate places
Tender lower abdomen (in the area of the bladder)
Similar signs can be seen with urinary stones or obstructions.
Your veterinarian can rule out these other problems.
are a common problem in dogs but relatively uncommon in cats.
However, inflammation of the urinary tract in cats may produce
UTI-like symptoms, and is a serious health problem. If your cat
exhibits any of the above symptoms, take him to a veterinarian
as soon as possible. Male cats can show the above signs when their
urinary tract is obstructed. This can be life threatening in a
short period of time.
have a wider and shorter urethra than males and are affected by
UTIs more often. Males can get UTIs though, especially when they
are intact (non-neutered).
are also more likely to affect older, spayed dogs who experience
incontinence," says Dr. Pam Epperson, AAHA member and owner
of the Animal Care Center in West Bountiful, Utah. "Unfortunately,
the cause of UTIs in pets is generally unknown."
veterinarian will test your pet's urine to diagnose a UTI. A urinalysis
is the examination of urine for abnormal substances such as blood,
protein, sugar or white blood cells, which may indicate a UTI.
Urine samples can be collected by having the pet urinate in a
container. A sample can also be retrieved from the bladder by
catheterization or by drawing urine directly from the bladder
with a needle.
bacterial urine culture will be performed to identify the presence
of bacteria, which will confirm that a UTI is present.
the urinalysis indicates that your pet has a UTI, your veterinarian
will prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition," says
usually includes one to two pills a day for about two weeks."
are some steps you can take at home to prevent and control UTIs.
orange and other citrus juices boost the acidity of urine, reducing
the number of bacteria and helping relieve discomfort. Try mixing
one to two ounces of juice with your pet's food.
When urine remains in the bladder for a long time, bacteria can
multiply and your pet will be more prone to infection. Let your
pet outside every few hours to help him eliminate bacteria. If
you have an indoor cat, make sure her litter box is always accessible
Taking your dog on at least two walks a day will also increase
the frequency of urination and reduce the risk of infection.
Occasionally the infection causing bacteria will swim up your
pet's urethra and may cause a dangerous kidney infection called
pyelonephritis. If you notice any changes in your pet's normal
urinary habits, take him to your veterinarian before a small infection
turns into a potentially serious health problem.