Antibiotics for Kidney Infection in Dogs

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The types of antibiotics your vet will prescribe will depend on which type of kidney infection (pyelonephritis) your pet may have. An acute kidney infection rarely results in kidney failure. However, the symptoms can be alarming and include vomiting, a stiff-legged gait, and signs of painful urination. This will be enough to send the pet owner to the vet in plenty of time to administer effective treatment.

Chronic kidney infection can escalate over a number of months or even years. The symptoms for chronic kidney infection are the similar to acute infection, but they do not present themselves as quickly. Chronic kidney infection does not cause vomiting—one of the most alarming symptoms of the condition. Because chronic kidney infection is more advanced, several rounds of antibiotics may be required.

Selecting Antibiotics for Kidney Infection

Kidney infection in dogs is treated with a number of antibiotics that are selected based on the results of bacterial sensitivity tests. Because kidney infections are difficult to eliminate and relapse is common, veterinarians are careful to prescribe just the right antibiotics in just the right dosage amounts. Veterinarians may choose to treat the pet with one of these:

Each antibiotic works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Some antibiotics may be combined with other antibiotics such as trimethoprim to increase the effects of the primary antibiotic. Trimethoprim, also “proloprim,” is another powerful antibiotic that eliminates bacteria. The antibiotics may remain in the system well after the treatment period is up in order to continue fighting the bacteria. The typical treatment period is anywhere from six to eight weeks.

Antibiotics and the Treatment Process

Although powerful, the antibiotics listed above do not always work. Certain strains of bacteria can build resistance to antibiotics. As a result, veterinarians use another method (in addition to sensitivity tests) to make sure the infection is actually clearing the pet’s body.

During treatment, the urine must be recultured to be sure the prescribed antibiotic is still effective against the targeted bacteria. After treatment ends, the urine must be recultured at least three times at six- to eight-week intervals before the dog will receive a clean bill of health.

Kidney Infection Prevention

Even when used properly, prevention methods are not guaranteed to guard against kidney infections, especially in older pets. However, prevention methods are effective at decreasing your pet’s chances of contracting the condition. First, you should never deprive your pet of precious “bathroom time.”

It is important to allow your pet to relieve himself when he expresses the need to, but you must also walk your pet at regular frequent intervals and do you best to make him “go.” Urine helps keep toxins and bacteria flowing out of the system and away from the kidneys.

Next, always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water at his disposal. Pure water flushes out the kidneys. Finally, hygiene is extremely important. Bathe your dog as often as you can, to help eliminate bacteria from dog’s sensitive areas.


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