Treating Canine UTI With Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

Canine UTI (urinary tract infection) is usually caused by bacteria entering the body through the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder. Bacteria can eventually travel up to the bladder creating a bladder infection after colonizing in the urinary tract.

Infection in the urinary tract causes inflammation. This in turn reduces the size of the urethra by making the tube narrower and more difficult to urinate. Urination is nature's way of not only eliminating fluid body waste but also a way of keeping the urinary free of bacteria. By not urinating enough, the urine's bacteria killing properties become less effective. This could change pH balances in the body that can lead to other problems, such as urinary or bladder stones. Urine crystallizes into stones, which attach to other stones causing blockages and/or other dog urinary problems.

Urinary Infection Symptoms

Some of the following symptoms can be indications of other health problems. A visit to the veterinarian is necessary to determine the cause of the symptoms. A urinary infection can lead to bladder stones, kidney and/or bladder problems or even a bacterial infection in the blood.

The following is a list of symptoms:

  • Difficulty/straining/pain/leakage when urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Lack of urine control
  • Urine odor
  • Urinating in unacceptable places
  • Licking private area
  • Increased thirst
  • Skin issues in the vaginal area
  • Behavioral problems
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lethargy

The causes for these symptoms may include the following:

  • Abnormal cell growth in the urethra (neoplasia) or the neck of the bladder (bladder neck neoplasia)
  • Injury/infection in the urethra causing inflammation (urethritis)
  • Displaced bladder
  • Prostate disease
  • Pressure on the bladder/urethra caused by abnormal cell growths or tumors
  • Nervous system problems
  • Muscle issues (dyssynergia)
  • Mineral buildup in the urethra (urethral calculus)

Testing Procedures for Canine Urinary Infection

A physical examination, a sensitivity test, a urine culture using a catheter and urinalysis will determine the type of bacteria causing the infection, the level of bacteria present, the pH level, and whether stone remnants or blood is present. This will determine the type of antibiotics needed and for how long. Common antibiotics used for treatment of urinary infections are amoxicilin and fluroquinolones, which will be taken for 14 days. An infection, which has spread to the kidneys or prostate, will be treated for 30 days. Retesting will ensure that the infection has been eradicated. For dogs with diabetes, additional treatment with the drug Amphotericin B may be needed to cure the infection. If antibiotics do not cure the infection within several weeks, then the infection may be due to a physical cause, such as dog prostate cancer or prostate gland problems.

Treatment with Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

Ciprofloxacin has not be FDA-approved but still is commonly used by veterinarians for dogs 28 weeks or older. The dosage is 2.27 mg to 6.8 mg every 12 hours until the medication is completely gone otherwise the bacteria can become resistant. Discontinue use immediately if the dog has difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or hives.

Prevention is the best defense for a urinary infection so dogs should be provided with ample fresh water and frequent walks to induce urination.