Common Dog Bladder Infection Symptoms

Dog bladder infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. They're common, but can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics. Read on to learn more about dog bladder infections and their symptoms.

Signs of Dog Bladder Infection

If your dog has a bladder infection, he may not show symptoms right away. Some dogs don't show symptoms at all. However, if your housebroken dog suddenly begins urinating in the house or in other unsuitable places, it could be a sign of urinary tract infection. Your dog may also strain while urinating. He may urine more often than normal, he may experience incontinence or he may begin producing less urine than normal even though he'll have more frequent urges to urinate.

A bladder infection may give your dog's urine a foul odor. Dogs with bladder infections may have cloudy or bloody urine.

Other symptoms of canine bladder infection include:

  • Obsessive licking of the genitals
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tenderness in the lower abdomen

Some dogs experience dehydration as a result of bladder infection, especially if vomiting occurs. Many dogs will exhibit excessive thirst as a result of urinary tract infection. 

Diagnosing and Treating Dog Bladder Infection

Your vet can diagnose a bladder infection by examining a urine sample, which he'll collect directly from your dog's bladder via syringe. If your dog suffers from recurrent bladder infections, your vet may request an ultrasound, X-ray or other imaging test to look for an underlying cause, like bladder stones. 

Most canine bladder infections can be successfully and easily treated with antibiotics. The typical course of antibiotics for a dog suffering UTI infection takes 10 to 14 days to complete, after which time your vet will test your dog's urine again to make sure that all the bacteria have been eliminated from his urinary tract. Encourage your dog to drink more water to help cure the bladder infection.

Preventing Bladder Infections in Dogs

You can help prevent canine urinary tract infections by making sure your dog has plenty of clean fresh water available. Drinking plenty of water helps keep the urinary tract and bladder clean and can help flush out bacteria before they have a chance to reproduce inside the urinary tract. 

Make sure your dog gets to relieve himself as soon as possible after the urge to urinate comes. Holding in urine makes your dog's bladder and urinary tract more vulnerable to infection. Make sure your dog gets the nutrition and exercise he needs to stay healthy, and make sure he gets regular yearly veterinary checkups. Keep your dog clean with regular baths and keep your home and lawn free of waste that could rot and expose your dog to harmful bacteria.

If you notice your dog exhibiting any signs of dog bladder infection, seek treatment right away. Dog bladder infections are usually easy to treat, but if allowed to become severe, they may require up to six months of antibiotics. Left untreated, dog bladder infections can spread to the kidneys and damage them.