Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs

Urinary tract infections in dogs also known as UTI are most commonly caused by bacteria that build up in the urinary tract. The urinary tract infections are more frequently met in female dogs, as they have a shorter urethra than male dogs and the bacteria may build up more easily. The diagnosis of UTI can be made judging by the symptoms of the dog and by performing a urinalysis test.

Symptoms of UTI in Dogs

The easiest way to detect urinary tract infection in your pet is to monitor his behavior and notice some specific symptoms. The most common symptoms of UTI include increased thirst, increased frequency of urination, bloody urine, behavior changes, fatigue and painful urination.

Increased Thirst

The urinary tract infection will cause an increased thirst as the dog will try to flush out the bacteria and eliminate the infection. Monitor how often your dog drinks water and make sure you provide fresh water. This symptom may also indicate diabetes.

Increased Frequency of Urination

Due to the fact that the dog drinks more water, he will also urinate more. However, the amounts of urine may be smaller and the urination will be painful. You may notice that your dog is straining to urinate and may urinate in the house.

Bloody Urine

If the dog's urine has blood in it, this may indicate a urinary tract infection. This symptom should prompt you to consult the vet. Bloody urine may also indicate other diseases.

Behavioral Changes

The behavior of a dog affected by UTI may change; he will be less active, snooze more and may become suddenly aggressive, especially when the kidney area is touched, as he is in pain.

Urine Smell

The dog's urine will have a specific smell when the dog is affected by UTI. This alone may not be a symptom that should worry you, but if you notice additional symptoms, you should visit the vet.

Diagnostics Tests

The vet may confirm the diagnosis by performing a urine test. The urine will contain the bacteria that cause the infection and may also contain traces of blood which will be revealed in the test.

The type of bacteria the vet finds will indicate the type of antibiotics that are the most suitable for the dog's condition.

Additional tests (blood tests) may be performed to determine whether the urinary infection is caused by an underlying disease.

The treatment may also include a few pain medication and anti inflammatories, if the dog is in a lot of pain.

Homeopathic remedies are also available.

The vet may also advise you to walk your dog more frequently, to avoid future urinary infections. Urinary infections may be caused by contaminated water or if the dog holds in the urine for too long, facilitating the bacteria buildup.

A urinary tract infection should be treated, as it may advance and cause complications such as kidney disease or renal failure.