Understanding Dog Urinary Infection Problems

A dog urinary infection problem often begins as a moderately serious issue that can be easily reversed. A lingering infection can lead to dog bladder stones. Kidney stones in dogs are more rare but can result from an underlying kidney disease or acute kidney failure. The key to understanding dog urinary infection problems lies in understanding the causes, symptoms and differences associated with dog urinary infection and kidney disease in dogs.

What Causes a Dog Urinary Infection

A dog urinary infection results when too much bacteria build up in the bladder of the dog. If a dog doesn't drink enough water, naturally occurring bacteria build up. If the dog's immune system is compromised, the system cannot handle the amount of bacteria and an infection develops. The bacteria can also cause the urine to become more concentrated in ammonia. Diets with highly processed foods and too much grain can interact with the urine and make it too alkaline, causing a build-up of bacteria. Often, a simple urinary infection can be reversed if treated quickly. A lingering or more serious dog urinary infection can lead to the formation of dog bladder stones.

How an Infection Leads to Dog Bladder Stones

Too much ammonia leads to a higher alkalinity in the urine of a dog. This in turn leads to a higher concentration of mineral salts which lead to dog bladder stones. Certain breeds of dogs seem to have a higher propensity to form certain types of stones. Dalmatians, for example, are highly susceptible to ammonium urate stones in the bladder. Female dogs have shorter urethras which puts them at risk for developing dog bladder stones from a dog urinary infection.

The Causes of Dog Kidney Stones and Acute Kidney Failure

Dog kidney stones develop if the layers of mineral salts precipitate out of the urine in the kidneys. Dog kidney stones may move from the kidneys down to the ureter. These stones will block the ureter and cause severe pain until the dog passes the stone or it is surgically removed. Acute kidney failure in dogs (ARF) is a life-threatening condition. Causes include toxic injury to the kidneys, a drastic decrease of blood flow or oxygen to the kidneys, severe infections, or an obstruction in the kidney.

Signs and Symptoms of a Dog Urinary Infection

As a responsible dog owner, you will become aware of your dog's normal elimination habits. If you notice any change in their behavior, i.e. urinating in inappropriate places, or refusing to urinate, suspect a possible urinary infection. Other signs to watch for include fatigue and lethargy, foul smelling urine and straining to urinate. More serious symptoms include blood in the urine, fever, and a tender lower stomach area.

Signs of Kidney Disease or Acute Kidney Failure in Dogs

Dog kidney stones can cause intermittent bloody urine and sudden colic, or extremely fussy and upset behavior. If a dog's symptoms do not improve with increased fluids or antibiotics, they may have a more serious problem. Other signs of acute kidney failure include disorientation, vomiting, disorientation, loss of appetite, straining to urinate, and a loss of coordination. In the presence of any of these symptoms, a vet will do a thorough evaluation including many diagnostic tests.