E. Coli and Canine Urinary Infection Explained

The most common bacterium that causes a canine urinary infection is E. coli. Urinary tract infections caused by E. coli are easily treated, but if left untreated, this bacterium can lead to kidney infection or even kidney failure.

How E. Coli Causes Urinary Infections

Normal, harmless E. coli lives inside the intestines, but sometimes "bad" strains of the bacterium can get into certain foods such as vegetables and beef. These bad strains can travel from the intestines into the blood, which can cause infection. While most E. coli strains are harmless, bad strains have the ability to cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin.

Symptoms Of Urinary Infection

Urinary infection typically starts in the urethra and can show the following symptoms:

  • excessive drinking
  • frequent urination
  • pain with urination
  • blood in the urine
  • straining to urinate
  • foul smelling urine

With the proper antibiotics, the infection will end there. If not, the infection will travel deeper into the urinary organs. In these cases, extended use of antibiotics or surgery may be required.

Preventing E. Coli and Urinary Infection

While its tough to avoid natural E. coli in the system, it is possible to avoid bad strains of E. coli in food. Avoid feeding your dog human food such as beef and vegetables and always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water. If possible, try to use filtered water instead of regular tap water, especially if you live in an area that uses surface water rather than ground water.