Dog Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

A dog can get a urinary tract infection if bacteria gets in the urethra or urinary tract. In some cases, the bacterium travels to the bladder and kidneys, resulting in more serious health conditions. If detected early, a urinary tract infection (UTI) can be cleared up with little harm to your pet. Left untreated, this type of infection can damage a dog's urethra, lining of the bladder, as well as harm his immune system.

Evaluate your dog to see if he has any signs of a urinary tract infection so that early treatment may be administered. A dog urinary tract infection is not that apparent in its early stages.

Main Symptoms of Canine UTI: Problems Urinating

Your dog may show both physical and behavioral signs of UTI. However the main symptoms of this illness are urinary problems. Review the signs of urinary dysfunction below to determine if your dog may have an infection.

  • Accidents around the home when already housebroken
  • Blood or pus in the urine
  • Cloudy urine or dark colored urine
  • Crystals in the urine
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Urinating frequently in small increments
  • Pain or strain during urination
  • Incontinence and urine trickling
  • Increased urination

Behavioral and Physical Symptoms of a Dog Urinary Tract Infection

Along with changes in urination, a dog with UTI may also show behavioral and other physical symptoms. When your dog begins to show uncharacteristic behavior like urinating in unusual places or less agility, these may be warning signs of an infection.

Dogs with prostate cancer may experience similar symptoms as those with UTI. If your dog is straining to urinate, has blood in his genital area, or constipated, have him examined to rule out prostate cancer.

Keep an eye on your dog for the additional warning signs of UTI:

  • Decreased energy levels
  • Dehydration
  • Licking of the genital area
  • Insatiable thirst
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Presence of a fever
  • Tenderness in the lower stomach region
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting/nausea

Female Dogs at Higher Risk

Although both genders may contract urinary tract infections, female dogs are more susceptible to getting them. A female dog's urethra is shorter and can transmit bacteria more easily to the rest of her body. Watch for any signs of your female dog excessively licking or scratching at her vaginal area.

Why the Signs of UTI May Go Unnoticed

If your dog has to take an anti-inflammatory medication due to an allergy or another condition, the drugs will shield the warning signs of UTI. An indication of a urinary tract infection is inflammation of the urethra and bladder. If a dog is on such a medication, he will not have the telltale swelling or scratching that most dogs with the infection experience.

Still Not Sure if It's a Urinary Tract Infection?

A yearly physical examination along with a blood test can help you determine if your dog has an infection. If UTI is suspected, a vet will request a urine sample from your dog, and then send it to a lab for a urinalysis. The sample is tested for the presence of a bacterial culture. After that, your vet will suggest a form of treatment depending on the severity of your dog's symptoms.