Urinary tract infection in dogs is a common health problem for our canine friends. Just like in humans, a UTI in a dog can be uncomfortable and even painful. Unlike humans, dogs can’t speak up to let you know they’re in pain. This can make diagnosis a bit difficult. But we’re here to help with the information below.
Signs of UTI
The main symptom of a UTI is a painful, burning sensation during urination. Unfortunately, this isn’t something your dog can tell you about. Instead, you’ll need to watch for more subtle signs. These include:
- Loss of bladder control
- Urine dribbling
- Increase in the frequency of urination and/or amount of urine
- Decrease in the frequency of urination and/or amount of urine
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Urine with a strong odor
- Straining, crying or other expressions of discomfort during urination
Other signs of a UTI have nothing to do with urination. Watch out for:
- Decreased appetite
- Rapid weight loss
- Indication of back pain (such as sensitivity to touch)
- Increased intake of water
- Low energy
If your dog has these symptoms you should meet with your vet as soon as possible. This is especially important if your dog seems to be in pain and/or can’t urinate at all. Untreated urinary tract problems can lead to kidney infections, kidney failure, bladder rupture and more.
As with UTIs in people, dogs can experience a wide range of symptom severity. In some cases, the dog will not show any obvious symptoms. Vets will often discover urinary tract infections in dogs during the course of a routine check-up. This is just one reason why regular check-ups are so important.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
There are many causes and some dogs are more at risk than others. Older, female dogs are very susceptible to urinary and bladder issues. Diabetic dogs also have a fairly high risk of developing UTIs. But all dogs can potentially develop a UTI. Some of the most common causes include:
- Stones, crystals or debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra
- Bacterial infections
- Spinal cord abnormalities
- Prostate disease
In many cases, your vet will prescribe antibiotics or other medications. If the cause of the UTI is bladder stones or tumors, your dog might need surgery. In these severe cases, you’re probably going to have to choose traditional medical procedures.
However, there are many types of UTI which you can treat at home with homeopathic remedies. Your vet will let you know if this is an option. Homeopathic remedies are often just as effective as harsh medications, but they’re easier on your dog’s body. There are also many herbal remedies you can use to help prevent a UTI from occurring in the first place.
Here are some popular, effective, all-natural UTI treatments:
This herb increases kidney functions. By helping the kidneys quickly filter impurities, this herb increases urine production. This helps the dog heal from even severe urinary tract infections.
This diuretic helps aid in the elimination of body waste and the antiseptic qualities of parsley leaves help treat UTI symptoms.
Uva Ursi Leaves
This is a powerful natural astringent used by holistic vets to prevent and treat UTIs. These leaves can stop bleeding, reduce inflammation and treat other UTI symptoms.
This root boosts the immune system. UTI-causing bacteria is removed from the body and inflammation is reduced. This root also soothes the body in general.
Cranberry and Blueberry
These berries are very effective in preventing frequent UTIs by preventing bacteria from forming in the lining of the uterine tract. You will, of course, want to give berries to your dog in moderation to avoid causing any gastric distress.
Don’t forget to always keep a supply of clean, fresh water available for your dog at all times.
Urinary tract infections can be frustrating for both you and your dog. If you see any of the above symptoms, consult with your vet as soon as possible. Because many dogs will develop a UTI which is either asymptomatic or displays very subtle symptoms, regular check-ups are important to your dog’s health. Fortunately, with a diet enhanced by the right supplements and herbs, you can significantly reduce your dog’s chances of developing a UTI in the first place. Here’s to healthy, happy pets!