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What can I give my dog for a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections are a common health problem for our canine companions. In today's post, our Santa Cruz County vets explain some of the most common symptoms of UTIs in dogs, and what you can give your dog if they have a UTI.

Your Dog's Urinary Tract Health

Urinary tract infections can be painful for your pup, and if left untreated can lead to more severe health problems, so it's important to know the signs to watch for and what to do if your dog shows signs of a UTI.

Signs That Your Dog May Have a UTI

Dog urinary tract infection symptoms can be distressing for pet parents, as well as uncomfortable for your pet. If your canine companion has a UTI you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Accidents in the house
  • Dribbling urine
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Blood in urine
  • Signs of pain while urinating 
  • Licking excessively following urination

Causes of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in Dogs

Approximately one in four dogs will develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their life, with a large percentage of those being caused by a bacterial infection. However, you may be wondering, how does a dog get a urinary tract infection? Dog urinary tract infection causes include:

  • Viral infection
  • Urinary stones
  • Crystals
  • bladder inflammation
  • Weak bladder
  • Fungal infection
  • Kidney disease
  • spinal cord disease
  • Prostrate disease
  • Cancer

Dog Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms above it is essential to have your pup examined by a veterinarian so that the cause of the issue can be correctly diagnosed and targeted treatment can begin as early as possible. It's important to remember that UTIs can be very painful for your dog so fast and effective treatment is essential.

The treatment recommended to clear up your dog's UTI will be determined by the underlying cause of your dog's symptoms.

Pain Management

  • A UTI can be a very painful condition for your pooch to deal with. To help relieve pain caused by UTIs your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatories for your pet, or in severe cases stronger painkillers may be administered by injection.

Antibiotics

  • If your dog's UTI is being caused by a bacterial infection, your vet may prescribe a round of antibiotics for your pet. If your vet prescribes antibiotics for your dog's UTI you can expect to see an improvement within a couple of days. However, it's important to continue antibiotic treatment until the full prescription has been used up. Ending treatment early can lead to a reinfection that may be harder to fight.

Treatment for Underlying Conditions

  • Underlying conditions such as diabetes or Cushing's disease can lead to recurring urinary tract infections in dogs. If your dog has an underlying health condition, treatment may focus primarily on the underlying condition as a means of stopping the infections from happening. In some dogs, prostate disease can be controlled with chemical or surgical castration, and the growth of bladder tumors may be slowed with medications. 

Dietary Modifications

  • For some dogs, a diet specially formulated to alter urine acidity, and prevent stone formation can help to reduce the inflammation that can lead to UTIs in dogs. Supplements may also help to encourage your dog to drink more to dilute the urine. 

Surgery

  • Large urinary stones that persist despite dietary modifications may need to be surgically removed. Dogs typically handle this surgery well and see an improvement in 1-2 weeks. In some cases, stones may be analyzed to determine the most appropriate ongoing treatment for your pup.

Urethral Sphincter Medication

  • Your vet may prescribe medication to help 'tighten' your dog's urethra to help control the release of urine. This treatment is typically used in dogs experiencing incontinence with no detectable underlying cause.

Bladder Support Medications & Supplements

  • Your dog may benefit from ongoing treatment with antioxidant, probiotic and prebiotic supplements which aim to support the gut's 'good bacteria' and improve the overall condition of your pup's gut lining. If you'd like to give your dog supplements, be sure to speak to your veterinarian first to prevent problematic drug interactions from occurring. 

100% Pure Cranberry Juice

  • Cranberry juice is frequently used to fight urinary tract infections in people, and can sometimes help fight UTIs in dogs. It is believed that pure cranberry juice can help to prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the wall of your dog's bladder, meaning that it can be flushed out of your pup's system faster. Consult your vet before giving your dog cranberry juice, or any other natural treatments.

The Bottom Line

If your dog is displaying symptoms of a urinary tract infection it is essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. UITs can be a symptom of a very serious underlying condition, and left untreated a UTI could go on to cause more serious conditions such as kidney disease.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing signs of a urinary tract infection, our experienced Santa Cruz County vets are here to help. Contact Aptos-Creekside Pet Hospital right away to book an urgent examination for your pup. 

New Patients Welcome

Aptos-Creekside Pet Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Santa Cruz County companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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