Canine Urinary Tract Infection
Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Canine urinary tract infection (UTI) and dog bladder infection (cystitis) are very common disorders in dogs.

In some situations, urinary tract infections in dogs may not cause any symptoms and may resolve on their own without any medical intervention. However, in other situations, a canine urinary tract infection can lead to life-threatening illnesses if not treated immediately and properly.

Infection in the urinary tract causes inflammation which reduces the size of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body), making urination more difficult.

This can cause a canine urinary tract infection to spread bacteria to the dog's kidneys, bladder and other organs, resulting in illnesses such as acute canine renal failure or bladder stones in dogs.

These conditions can in turn cause further obstruction of urine flow, dehydration, acidosis, uremic poisoning, hyperkalemia or septicemia - all of which can result in death.

Here's what you need to know about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for dog urinary tract infection.

Causes of Dog Urinary Tract Infection

canine urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections in dogs are caused by intestinal or environmental bacteria which enter the dog's body through the urethra.

Common bacteria includes: klebsiella, pseudomonas, proteus mirabilis, esterococcus, coagulase positive straphyloccocus, and escherichia coli bacteria.

Infection can occur:
  • At a single site causing inflammation in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra or the prostate gland,
  • At multiple sites, or
  • In the urine.
Upper canine UTIs include the kidney and ureter, and lower UTIs include the urethra and the bladder. In many cases urinary tract infections can spread to the lining of the bladder resulting in bladder infections in dogs.

Although dog UTIs can occur in both sexes, female dogs are far more susceptible to canine urinary tract infections due to their shorter and wider urethra. Having a shorter urethra means they are more likely to accumulate bacteria and other microorganisms in their system, thus increasing the risk of infection.

Breeds more prone to urinary tract infections appear to be: Boxers, Poodles, Dalmatians, Dachshunds, German Shepherd Dogs, Pugs, and Irish and Cairn Terriers.

Symptoms of Canine Urinary Tract Infections

The signs that your dog may have a UTI include:
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Sudden incontinence such as dribbling on the floor and urinating in inappropriate places
  • Increased volume of urination
  • Straining, difficulty and/or pain when urinating
  • Excessive thirst
  • Blood or pus in the urine
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lower back pain.

The symptoms of dog bladder infection and UTI are also associated with other serious dog urinary illnesses, including canine bladder stones which can be life-threatening if not treated as a medical emergency!

Don't delay!
Take your dog to a veterinarian for a
correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs

If your dog is showing symptoms of canine urinary tract infection, your vet will test a urine sample for a variety of factors including blood cell counts, urine concentration, and bacteria or other foreign organisms present in your dog's urine.

We suggest you arrive at your veterinary appointment prepared, and try to capture a sample of your dog's urine to take with you.

If the urine tests positive for bacteria, typical treatment is a course of antibiotics to eliminate the UTI. Homeopathic bladder infection treatment may be an option offered by holistic veterinarians.

At the end of the antibiotic treatment, your vet should repeat cultures periodically to ensure your dog's urinary tract infection has cleared up completely.

Suspect a UTI in your pooch?

If you would value a second opinion about your dog's UTI diagnosis and treatment, we highly recommend you consider the following very reputable on-line service.

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