chihuahua puppy outside on grass.

When a canine urinary tract infection strikes, it can be very uncomfortable for you and your dog. Unchecked, it can even lead to more serious issues. Do you know what symptoms of bladder infection in dogs can be, though? Mobile Vet M.D. can help you know when your pup might need help so you can get them some relief sooner!

Why Dogs Get Urinary Tract Infections

In general, the bladder is a sterile place where bacteria are not found. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria from the environment breach the normal defenses of the body and take up residence within the urinary tract.

Sometimes urinary tract infections in dogs are simply bad luck. Other times, though, there is a predisposing factor that makes the problem more likely to occur. Some of the more common reasons a pet may be prone to urinary tract infections include:

  • Holding urine/incompletely voiding the bladder
  • Being overweight
  • Sunken or underdeveloped vulva in females
  • Urinary sphincter incontinence
  • Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder lining)
  • Nodules or masses in the urinary tract
  • Urinary stones
  • Decreased immune function
  • Endocrine conditions like diabetes or Cushing’s Syndrome

When possible, correcting or managing the underlying cause of the problem can help prevent future infections. 

Bladder Infection Symptoms in Dogs

Initially bladder infections are isolated to the bladder itself. The symptoms tend to be more localized, and most of the time signs of systemic illness are not present.

Dogs with simple urinary tract infections usually continue to eat and drink normally and are not lethargic, vomiting, or experiencing fever. 

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in dogs may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Urinating small amounts
  • Straining to urinate
  • Vocalizing while urinating
  • Urinating in abnormal places
  • Smelly urine
  • Noticeable blood in the urine

These symptoms are certainly a reason to contact us right away. Bladder infections can be very uncomfortable!

Helping Your Dog

A true urinary tract infection in a dog is not just going to go away on its own. Besides being painful, bladder infections can also cause major trouble. If untreated, infection can spread to the kidneys and become pyelonephritis.  

Mineral urine crystals can also form during a bladder infection, leading to the formation of urinary stones. 

It is important to treat urinary tract infections in pets immediately and finish the prescribed treatment and recommended rechecks in order to prevent further issues. Some pets even need to eat a prescription veterinary diet in order to ward off urinary stones.

It may be tempting to try at home remedies for your pet, but many human urinary tract medications are not safe for dogs. Likewise, while some supplements can be helpful for preventing bladder infections, they are unlikely to be effective at totally clearing them by the time you know there is a problem. Your best bet is to encourage your pet to drink a lot of water, monitor them closely, and have them evaluated by a veterinarian. 

Urinary tract infections are no fun for anyone. If your dog is displaying symptoms consistent with a UTI, please see veterinary attention as soon as possible. Delaying treatment leads to unnecessary discomfort and accidents in your home as well as discomfort and possible complications for your pet. Request an appointment with us as soon as possible so that we can get your dog feeling better.