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Bladder Infection in Dogs

Urinary tract issues and bladder infections in dogs can cause significant discomfort and may lead to severe complications if not treated promptly. Our veterinarians in Hermitage have gathered vital information about the signs and treatment options for bladder infections in dogs.

What causes bladder infection in dogs?

Bladder infections are common in all breeds of dogs, but female dogs are more prone to them. Causes of bladder infections can include:

  • Bacterial Infection: The most common cause of bladder infections in dogs is the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract. Bacteria can enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply, leading to infection. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common bacterium associated with dog UTIs.
  • Anatomical Abnormalities: Some dogs may have anatomical abnormalities that make them more prone to bladder infections. These abnormalities can include a short urethra or bladder, or urinary tract abnormalities.
  • Urinary Stones or Crystals: Urinary stones or crystals can irritate the bladder's lining, making it more susceptible to bacterial infection. Certain breeds are predisposed to developing urinary stones, which can contribute to recurrent bladder infections.
  • Weakened Immune System: Dogs with weakened immune systems, such as those with underlying health conditions or taking immunosuppressive medications, may be more susceptible to bladder infections as their bodies are less able to fight off bacterial invaders.
  • Poor Hygiene: Poor hygiene, such as infrequent grooming or inadequate cleaning of the genital area, can increase the risk of bacterial contamination and subsequent bladder infection.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus can change the urinary tract environment, making it more favorable for bacterial growth and increasing the risk of bladder infections.
  • Age and Hormonal Factors: Older dogs and intact females (those who haven't been spayed) may be more prone to bladder infections due to hormonal changes that affect the urinary tract.
  • Incontinence: Dogs that struggle with urinary incontinence may have residual urine in the bladder, which provides a breeding ground for bacteria and increases the risk of infection.
If you suspect your dog has a bladder infection, consult a veterinarian. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent complications and ensure your dog's health and comfort. 

How do you know if your dog has a bladder infection?

The most common signs of bladder infection in dogs include pain or difficulties urinating, blood in urine, or, in some cases, you may notice that your pup is only urinating in very small amounts but frequently. Other symptoms  of bladder infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs) include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Reduced quantity of urine
  • Accidents inside your home
  • Whimpering while urinating
  • Licking the genital area
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Lack of energy

If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms above, it's time to head to your veterinarian. Bladder and urinary tract infections are very uncomfortable and often painful for dogs. That said, when caught and treated early, these infections can often be cleared up quickly and easily, so the sooner you can get your pup to the vet, the better.

What can I give my dog for a bladder infection? 

Although a mild bladder infection in a dog may clear up on its own, it's generally not advisable to depend solely on this possibility. Bladder infections can exacerbate and lead to discomfort for your dog. It's crucial to closely monitor your dog's symptoms and seek advice from a veterinarian if you suspect a bladder infection. Veterinarians can administer appropriate treatment, often including antibiotics, to ensure effective infection resolution and prevent any potential complications.

Can a dog's bladder infection go away on its own?

While a mild bladder infection in a dog can resolve independently, relying solely on this outcome is generally not recommended. Bladder infections can worsen and cause discomfort for your dog. You must monitor your dog's symptoms closely and consult a veterinarian if you suspect a bladder infection. They can provide appropriate treatment, which often includes antibiotics, to ensure the infection clears up effectively and to prevent any complications.

How to treat bladder infection dogs? 

If you suspect that your dog has a bladder infection, the first step should be to take your pet to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. Once your vet confirms the infection, they will offer recommendations on how to treat it. The most common treatment method is antibiotics, but sometimes, they may also suggest anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers depending on the severity and underlying cause of the infection.

It is important to understand that while bladder infections in people can sometimes clear up without medical care, this is unlikely to be the case for your pet. Since dogs cannot communicate with us about how they are feeling, it is always best to consult a vet if you notice any symptoms of illness. If left untreated, the infection could worsen and lead to complications.

Additionally, it's crucial to recognize that a more serious underlying condition may be causing your dog's bladder infection symptoms, necessitating veterinary care. When it concerns your pet's health, avoiding caution and seeking a veterinarian's advice is always preferable.

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. 

Are you worried that your dog may be suffering from a bladder infection? Contact our team in Hermitage today to schedule a visit with one of our attentive vets.

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