A dog bladder infection, similar to a urinary tract infection in humans, can be extremely uncomfortable for your dog. It’s caused by bacteria getting into the urinary tract and then reproducing until it’s extremely painful. It is very common in dogs because they spend time outdoors and with other dogs. In fact, urinary tract related conditions are among the most common reasons for veterinary visits.
Female dogs will likely get a bladder infection before male dogs because the bacteria can accumulate in their vaginal area. However, the bacteria can be prevented if they can urinate frequently which is why it’s important to always provide dogs with a readily available supply of water.
Symptoms to Look For
Some of the symptoms to be on the lookout for with a bladder infection are urinating in the house if they are housebroken, urinating in smaller amounts, and urinating more frequently. In some cases, the urine will also smell strong or foul, or appear cloudy or bloody. Some dogs will also have a sudden increase in thirst. If your dog is constantly licking their genital area, it may also be an indication of an infection. Other dogs may not exhibit any symptoms whatsoever.
The important thing is that you look for the different symptoms and get your dog to the vet sooner than later. If the bladder infection continues without treatment, it can lead to a loss of appetite or a loss of energy, as well as vomiting and fever. Your dog’s pain can be relieved significantly when you get treatment early enough. Otherwise it could lead to bigger problems, including kidney failure and other health conditions
Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose a bladder infection fairly easily. This includes checking for tenderness or firmness. They will collect a urine sample to check for the bacteria as well as for blood cell counts and even pH levels. If your dog has had countless bladder infections, the vet may also recommend X-rays or an ultrasound to see if there are any other medical issues that are causing the bacteria growth.
In most cases, the infection is treated with the use of antibiotics. Dogs will typically be on the antibiotics for about two weeks; however, some of the more severe cases could take longer. The antibiotics are given to the dog at night together with lots of fresh water, which will help to flush the bacteria from their system.
If your dog is prescribed antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, using probiotic supplements is recommended. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria that cause infection, but unfortunately they also kill beneficial bacteria. Dogs on antibiotics are compromised because the medication used to help them fight their disease also prevents them from getting and staying healthy.
Antibiotic therapy is a good and a sometimes necessary short term solution to a health issue, but over time, it can cause the health problem to return again and again and sometimes worse than before. Probiotic supplements are commonly used as a treatment to restore a balance of bacteria types after the use of antibiotics.
Alternative Remedy and Prevention
Cranberry supplements can also be used to help maintain and support a healthy urinary tract and immune system.