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Bladder Infection in Dogs

Bladder infections are one of the most commonly seen bladder issues in dogs, and can be quite painful. Today, our Danbury vets discuss the causes, signs, and treatment of bladder infections in dogs.

Canine Bladder Infections

While bladder infections are more common in female dogs, any pooch can suffer from this uncomfortable condition. Identifying and treating your dog's bladder infection is not only important for their overall comfort, but it can also help prevent infections from becoming a recurring issue and resistant to medical treatment. 

What causes bladder infections in dogs?

Bladder infections are caused by bacteria traveling up the urethra and into the dog's bladder. Dogs can get this bacteria from their general environment, swimming, or even by spreading the bacteria from their own rectal or genital areas while grooming themselves.

Although your dog's bladder infection could just be due to poor luck because of the environment they were in, there are some predisposing factors that can make this issue more likely to occur. Common reasons why a dog may develop a bladder infection include:

  • Obesity
  • Holding in urine
  • Nodules or masses in the urinary tract
  • Endocrine conditions (diabetes or Cushing’s disease)
  • Underdeveloped vulva in females
  • Urinary sphincter incontinence
  • Decreased immune function
  • Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder lining)

Health conditions like diabetes can cause your dog to lose sensory functions within the body. This means that they may not realize they have to urinate when they do. This results in them holding in their urine for longer periods, which can result in a bladder infection. If your dog has bladder stones or masses in the urinary tract, this can cause a blockage, restrict the flow of urine, and result in a bladder infection.

Symptoms of a Bladder Infection in Dogs

Some signs that your dog has a bladder infection can be as simple as a well-potty-trained dog frequently urinating in the middle of the floor throughout the house. Other signs of bladder infections in dogs can be less obvious if you aren't looking for them. Try to keep an eye out for symptoms, such as:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Whimpering while urinating
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Reduced quantity of urine

If your dog is displaying any of these signs, head to the vet to have them examined. Bladder infections are very uncomfortable and often painful for your dog. If diagnosed and treated early, there shouldn't be any trouble clearing it up.

Untreated Bladder Infections

Although bladder infections in people can clear up without the need for medical care, this is unlikely to be true for your dog. Your pup's bladder infection could become much more severe and lead to complications, such as bladder or kidney stones, or a kidney infection, that may require emergency care if not treated promptly.

It could also be the case that your dog's bladder infection is due to a more serious underlying condition that needs to be treated, such as diabetes and Cushing's disease. Treating your dog's bladder infection doesn't just help deal with their discomfort, but it can also help detect other issues that may require prompt treatment.

How to Treat Bladder Infections in Dogs

Antibiotics are the primary treatment for bladder infections in dogs. Your vet may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers depending on the severity and cause of the infection.

The vet may also prescribe a specific dog food designed to adjust the pH level of your pet’s urine. This diet will make bacterial growth in the urinary tract less likely in the future.

What can I give my dog for a bladder infection?

After you see the vet regarding your pup's bladder infection, you need to follow their instructions carefully and dosages accurately. Give your dog wet dog food as it will help increase their water intake and clean out the infected bladder.

Although there isn't much you can (or should) do aside from administering any foods or medication prescribed by a veterinarian, there is one thing you can do that will help. Keeping your dog's water bowl full of fresh, clean water can aid in your pet's recovery. Water helps flush out the bacteria and purify the urinary tract.

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. 

Is your dog showing any signs of a bladder infection? Contact our Danbury vets to have your pup diagnosed and treated.

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Are you looking for a veterinarian for your cat or dog in Danbury? Mill Plain Veterinary Clinic is now accepting new patients! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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