Signs, Causes, and Treatment of Bladder Infection in Dogs
When my Bull Mastiff started having trouble urinating and was straining just to get a few drops out, I knew that it was time for a trip to the vet. I wasn't 100% sure what exactly was wrong with her, but a urinary tract infection was my guess, which was right.
A bladder infection and a UTI are not quite the same, but you'll see similar signs that something is wrong.
Signs of Bladder Infection in Dogs
- Bloody urine
- Dribbling urine
- Frequent urination
- Licking genitals
- Loss of appetite
- Only pass small amounts of urine at a time
- Urine may have a foul smell or cloudy appearance
- Vomiting and pain
Causes of a Bladder Infection
For the most part, the cause of a bladder infection is a bacteria traveling up the urethra and into the bladder, where it will multiple, causing the infection to set in.
Dogs Prone to Bladder Infections
Bladder problems are common among female dogs and older dogs. Generally, after a spay procedure, a female dog may experience dribbling, discomfort while urinating, and sometimes an infection. The statistics show that if a dog is spayed before puberty, there is an increased risk of bladder problems up to 10%, but in no way should that discourage anyone from having their female dog spayed.
Because the female urethra is shorter and wider than a male's, they are more prone to developing bladder infections.
Bladder problems and infections are, also, common amongst older dogs and non-neutered males. About 3% of dogs are going to develop a bladder infection at some point in their life.
Complications of a Dog Bladder Infection
If a bladder infection goes untreated, there are potential complications that a dog may suffer, which may include kidney failure and/or septicemia. If the infection in a male dog goes unnoticed and untreated, it can affect the prostate glands, causing abscesses to form.
In some cases, bladder stones can develop if the infection is not treated early. Bladder stones can require surgery for removal.
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Dog Bladder Infection Treatment
If you think that your dog may have a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection, you need to take a trip to the vet to have your dog diagnosed and treated sooner than later. The complications of a bladder infection can be quite severe and even deadly (if septicemia is not treated it can affect other organs, to include the heart valves and lining of the heart.
In most cases, a vet will prescribe a course of antibiotics, which may last anywhere from 7 to 14 days. If the infection is severe, the vet may recommend a low dose of antibiotic stretching across a period of up to 6 months.
You will want to offer plenty of fresh water to flush out the infection and clear the kidneys. Some people recommend adding a little bit of cranberry juice to the water to help alter the pH of the urine, as well as to eliminate the infection.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed veterinarian. The methods outlined above may or may not work for your pet. If you have any concerns, you should consult a veterinarian.