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Signs, Causes, and Treatment of Bladder Infection in Dogs

Updated on November 19, 2010

Bladder Infection

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
  • Depression
  • Dribbling urine
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  • Licking genitals
  • Loss of appetite
  • Only pass small amounts of urine at a time
  • Straining
  • Urine may have a foul smell or cloudy appearance
  • Vomiting and pain
  • Weakness

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.

Safe Natural Bladder Infection Treatment 100% Safe

PetAlive UTI-Free for Pet Bladder and Urinary Tract Health (20g)
PetAlive UTI-Free for Pet Bladder and Urinary Tract Health (20g)

PetAlive UTI-Free is a selected combination of herbal and homeopathic ingredients specially formulated to safely and effectively treat the causes and the symptoms of urinary tract and bladder infections in pets. UTI-Free naturally treats the symptoms of UTI infections in pets; maintains urinary tract and bladder health and helps prevent recurring infections.


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.


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    • nicko guzman profile image

      nicko guzman 7 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

      I see you still create useful hubs!This came in handy after I got my dog not too long ago from a shelter,at which point, developed severe bladder infection that nearly killed him.Thank you so much.

    • susannah42 profile image

      susannah42 7 years ago from Florida

      Good information. I am going to bookmark this hub incase I need it later for my poochie.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      That's actually not the best advice, as spaying after first heat greatly increases risks of mammary cancer.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Useful hub. My vet siad it was best to wait to spay a bitch until it had at least one season to prevent urinary problems in later life