Have you ever had a bladder infection? The one who had the painful feeling of having to go to the emergency toilet for a few drops of urine. Call the doctor, describe the symptoms, antibiotics are prescribed and you’re done.
It’s not so simple with dogs. Calculi and urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in dogs. Since these diseases can be painful, it is important to know what symptoms to look for.
Signs of urinary tract problems:
When dogs have an IVU, they may have difficulty urinating, this can be painful and blood can appear in the urine.
The training offense is another possible sign of a bladder problem. You may not know that there is blood in your dog’s urine until you see a pink patch on the carpet where the dog could not contain himself. Or you may notice that when you are not there, your usually well-trained dog is urinating near the door or producing a lot of urine. Being very careful about the dog’s urinary habits can help you, so you will immediately notice if the dog needs more time than usual to urinate.
Take your dog to the vet if you notice the following symptoms:
– Urinating often
– Break the training
– Blood in the urine
– urine leak
– Crying during urination
– Strive to urinate
– Licking the genital area frequently or obsessively.
Determine the cause
For diagnosis, the veterinarian should analyze a urine sample for white blood cells that indicate an infection, or crystals that may indicate stones in the urinary tract. Urine testing is a good starting point, but urine culture – taking a sample and allowing the bacteria to grow – allows you to know for sure if there is an infection and to identify the causative bacteria. It usually takes a few days to get the results of a urinary culture.
Without culture, the veterinarian can not know if an antibiotic is needed or prescribed. Since there is a risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they should not be prescribed unless absolutely necessary and you know exactly which bacterium to attack.
A culture will also tell us something else about what may be causing the problem. In fact, accessing the male urethra is a bacterial fight. This is the reason why there are not many bladder infections in men. Therefore, if there is one, the situation can be serious, such as kidney infection, prostate infection or urinary tract stones.
Dogs can develop different types of urinary stones. We commonly see struvite stones, which are often formed in conjunction with bladder infections. There are also calcium oxalate stones, all dogs can develop, but small breeds such as Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso and Yorkshire Terriers seem to have a predisposition for these calculations, as well as Schnauzer dwarfs and Bichon Frize.
The preparation of certain breeds for the types of calculation is known. Dalmatian males are predisposed to urate stones and Scottish greyhounds, some dachshunds and bulldogs may develop cystine stones.
If there is suspicion of bladder stones, blood tests and X-rays can help to make a diagnosis. Sometimes, however, the calculations are hard to find. For this, there are more sophisticated procedures such as contrast radiographs, ultrasound or cystoscopy, which allow you to take a look inside the urethra and bladder.
A correct diagnosis is important. One can not assume that a dog has a type of urinary tract infection and does not see the real problem.
Treatment and prevention
Once the diagnosis is made, you can prescribe the antibiotic specific for the infection or recommend a special diet to eliminate the stones. Sometimes both approaches are needed. For example, struvite stones usually dissolve with the right diet and antibiotics may be needed to treat the subsequent urinary tract infection.
Can you do anything to prevent urinary tract infections or stones in your dogs? This is not a quick fix, but I always recommend a fountain for dogs. More water in your dog’s body is never a bad idea. Many animals are attracted to running water, so a fountain could encourage a dog to drink more. And for some types of calculations, you will want your dog to drink a lot of water and urine, as it will remove the crystals before they can aggregate and turn into stones.