Urinary tract infections can be uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous for your dog. But how do you recognize the early warning signs?
UTIs in dogs are more common than you might think. The Merck Veterinary Manual says UTIs are the most common infectious disease in dogs, affecting 14% of dogs in their lifetime.
Unlike humans, dogs can initially be asymptomatic, so you might not notice anything unusual to make you suspect your dog has an infection.
Older females and diabetic dogs are especially susceptible to this unpleasant ailment.
If your dog does develop a urinary tract infection that’s not treated, the infection can make its way to her kidneys and could even cause stones that partially or fully obstruct the urethra.
This ultimately stops your dog from urinating, which can lead to kidney failure or a ruptured bladder … both dangerous – even fatal – conditions.
In intact male dogs, untreated UTIs can extend to the prostate gland where it’s much harder to eliminate bacterial infection.
Learn to recognize the first signs your dog might have a UTI so that you can avoid it turning into something a lot more serious.
If Dogs Could Talk
Imagine how much easier it would be if our dogs could talk.
We wouldn’t need to put on our detective caps every time they seemed under the weather because they’d simply tell us what was wrong. As a proud owner of five lovable canines, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve daydreamed about this.
But the unfortunate reality is that we need to rely on behavioral clues and physical evidence to assess the health of our companions.
Many potentially dangerous illnesses are difficult to detect. They can float under the radar for months until we finally notice something isn’t right. By then, the original problem has likely evolved into something worse.
This is often the case with urinary tract infections, and I’m going to tell you what to watch for.
Picking Up Bacteria
How many times a day do you see your dog lick, eat, roll, or swim in questionable substances?
Let’s face it: man’s best friend has strange taste, and because UTIs are most commonly caused by bacteria, these habits make them vulnerable to infection.
It’s key to identify your dog’s UTI as early as possible, which is often easier said than done.
3 Warning Signs
Here are three universal UTI symptoms you should be looking for in your furry friend.
1. More trips outside
If your dog has a UTI, chances are she’ll be pawing at the door more than she usually does.
UTIs give dogs an increased urge to urinate, resulting in more whining, barking, and trips to the backyard.
You might also find yourself refilling the water bowl more often, as dogs with UTIs get more thirsty – which explains the increased urination.
2. Extra stains on the carpet
If your dog has a UTI she might need to go so often that she will stop trying to make it outside.
The urge to urinate will be sudden and uncontrollable … your furry friend will simply opt to unleash on your carpet several times throughout the day.
If your dog is typically well-behaved and suddenly starts peeing in the house, she might have a UTI.
3. Unexplained blood
Blood in your dog’s urine is never a good sign, and this symptom can be especially tricky to detect – unless, of course, the urine is on your favorite white carpet.
I don’t expect you to crawl around your back yard and inspect every puddle, but be on the lookout whenever possible. If you see any signs of blood, it’s time to take action. Note that blood in urine can often look brown, not necessarily red.
When it comes to UTIs, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You’ll probably want to contact your holistic vet if you spot any of these signs so she can recommend homeopathic or herbal options to treat your dog’s UTI.
If you’re comfortable using homeopathic remedies on your own, check out these three top remedies for urinary tract infections.