Puppy Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

Bacteria is everywhere in our environment, and most of the time, the abundance of bacteria doesn't cause problems. Sometimes, though, the bacteria gets into places where it shouldn't be, and can cause an infection. This can even happen with puppies. The more you know about the signs of a puppy bladder infection, the faster you can get him healthy again.

Golden retriever puppy dog lying on sofa with teddy bear
The more you know about the signs of a puppy bladder infection, the faster you can get him healthy again.
credit: Elizabethsalleebauer/RooM/GettyImages

Puppy urinary tract infection

Bacteria is the cause of a urinary tract infection, which is commonly called a UTI. A UTI can result if normal skin and gastrointestinal tract flora gets into the urethra, which is the tube that removes urine from the body. If the bacteria travels farther up into the bladder and kidneys, that can result in a more serious infection. A puppy urinary tract infection can be cleared up easily if it is treated early.

The American Kennel Club says that the most common causes of UTIs in dogs are bacterial. In fact, the AKC says bacterial urinary tract infections are the most common infectious disease in dogs, period. Female dogs are more likely to get UTIs than males.

Causes of puppy UTI

Canna-Pet says one cause of a UTI in puppies, or even in adult dogs, is if they cannot urinate often enough. If the urine sits in the bladder, it can breed bacteria. In some cases, people looking to adopt a puppy from a shelter or a breeder may be required to sign an agreement indicating that they will give their puppy frequent bathroom breaks.

Symptoms of puppy UTI

Some of the primary symptoms of a dog UTI are related to problems urinating. Canna-Pet says that the symptoms of puppy UTI or puppy bladder infection are very similar to that of UTI in adult dogs. But since puppies are still learning a lot of their behaviors related to bladder control, it can be hard to spot the symptoms of a puppy UTI or puppy bladder infection.

Your dog may have an infection if you notice blood or pus in the urine, cloudy or dark urine, or frequent urination in small amounts. Other signs are:

  • Accidents around the home when the puppy is already housebroken.
  • Crystals in the urine.
  • Foul-smelling urine.
  • Pain or strain during urination.
  • Incontinence and urine-trickling.
  • Increased urination.

Dog UTI treatment

The key to establishing a dog UTI treatment is to be sure that the infection your dog is experiencing is actually a UTI. There are dog UTI treatment over-the-counter options, but your vet will likely want to do a test to confirm the diagnosis. It is important to get your dog treated for the infection because if it is left untreated for a long time it can spread and cause serious health issues.

Vet Info says that somtimes it is possible for a UTI to go away on its own, but antibiotics are the most common course of treatment. If the infection is not severe, antibiotics may not be required. Common antibiotics used for a dog or puppy UTI include Zeniquin and Naxcel. Antibiotics have side effects such as stomach ulcers, lethargy, or secondary yeast infections, so your vet may look to some alternate remedies if the infection is not too serious.

One of the best things you can to, to both prevent and help treat an infection of the urinary tract or bladder, is to encourage your puppy to drink a lot of water. Canine Journal says that dogs may want to drink more water than usual when they have an infection, so you can encourage this by offering extra bowls of fresh water. Wet food, which contains a higher percentage of water, is a good option for a diet supplement at this time to be sure that your dog is getting as much water as possible.