Urinary tract infections in puppies are very common. A urinary tract infection can result in excess urination and the inability of the puppy to control where and when it urinates. This is often construed by owners as a behavioral issue and results in ineffective housebreaking training, and it is therefore important to recognize the potential symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacterial infections. Infections often occur if the puppy is unable to urinate for a long period of time, and the urine sits in the bladder and breeds bacteria. The bladder and urethra become infected and inflamed, resulting in a urinary tract infection. The most common bacteria causing urinary tract infections are Escherichia Coli, Candida Albicans and Streptococcus Enterococcus. Urinary tract infections may also be caused by bacteria in the kidneys, a fungal infection or a virus.
Urinary tract infections are painful and uncomfortable for your puppy. Misdiagnosis can lead to poor housebreaking training and habits. A urinary tract infection can also be a sign of an underlying disease such as Cushing's disease, bladder stones, kidney failure, diabetes or even bladder cancer. An appropriate diagnosis is important, and a veterinarian should be consulted at the first sign of infection.
Not all dogs will show the same--or even any--symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Typical symptoms include an increase in the frequency of urination, which may result in frequent urination of small amounts of urine (poillakiuria). It may appear difficult or painful for your dog to urinate (dysuria). You may notice blood (hernaturia) or puss in your dog's urine. The urine may be cloudy, smelly or dark in color. If you dog is constantly licking its genital area or appears to have abdominal pain, it may have an infection.
Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to cure the infection. Follow the directions and complete the entire course of the drug prescribed. Your dog may appear to be cured prior to the entire dosage being completed, but stopping the medication early may result in a relapse of the infection. A change in diet may be recommended. Urinary tract infections are most common in alkaline urine with a high pH. Alkaline urine is seen more commonly in puppies with a vegetarian or grain-based diet. A diet high in animal proteins is recommended.
Adding a cranberry extract to your dog's diet may decrease urinary tract infections. Cranberries can be easily added to your dog's diet in the form of juice or powders. Provide your dog with a constant supply of fresh water. This will encourage natural urination, which will help clean out the urinary tract.
Urinary tract infections are more common in female dogs than in male dogs.
Reoccurring urinary tract infections may result in a damaged bladder or kidney. They can also be a symptom of an underlying disease. Any reoccurring symptoms should be discussed with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.