Puppy Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

To pee or not to pee — sometimes that is the question when you take your puppy out for a walk. He may end up distracted by all of the wonderful smells in your neighborhood, especially those left behind by other canines. He'll empty his bladder when he's good and ready, but lavish praise on him when he finally does his business.

Corgi puppy
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Urine is one of the ways the body rids itself of waste products. The process is taken for granted until there's a problem. A urinary tract infection can make your puppy feel miserable. Fortunately, it's a very treatable condition.

Urinary tract infections

Puppies frequently come down with UTIs, and it's crucial to examine your puppy's behavior closely, so you don't mistake a UTI for a behavioral issue, for example, the puppy urinates indoors when you are in the midst of house training him. With small dog breeds, UTIs are even more common. Because small breed puppies often take longer to house train than their larger canine cousins, it's even easier to mistake a UTI for a house-training problem. A trip to the vet is necessary if you think your puppy has a UTI.

Urinary tract infection symptoms

In older dogs, UTI symptoms include having "accidents" in the house. Puppies, however, are often not yet housetrained, so when they pee in the house that's not necessarily a sign of a UTI. If the urine is bloody or cloudy, that may indicate a UTI. So does any sort of urine dribbling, says the American Kennel Club.

A puppy with a UTI may whimper or strain while urinating. If she is housebroken, she may want to go outside more frequently. A female puppy may lick the vulvar area, while a male puppy may lick his genitals. If your puppy spikes a fever, that's another sign that she may be suffering from a UTI.

Suspect a possible UTI in your puppy if her urine smells particularly bad. Perhaps she is peeing when you take her outside, but only in small amounts. That's another sign of a UTI. If your puppy is suddenly drinking a lot more, a UTI is a possible reason.

Urinary tract infection cause.

A bacterial infection is the most common culprit when it comes to UTIs in puppies. Young dogs need to have frequent potty breaks, and if they don't occur often enough, the urine sitting in the bladder is an excellent bacterial breeding ground. Puppies may also pick up bacteria from the ground or grass while urinating.

Fungal or viral infections can also result in UTIs in puppies. If your puppy consumes a high grain diet, his urine becomes more alkaline, and this may increase the risk of a UTI.

Diagnosing and treating a UTI

Bring your puppy to the vet if he experiences any urinary issues. Via urinalysis, the vet will determine whether an infection is present. A blood sample will reveal more about the nature of the infection and whether there is anything else going on with your pup. Depending on the symptoms, the vet may take an X-ray of the puppy's bladder if bladder stones are suspected or to check for anatomical abnormalities in the bladder or urinary tract.

Generally, a course of antibiotics is prescribed to clear up the UTI. Puppies in pain may receive medication to ease discomfort. In some cases, the veterinarian may use intravenous fluids for flushing out the urinary tract. If bladder stones are discovered, the puppy may require surgery to have them removed.

Preventing UTIs in puppies.

If your puppy has had a UTI, she is vulnerable to develop the condition again. Your vet may recommend a puppy food designed for urinary tract health. Rather than offer your puppy water in a bowl, consider purchasing a running water fountain. As Canna-Pet points out, many puppies prefer to drink from a flowing rather than still water source, but it's imperative that your pup always have fresh, clean water available.