Pyelonephritis is a medical condition that involves inflammation of the kidney, generally resulting from a bacterial infection. If a doggie has bacteria within his urinary system, it could potentially travel all the way over to his kidneys and, voila -- pyelonephritis. Cats, like dogs, also sometimes experience pyelonephritis.
Causes of Pyelonephritis
A handful of different bacteria are particularly big culprits behind pyelonephritis -- namely escherichia coli, streptococcus, staphylococcus and enterobacter, among others. Although bacterial infections that begin in the urinary tract are an extremely common trigger for pyelonephritis in dogs, hematogenous infection via the bloodstream can also bring on the condition. Hematogenous infection is markedly rarer, however.
Signs of Pyelonephritis
If your dog has pyelonephritis, you might be able to pick up on it by looking out for its key symptoms. Some typical signs of the disorder are aching of the back or lower stomach, drinking and urinating more frequently, passing blood-tinged urine, fatigue, discomfort due to urinating, throwing up, loss of appetite, loose stools and fever. If you notice that your pet's urine has a markedly unpleasant smell, that also could signify pyelonephritis. As soon as you notice that something seems "off" with your dog, even if from just a single symptom, call your veterinarian to make an appointment -- no hesitation.
Typical Management Options
Veterinarians often use blood and urine tests to determine the presence of pyelonephritis. Ultrasounds also are frequently used to check for the condition. Some typical management plans that are associated with pyelonephritis include extended antibiotics and fluid therapy. As far as antibiotics go, some canines take them for 4 to 6 weeks. If your pet has the ailment, a veterinarian can determine the optimal mode of getting him back to good health. After management commences, consistent testing for the condition is commonplace, as it sometimes recurs.
Susceptibility to Pyelonephritis
Pyelonephritis doesn't have any confirmed predispositions for breed or gender. However, female canines typically experience urinary tract infections more frequently than males do. Dogs of all kinds can develop the condition, and keen attention to any unusual health symptoms is always a must. Even if dogs do not display any obvious symptoms of malaise, it's crucial to take them in for consistent veterinary checkups.
By Naomi Millburn
The Merck Veterinary Manual: Pyelonephritis in Small Animals
Michigan Veterinary Specialists: Pyelonephritis
Animal Care Clinic: Pyelonephritis
The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health; Cynthia M. Kahn and Scott Line
The District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine: Urinary Tract Infections and Pyelonephritis in Dogs and Cats
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.