What Are the Causes of Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs?

Written by bronwyn timmons
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What Are the Causes of Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs?
(Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Bruce)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common ailments dogs can develop. If you are a dog owner, it is important to know the causes and preventive steps to ensure your loyal friend does not develop a UTI.

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Urinary Tract Infection

UTIs are painful infections that occur in a dog's urinary system. They can cause pain while urinating, and can also affect other internal organs such as the kidneys. While symptoms do not always appear in the early stages of a UTI, later symptoms include pain and whimpering during urination, as well as the dog straining to urinate.

Cause

Urinary tract infections are cause by bacteria. There are a variety of bacteria that can cause a UTI to form, including Escherichia coli, esterococcus, proteus mirabilis, and klebsiella. The bacteria enters the urinary tract through the dog's urethra and makes its way into the bladder.

Source

The bacteria that cause urinary tract infections to form are usually the result of unsanitary water and contaminated food. Female dogs are more likely than males to develop UTIs because they have shorter urethras.

Prevention/Solution

If you are a dog owner, there are several things you can do to prevent your dog from developing a urinary tract infection. Make sure you give your dog adequate bathroom breaks and plenty of fresh, clean water. Feed him only high grade food from a trusted brand, and if you feed him canned food, be sure it is properly sealed and refrigerated to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.

Treatment

If your dog does develop a bacterial infection, a veterinarian will prescribe oral antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Veterinarians may also prescribe antimicrobial drugs depending on the extent of the infection. Treatment usually lasts two to three weeks.

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