At some point in your dog’s life, he/she may develop a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTI’s are caused by infection or illness: viral, bacterial, cancer, etc. For a pet parent with a handicapped pet, the risk of a UTI is even higher.
If you’re one of many pet owners that wish not to topple up the expenses with an additional cost of medications, you can always go for natural remedies for UTIs in dogs, so long as you have already consulted your dog’s vet about it.
In this article, you will learn how to effectively deal with your dog’s urinary tract problem, the best way possible.
Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs: How and Why They Occur
When a dog suffers from a urinary tract infection, likely it will be a bacterial infection. UTI’s can link to your dog’s diet, stress levels, immunological deficiencies, bladder stones, tumors, or injuries.
When your dog’s bladder is inflamed due to infection, it will frequently attempt to urinate. Add this to other subtle symptoms that can be hard to identify, making it important for you to pay attention to the following indicators:
- Your dog urinates more often – in small amounts
- The urine of your pup seems to be darker and has a pungent scent
- Accidents happen more often inside your home
- There will be a noticeable dripping after your dog urinates
- Crying and whimpering
In the worse cases, a dog may also develop the following signs and symptoms:
- Pain while it urinates
- The presence of blood in the urine
- Your dog may develop Incontinence
- Frequently licks its genitalia
It is important to take note that poor quality dog foods can also be a major reason why this problem manifests in pets. Feeding low-quality food with fillers can make your pup’s urine more alkaline. This increases the risk of crystals forming and urinary problems. If your dog is PRONE to UTI’s, you might consider feeding a urinary health dog food.
Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Problems
The diagnosis of your pet’s health issues must be conducted by a licensed professional.
To give you more insight on how your dog’s veterinarian diagnosis dogs with certain problems, you can learn the facts here.
Urine Sample Collection
Diagnosis begins with the collection of urine samples from the dog that has shown signs and symptoms of urinary tract problems.
It is important to remember to get a sample of your dog’s urine, first thing in the morning, to know how well your pup’s kidneys work overnight.
Getting a sample from your dog is harder than you think since sometimes, you can’t have your dog “go” on command. Nevertheless, remember to use a clean container for the sample and you may refrigerate it if you can’t go immediately to the clinic.
If collection of the urine sample is hard to carry out, you may ask for assistance and the clinic near you, and they would be glad to help and perform procedures like cystocentesis or using a urinary catheter.
pH levels are strong indicators of the status of your dog’s urine. If the urine is tested and has a lower pH, likely your dog is on a diet high in protein. A good idea would be to lower the proteins in his/her diet, based on your dog’s breed and age. If the urine tests high pH, your dog likely has an infection or urinary stones.
Dogs that are dehydrated have concentrated pH levels and are more prone to UTIs than a dog who is well hydrated.
Clarity and Color
The appearance of the dog’s urine tells how concentrated it is with minerals and other debris. The cloudier and yellower the urine is, the higher is its concentration.
White and Red Blood Cells
The presence of red and white blood cells can be a strong indicator that your dog has either of the following:
- Bleeding disorders
Presence of Glucose and Protein
The presence of protein and glucose in your dog’s urine is not normal. This would most likely mean that your dog has diabetes or is experiencing problems in their kidney, bladder, or lower urinary tract
Presence of Foreign Cells and Crystals
The presence of foreign materials in your dog’s urine is not a good sign. The presence of crystals indicate bladder or kidney stones which need immediate attention.
Treatments for UTIs in dogs
Your dog’s vet will prescribe rounds of antibiotics for your pet if the underlying cause is a bacterial infection. In a couple of days, you may expect that your dog’s condition becomes better after administering the prescribed antibiotics. Complete the entire prescription of antibiotics to prevent a reinfection.
UTI Pain Management
To treat the pain that accompanies UTIs, your vet may prescribe pain killers and/or anti-inflammatory medication.
Dogs having large urinary stones that cannot be resolved with dietary modifications, will likely undergo surgery to remove the stone/s.
Addressing the Underlying Condition
Underlying conditions like disease and diabetes must be addressed early in preventing UTI’s. Your vet will focus on the proper treatment of your pet’s condition that could include surgery and medications.
Urinary Tract Infections in Paralyzed Dogs
Paralyzed pets are high risk for developing a Urinary Tract Infection as they are unable to fully empty their bladder without help. In many cases, paralyzed and incontinent pets need their pet parents to help express their bladder to ensure that their bladder is completely empty. Expressing a dog’s bladder is the best way to prevent UTIs in paralyzed dogs.
Natural Remedies for Urinary Tract Problems in Dogs
Changing your dog’s diet to a high-quality food can effectively help your pup in dealing with urinary tract problems.
Giving your dog a high moisture diet will help in keeping them healthy overall and especially their urinary tract. Adding cranberries and blueberries to the diet will help as these fruits are proven to support the dog’s urinary tract. Good quality food and treats have these fruits in their recipe.
Additionally, you can add small amounts of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl as it can help with the infection.
Trusted-brand herbal remedies are adequate in treating UTI’s when caught in the very early stages. But in general are good for urinary tract maintenance. Anti-inflammatory herbs that are readily available in the market include the following:
- Parsley leaf
- Juniper berry
- Urva Ursi
- Marshmallow root
Remember that herbs can be toxic to dogs if administered with the wrong dosage.
Dogs showing early symptoms of urinary tract infection can be given natural remedies right away. The treatment must be accompanied by plenty of rest and hydration. This will help your pup recover immediately.
Infections in dogs are a serious matter that requires your immediate attention.
If you happen to observe early symptoms of a UTI in your dog, the best option is to have your dog checked by a licensed professional. Never give medications to your pet that haven’t been prescribed by your veterinarian, for that specific condition.