2001-Sun Dec 04 11:38:11 MST 2016
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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria colonize areas of the urinary tract that should be sterile. Normally, the bodies of dogs and
cats naturally help prevent bacteria from adhering to and multiplying in the urinary tract. A UTI develops when something compromises your pet’s natural defense mechanisms, allowing bacteria that normally live around the urethral opening (for example) to ascend up the urethra and into the urinary bladder.
UTIs can be painful for both cats and
dogs. Fortunately, prompt veterinary treatment can frequently relieve your pet’s discomfort.
Take your pet to your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these
warning signs of a UTI:
It is important to realize that not all dogs or
cats will show obvious signs of a UTI and that other urinary problems and diseases may exhibit similar signs.
There are a variety of disorders, including bladder stones and
diabetes mellitus, that can put pets at increased risk for urinary problems. For this reason,
pets at risk for UTIs should be screened regularly by a veterinarian.
A urinary tract infection should be treated early to help prevent other more serious problems. A complete workup that reveals the source of the problem is best, especially in recurrent cases.
To diagnose a UTI, your veterinarian will take a sample of your pet’s urine and perform a urinalysis, an examination of urine that may point to an infection. Your vet may also recommend a
urine culture. The culture can confirm infection and identify the bacteria causing the problem.
Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. To be sure the infection has been eradicated, a repeat urinalysis and/or urine culture may be recommended after the pet completes treatment.
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