Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Abby is a 4-year-old, spayed Labrador Retriever who suffers from recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). For six months, she had to urinate frequently, and she gave off an odor.
When Abby's owner spotted blood in her urine, she took her to the veterinarian, who diagnosed her with a UTI. Her symptoms improved quickly once she was on antibiotics but then returned shortly after she stopped taking the medication.
Her veterinarian prescribed another antibiotic, and her bladder issues again seemed to resolve completely — until a month later, when the blood was back.
Abby’s story is not uncommon. Dogs with recurrent UTIs are a source of frustration for both owners and veterinarians.
Here's a look at why it happens — and what veterinarians will do to combat the problem.
The bladder acts as a storage area for urine once it's been made by the kidneys. Although the bladder is sterile and free of bacteria, the external genital area contains a large amount of germs. If these bacteria gain entry into the bladder, and begin to grow, an infection can occur, resulting in the symptoms of a UTI.
Most dogs get simple UTIs, which develop once and can be treated easily with a short course of antibiotics. But dogs who experience more than three UTIs per year — or more than two UTIs in six months — are defined as having chronic or recurrent UTIs.
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to a veterinarian, who will likely recommend a urinalysis (UA) and a urine culture to make a proper diagnosis. The UA may give clues to underlying conditions, but a urine culture is the only test that can confirm a UTI, as well as identify the type of bacteria in the bladder, so a veterinarian can administer the right antibiotic.
If a dog is experiencing her first UTI, a vet may only collect a UA and prescribe an antibiotic. But if a UTI is recurrent or an underlying condition is present, a UA and a urine culture should be performed.
UTI symptoms often resolve within two days of starting an antibiotic treatment, but some owners do not give the entire course to their pets as prescribed, which can lead to recurrent UTIs.
In other instances, if a urine culture was not performed, an inappropriate antibiotic may have been prescribed or the dosage and duration were insufficient to fully clear the UTI.
To ensure that a UTI is gone, veterinarians will usually recommend another urine culture five days after the last antibiotic dosage is given.
There are also several underlying medical causes of recurrent UTIs:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Raju, a 50-year-old elephant who had
lived his whole life in chains, celebrated
his first year of freedom by eating…
Want your dog to be a welcome guest at
the RV park? Follow our simple guide to
being safe, clean and considerate.
In honor of Shark Week, we rounded up a
few things we bet you don't know about
these mysterious creatures.
From the strong-willed Tibetan Mastiff to
the tenacious Jack Russell Terrier, these
dogs tend to have minds of…
Our cats and dogs are celebrating
Independence Day with these adorable
outfits, catnip pillows and much more.
Your pet’s health could be at risk if you believe these misconceptions, like “home remedies” that are actually…
The versatile American Shorthair came to the New World alongside pilgrims, sailors and adventurers.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.