What is a UTI and what causes it?
A UTI is an infection anywhere in the urinary system, kidneys, urethra, or bladder. Commonly, UTIs are caused by a pathogenic bacterium ascending to the external genitalia and urethra causing inflammation. The bacteria in the urinary system, can cause inflammation, crystals, and stones in the kidney and/or bladder in your pet.
What does a UTI look like in Dogs?
- UTI warning signs in dogs include:
- Accidents in the house
- Urine with a strong smell
- Dribbling urine
- Needing to go outside more frequently
- Straining or whimpering during urination
- Bloody/ cloudy urine
Dogs that may be predisposed to UTIsSome dogs are more likely to develop UTIs than others. For instance, dogs with a weakened immune system due to medications or medical conditions like Cushing’s Disease or Hyperthyroidism. Likewise, dogs who hold their urine for an extended period of time will likely cause UTIs to form. Other types of dogs who are more likely to develop UTIs include:
- Female dogs
- Elderly dogs
- Dogs with diabetes
- Dogs who are overweight
What does a UTI look like in Cats?UTI warning signs in cats include:
- Frequent urination
- Straining to urinate
- Crying out in pain while urinating
- Increased licking at the urinary opening (genitalia)
How to help prevent UTI’s in Dogs and CatsHere are some of the ways you can prevent your pet from developing a UTI. Giving your pet access to clean drinking water at all times. Be sure to check your pets’ joints as well. If your pet has arthritis, then they may position their body to not fully empty their bladder when relieving themselves. This will cause leftover urine to stay in the bladder which can contribute to infections to occur. If your pet is elderly or you suspect they may have arthritis, try adding joint support supplements to their diet.
Additionally, other ways to prevent UTIs include:
- Let your dog outside as often as possible
- Feed your pet wet food (raw, canned, etc)
- Wet food has a higher water content and can support a healthier bladder
- Keep your cats’ litter box clean and sanitary
- Consider switching to a raw diet for added moisture or seek out urinary formulated food that supports a healthy pH
- Use ingredients such as marshmallow root and glucosamine to promote a healthy bladder
- Use supplements that support urinary tract health
If your pet shows signs of a urinary tract infection, please visit your veterinary for confirmation and assistance. This article was put together by our staff as an informational piece only. We are not veterinarians, nor do we claim to be. Thank you for reading.