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How to Spot Dog Bladder Infection Symptoms

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How to Spot Dog Bladder Infection Symptoms

Dog bladder infections, or urinary tract infections, occur when bacteria gains access to a dog's urethra, causing her to have painful symptoms. Bladder infections can also stem from preexisting illnesses or bad treatment, and are common in dogs between the ages of one and two months or two and ten years. The symptoms of are apparent upon the onset of the infection, and can include any of the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Loss of interest in play or walks
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during urination
  • Pus or blood in the urine
  • Dark, cloudy, and or foul-smelling urine
  • Change in urination habits (urinating indoors or in other inappropriate areas)
  • Self-isolation
  • Frequent licking of the genitals (or more frequent than usual)
  • No symptoms at all (this is rare)


Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria that are present in your dog's environment, but can also stem from stale food, a poor diet, lack of water, dirty water, young or old age, a low or inactive immune system, extremely high or basic pH levels in the urine, infrequent urination or incomplete urination.


If your dog is showing any of the previous symptoms, take him or her to the veterinarian's office immediately for a physical exam and urine test. Bladder infections have the same symptoms as cancer, diabetes and other illnesses, so it is absolutely necessary to see a veterinarian as soon as you can.

If you do not treat the symptoms of a bladder infection, the bacteria in your dog's urinary tract can ascend to your dog's bladder and kidneys and seep into the blood stream, causing fevers, blood infections, and abdominal pain. Further complications can include kidney failure, internal abscess wounds, spinal conditions caused by blood infections, and other complications.


Your veterinarian will diagnose your dog with a bladder infection through a urine test and a physical exam. The physical exam includes a full examination of your dog's bladder to determine whether it is tender or unusually firm—both symptoms of a bladder infection—and the urine test will rule out other conditions. Once the test results come back, your veterinarian will guide you through the different treatment options.

The typical treatment for a bladder infection is a 14-day antibiotic regime and a high-fiber diet. Homeopathic remedies are also available, but you should only use them after the veterinarian diagnoses your dog with results that state that your dog has a UTI.


The best way to keep your dog UTI-free is to give her clean water, change her water frequently, feed her fresh and healthy food, allow her to urinate at least every two to three hours (or every half hour for puppies), keep her in a clean environment and have a veterinarian perform annual check-ups. If your work schedule does not allow you to let the dog out every two to three hours, find someone who can let her out while you are away. You can also boost your dog's defenses by adding a UTI treatment to her healthy, well-balanced diet.

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