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Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs

Urinary tract infections are quite common in dogs. In this DogAppy article, we will learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this infection.
DogAppy Staff
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common diseases that affect canines. Research has shown that approximately 14 percent of dogs are affected by it. Bacteria, which are usually the causal pathogens for UTI in dogs, enter their body when they drink contaminated water or consume contaminated food. Once inside, the bacteria are transported through blood and lymphatic system to the lower part of the body, i.e., the urinary tract.
Female dogs are more prone to UTI as they have a shorter urethra than males. So, it is easier for the bacteria to travel to the bladder, especially if the dog is suffering from a kidney infection. This condition should not be left untreated for long, as it may lead to severe damage of other internal organs.
Symptoms
The condition is categorized into two types: upper and lower UTI. The signs of an upper UTI include lack of appetite in dogs, vomiting, and eating disorders. The symptoms of a lower UTI are related to urination problems. However, the general symptoms of this condition include difficulty in passing urine, fever, loss of appetite, smelly urine, increased urination, and blood in the urine at times. Apart from the main symptoms, certain changes in the dog's behavior, like lethargy, loss of weight, vomiting, frequent thirst, and dehydration, are also observed.
Home Remedies
Provide your pet proper, nutritious dog food. Maintain hygiene and clean environment during meals. Keep your dog hydrated by providing sufficient amount of water; it will help to flush out the toxins. Additionally, you can also provide your dog with citrus fruit juices. Acidic juices will make the urine more acidic and this will lower the bacteria count. He may not like the taste of the acidic juice, so add something to change its flavor.
Treatment
After subjecting your dog to a proper diagnosis, the veterinarian will prescribe certain antibiotics depending on the severity of the infection. Your pet will also be subjected to some sensitivity tests to check for allergic reactions. If you notice any major changes in your dog's health after initiating treatment with antibiotics, then you should consult a vet to change the dosage. Another way for treating UTI in canines is by administering antimicrobial drugs. The dosage of these drugs continues for two to three weeks depending upon the intensity of the infection. If you do not prefer giving your dog any antibiotics, then you can try some homeopathic remedies to treat this infection. Treating your dog with apple cider vinegar can be yet another alternative.
If the symptoms have disappeared, don't assume that your pet is free from infection. It is advisable that you take your pet to a veterinarian for further checkups, at least for few days, so as to rule out complications. Certain precautionary measures should be taken even after the symptoms disappear.