Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs

Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Bleeding / Blood In Urine / Lethargy / Poor Appetite / Vomiting

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Rated as serious conditon

10 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Bleeding / Blood In Urine / Lethargy / Poor Appetite / Vomiting

Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Urinary Tract Obstruction?

A urinary tract obstruction is typically caused by stones in the urethra. A partial or full blockage results in difficulty urinating, which may lead to dangerously high levels of potassium and other conditions. This is more common in male dogs, though it may occur in female dogs as well. All cases of obstruction need to be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible to reestablish urine flow.

When a stone forms or is carried into the urinary tract, it may block the flow of urine. If your dog is straining to urinate, see a veterinarian immediately, as a full blockage is a serious condition that needs to be treated right away to prevent permanent damage or death.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs

If your dog is suffering from a urinary tract obstruction, he or she may exhibit a range of symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • More frequent bathroom trips
  • Bloody urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Pain

Your dog may be more prone to accidents in the house, and when he or she does urinate, the amount will be small and appear as a thin stream.

Causes of Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs

A urinary tract obstruction is typically caused by a stone lodging in the urethra, narrowing the tube through which urine passes. These stones may either form in the urinary tract or be carried out from the bladder. Tumors, inflammation, and disease of the prostate gland may also result in an obstruction in the urinary tract.

Though these obstructions can occur in both male and female dogs, it is more prevalent in the former and result in more severe illness due to the males’ long, narrow urethras. Any stone that passes through has a higher likelihood of lodging and creating a full obstruction.

Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs

If you notice your dog straining to urinate, or if you find blood in your dog’s urine, visit the veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will palpate your dog’s bladder and urethra and perform a rectal examination, which may reveal stones in the bladder or urinary tract or an enlarged prostate in male dogs. Other diagnostic tests that may help identify the obstruction include:

  • Urinalysis
  • Urine culture
  • Blood test
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • Biopsy of tissue from the urinary tract

Imaging can help discover suspicious masses, such as bladder stones or tumors, while blood work and urinalysis test electrolyte and kidney values and reveal bacteria or crystals. By performing a variety of tests, your veterinarian can both discover the source of the obstruction and establish the extent of the damage to other areas. An inability to urinate may lead to infection, elevated potassium levels, and kidney damage, all of which will need to be addressed as part of your dog’s treatment.

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Treatment of Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs

Depending on the extent of the blockage, your dog may need to be hospitalized until urine flow has been reestablished. This is typically accomplished by inserting a catheter into the urethra to drain urine and by flushing the stones back into the bladder. If the obstruction cannot be removed with this method, surgery may be required.

The urinary tract obstruction itself is not a disease but rather a symptom of another condition, such as bladder stones or cancer, which will need to be addressed to prevent future blockage.

Medical Management

Once the stone has been flushed into the bladder, it can be dissolved through a combination of drugs and a prescription diet. Certain foods may soften the stone enough for it to pass through the urethra successfully. Fluid therapy prevents your dog from becoming dehydrated while moving waste and toxins out of the bloodstream more quickly.

Surgical Treatment

For male dogs with an enlarged prostate, castration is standard in order to reduce the prostate’s size. Surgery may also be necessary to remove the stones from the bladder or urethra if they cannot be broken up by ultrasonic waves or dissolved by less invasive means.

Recovery of Urinary Tract Obstruction in Dogs

Once the obstruction has been removed and your dog is able to pass urine normally again, you must ensure that your dog is receiving enough fluids in order to flush out accumulated waste. Monitor your dog’s urination frequency and amount, and check for blood in the urine. Administer any prescribed medication according to your veterinarian’s instructions, and provide your dog with easy access to clean, fresh water.

If your dog underwent surgery as part of the treatment process, you will need to restrict physical activity and enforce plenty of rest until the surgical site has healed. You may need to bring your dog back to your veterinarian for follow-up exams to ensure that the stone has dissolved and that the obstruction has not returned.

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Urinary Tract Obstruction Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $400 - $4,500

Average Cost

$1,200

Urinary Tract Obstruction Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Pika

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Miniature Schnauzer

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic
Difficulty Urinating
Enlarged Prostate

Hello, my male schnauzer has been having difficulty urinating for the last 3 days. I’ve taken him to the vet where they did x-rays and a urinalysis which came back showing casts and crystals. The doctor did not see any stones on the X-ray but believes there is a stone because when she inserted a catheter it stopped at a certain point. She has said that the condition is serious and surgery may be needed which would cost thousands, something I can’t afford. She did empty his bladder but still he has trouble urinating and seems to be very uncomfortable. He is on tramadol for pain and zenequin for any infection. She did mention his prostate is enlarged and his bladder is full. Because I can’t afford the surgery she is recommending we switch him to a urinary diet but doesn’t believe it will help in time. She has been very helpful and understanding of my financial situation but doesn’t believe he will make it if the stone isn’t removed soon. I know it’s horrible but I asked about putting him down as he is in pain and I hate seeing him that way. She did mentioned I could surrender him to them and they would find him a home. How long can he go with this obstruction? How long should I let it continue before I make a decision?

April 25, 2018

Pika's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

If Pika is unable to urinate, that is a very serious condition, and is not a fair condition for him to live in. Since I can't see him, Im not sure what distress he may be in, but from your description, he needs frequent re-evaluations by your veteirnarian to make sure that he isn't suffering. I am sorry that that is happening with him, and hope that you are able to make the right decision for him.

April 25, 2018

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Baxter

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Puggle

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Urinatioin

WE have a Puggle who has some sort of bladder problem. He was treated for bladder infection for 3 weeks and still has some blood in his urine. Vet did a culture that showed no infection and did an xray that showed nothing. Yesterday he tried to pee for a long time and just did a little. In the middle of the night he whined to go outside. Just outside the door he urinated that sounded like a horse. Could he have passed a stone that the xray didnt show?

March 21, 2018

Baxter's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Some stones do not show up on x-rays, and are best seen on an ultrasound. Prostate disease can also cause the signs that you are describing, as can bladder cancer. An ultrasound might be the next best step to try and determine what is going on with him. I hope that he is okay.

March 21, 2018

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Mattie

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Bull and Terrier

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination

I believe my dog is having a UTI and I called her vet, which he gave her an antibiotic. She has had a UTI before, so I know what her reactions are to it, but this time she seems worse... maybe I didn't catch it as early as before. I gave her some tramadol as she has been panting and whining. I don't know what else to do for her. She wants to go out all the time of course. She will urinate and then keep trying but after the first pee, nothing else. I have some Deramax. Can I give that to her to help? I just don't know what to do.

Feb. 8, 2018

Mattie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. I'm not sure what time frame Mattie has been on the antibiotic, but if it doesn't seem to be helping in 12-24 hours and she seems very uncomfortable, it would be a good idea to have a follow up visit to assess what is going on, and why she is so painful. If she has had recurrent UTI's, she may need to have her urine cultured to make sure that the Amoxicillin is an appropriate treatment for her. If your veterinarian is closed, they should have an after-hours contact, or a 24 hour clinic near you, so that Mattie can get come comfort. I hope that she is okay.

Feb. 8, 2018

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Dexter

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Pug

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Difficulty Urinating

I came home from work a little bit ago (its 11:45pm) and my brother told me my male pug was having a hard time peeing and keeps hunching over to pee but can’t and is leaving little drops of pee in the house. He also vomited once and won’t eat. He did however drink a bunch of water and held it down. It’s too late to go to my vet and he finally fell asleep. His breathing sounds normal, he doesn’t feel like he has a fever, he did pee, after sometime a good amount of urin did come out but not all at once. It took about 35 min of trying to get out an ok amount of urin. He isn’t much of a crier but I could tell he was In pain because he would shake a little bit and then cuddle me. His belly is kind of bloated as well. After he finally got some urin out the bloat went down. I took him potty before I left for work and he had no issues and peed and pooped like normal. I’m taking him first thing in the morning to his vet (they open at 7am) but I’m just worried. There is no blood in his urin and he ate dinner earlier. Pooped normal as well. He also pooped normal when my brother walked him but just had difficulty peeing. I’m assuming it’s an obstruction because his belly is a little bloated from not peeing, or at least that’s my guess as to why. It’s just weird because it happened out of nowhere, super sudden. Does this sort of thing just happen suddenly? Could it be something else?

Feb. 3, 2018

Dexter's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

I’m assuming by now that you have visited your Veterinarian already, but there are a few causes for difficulty to urinate which include infections, urinary stones, tumours of the bladder, inflammation, spinal issues, prostate issues among other causes. If there was difficulty urinating and then Dexter urinated as normal, it may have been a simple obstruction which has moved; however it is important to get this checked by your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 4, 2018

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Bailey's Irish Cream

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German Shorthaired Pointer

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Dipping Urinal, Not Streaming

I have been taking my Male dog to Vet for Urinary issue. He tries to pee but only drips, even inside when walking around house. Vet put him on Antibotic and no change. Cystocentesis and showed nothing. So then they put him on Proin 50 mg and did x-rays, not seeing blockage and no change. This week they tried a Catheterization and it would only go in 1 inch, tried several different types. Also tried to send a dye through to look for a contrast and dye leaked back out. They feel he is having urethral spasms. We are currently on Prazosin HCL 1 mg 2 pills 2x a day. Have been on for 2 days and no change. When they did x-ray they stated they could not see past the pelvis to see what type of stone or blockage. What do you think and would it be best to Take him to an Animal Hospital that specializes in Urinary Tract Problems?

Jan. 13, 2018

Bailey's Irish Cream's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that Bailey is having these problems. I'm not sure if he is neutered or not, but sometimes prostate problems can complicate these situations. As this point, it may be best to see a specialist as he does not seem to be doing any better. Your veterinarian can discuss whether that is the best treatment for him, or if they feel that things are being managed at their level. I hope that he recovers well.

Jan. 13, 2018

Many Prayers and Much Love for you Sweet Bailey & Your Great Little Momma! Love from All of us at Jerzey's House ♡

Jan. 13, 2018

Tiffeny W.

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Flora

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Sproodle

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4 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Urinary
Urinary Inconsitent

Hi we have a 4 month old Sproodle. She is very lively little pup. I had noticed a week ago she was squatting to go for a pee but nothing was coming out. The following day she was completely fine with no problem at all. A week has gone by and she again has struggled to go for a pee first thing in the morning. This only lasted hours before she is back to normal. During this period she has been completely normal with no other symptoms. Continuing as normal being her lively little self. Is this something to worry about?

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Jack

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Jack Russell Terrier

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10 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Panting
Needy

Notice it on Sept 14 he was aney and panting and following me around everywhere to the point where it was unbearable. Prior to that I noticed he had was going to the bathroom a lot I figured he was constipated, so I googled so Remedies on constipation. His symptoms got worse to the point where I needed to take him to a vet immeadiately. They did some X-Rays and blood work and said he was constipated and that he needed an enenma. And sent me home with Tremadol. He had a bowl movement but his symptoms were the same if not worse. SO I called the vet back and they told me to bring him back in and this time it was a different DOC. She took me in the back and said did Dr. So and So show me the X-rays and I said no she explained to me that Jack had a stone in his Bladder and showed me the X-rays and said that he needed immediate surgery, so we did. Jack's recovery was great but two weeks later he started exibiting the same symptoms from earlier so i took him back to the vet and she and did a urinalysis and he had blood in his urine, his ph was 9.0 LEK was 3+ and his protein was 3+ and GLU was 1+ KET 1+, no bacteria was in his urine sent me home with Clavanox and Rimadyl and told and wrote a prescription for medical dog food. Call back after two week to let her know how he's doing. Well Jack is doing good and I'm worried! Could ther be another stone dose he have a UTI don't know...Please Advise...

Urinary Tract Obstruction Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $400 - $4,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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