What is Peeing Often?
Excessive urination is also known as polyuria. Polyuria is usually linked to polydipsia, which is when your dog is drinking an excessive amount of water. This can occur in your dog for a number of different reasons and point to an underlying issue or issues. Possible health concerns that will lead to polyuria and polydipsia include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Hormonal imbalance
- Distended bladder and blockage
- Cushing’s disease
If your dog is urinating more than usual, how serious it is will depend on its cause. Some conditions, like a distended bladder and blockage, are very serious and will require immediate medical treatment. If your dog is peeing often due to a urinary tract infection, upon receiving treatment, the symptoms will resolve relatively quickly.
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Why Peeing Often Occurs in Dogs
The reason for your dog peeing often will depend upon its cause. For example:
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are the most common cause of excessive urination in dogs. These are infections within the dog’s urinary tract. Other symptoms you may see in your dog include blood in the urine, trouble urinating or only urinating a few drops at a time. Urinary tract infections are easy to treat; antibiotics will be prescribed to resolve the infection. A urinary tract infection can occur due to numerous reasons, one of which is if your dog is not given the opportunity to urinate as often as necessary.
Also known as spay incontinence, this will occur in female dogs who have recently been spayed. In this condition, your dog may not be able to hold her bladder due to a decrease in estrogen, which helps to preserve the urethra muscles. When the levels of estrogen decrease, urine can drip out without your dog being aware of it. This can also occur in neutered males due to low testosterone, however it is not as common.
Distended Bladder and Blockages
The distention of your dog’s bladder will most often happen if something is blocking the passage of urine (tumor, bladder stone or something similar). During the blockage, drips of your dog’s urine may be able to pass the blockage, leading to your dog urinating in small amounts and very often.
A distended bladder and blockages are very dangerous and can lead to your dog’s kidneys shutting down. Immediate medical attention is required. Upon the blockage being removed, your dog’s bladder will still be distended and your dog may need help with complete elimination until it shrinks back to its usual size.
Particularly prior to it being diagnosed and treated, a dog with diabetes will urinate frequently as a result of their drinking more water to get the excess sugar out of their blood. The increase in drinking water leads them to urinate more often.
Cushing’s disease is when your dog’s body overproduces steroids, which will lead to issues in his other systems. Other symptoms that may be seen include hair loss, seizures and appearing lethargic.
What to do if your Dog is Peeing Often
Should you notice that your dog is peeing often it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as this may be the result of an underlying health condition. Your veterinarian will conduct a full physical examination, as well as ask you about any symptoms you have noticed in your dog and when you first noticed them. He will also ask you about your dog’s diet and any supplements or medications he is currently taking. Any testing administered will depend upon the symptoms your dog is displaying along with what your veterinarian sees during the physical exam.
It is likely that your veterinarian will conduct blood testing to include a complete blood count and blood chemistry profile. In Cushing’s disease, the blood may show a greater than normal SAP (serum alkaline phosphatase), and increased ALT, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and decreased BUN (blood urea nitrogen). A urine sample will likely be taken and analyzed for levels of glucose that are present; high levels of glucose can point to diabetes. Should bacteria be found in the urine sample it can confirm a urinary tract infection. Other tests may include x-rays of your dog’s kidneys, ureters and bladder, abdominal ultrasound and an endoscopy of the urinary bladder through the urethra.
Prevention of Peeing Often
A healthy diet and regular exercise are important factors in your dog maintaining his health. Taking your dog to the veterinarian annually for a check-up is also important as that will allow any concerns to be addressed immediately, before they become more serious.
You will want to be sure that your dog is offered access to the outdoors often enough so that he does not keep urine in his bladder for an extended period of time. When urine is kept in the bladder for long periods, bacteria can become an issue, leading to a urinary tract infection.
Cost of Peeing Often
Treatment for excessive urination can vary greatly in cost and will be dependent upon the severity of your dog’s condition as well as the cost of living where you are seeking treatment. For example, should your dog be diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, the average cost of treatment is around $350. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, treatment will be long term and can run an average of $3,000.