Anyone who's had a bladder infection knows how much fun they are not. The infection generally starts along the urinary tract, where it can spread up into the bladder.They affect women more than men, and are known for their tell-tale symptom of a “burning” sensation when you pee. A bad bladder infection can even lead to lower back pain, a nasty fever, and vomiting. So can our canine companions develop these same types of infections?
Can Dogs Get a Bladder Infection?
Dogs can definitely get bladder infections, and they are just as nasty to pups as they are to people! A dog's bladder is a sterile place, so any bacteria that enters can really mess thing up. This bacteria often spreads up from the genitals or the rectum. If an infection lasts too long, the bladder organ will begin to scar, housing more bacteria and causing the dog to get sicker and sicker. If it were to go untreated for too long, this kind of infection could become life-threatening.
Does My Dog Have a Bladder Infection?
There are definite signs to look out for when determining whether your dog has a bladder infection or not. Many of the early symptoms are the same for infections all along the urinary tract. A visit to the vet will likely be needed to get the specifics on the problem.
A dog suffering from a bladder infection will have the urge to “go” all of the time. You may even see drops of blood come out with the urine. If your dog can't pee at all, you should immediately head to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital, as this is an emergency!
If a dog is exposed to harmful bacteria, such as that found in feces, garbage or rotting flesh, it can develop an internal infection. Dogs seem to be drawn to these smelly substances, so exposure is a lot more common than you might think. Underlying health problems and even stress can increase the likelihood of your dog getting a bladder infection.
To confirm the presence of a bladder infection, your vet will perform a physical examination and ask you specific questions about your dog's recent behavior. Samples of your dog's blood and urine will be taken so that the bacteria can be identified at a lab. If urinary stones are a concern, an x-ray or ultrasound may also be recommended.
For an extensive look into all of the symptoms, causes, and diagnostic processes in regards to bladder infections, take a look here: Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs
How Do I Treat My Dog's Bladder Infection?
The best way to treat any urinary tract infection is to seek the help of a veterinarian. Waiting or using gentler methods may lead to the infection spreading to other parts of the body, which is very dangerous for the dog.
A prescription of antibiotics is all that is needed to get rid of most bladder infections. Severe infections may require extensive therapy lasting up to six weeks. If a primary health problem is causing the infections, it will have to be treated as well.
Most infections will respond to antibiotics, and symptoms should start to disappear in a week or two. Another urine sample testing may be needed to confirm that the bacteria is actually gone.
To hear the stories of other dogs who've suffered from bladder infections, and to access a real, live veterinarian who can answer your specific questions, head over to Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs
How are Bladder Infections in Dogs Similar to Those in Humans?
Once an infection has really set in, most of the negative symptoms are the same in both canines and people. These similarities include:
Blood in the urine
Susceptibility among older females
How are Bladder Infections in Dogs Different from Those in Humans?
Our furry friends are a whole lot tougher that we are when it comes to dealing with discomfort, so you may not notice anything is even wrong with your dog until an infection has become quite bad. All apparent differences include:
No obvious signs of pain from mild infections
Chills - as we can not ask a dog if it is experiencing chills, this symptom is difficult to determine
Fever - unless you regularly check your dog's temperature, it is hard to know that your dog is having trouble from a fever alone
The appropriate treatment can bring a sick dog back to a happy dog. One older, intact female pooch experienced severe signs of infection including blood in her urine and extreme weight loss. After receiving ten days worth of antibiotics, her symptoms began to lessen and she started to put on weight. Two weeks later, she was back to her normal activity, playing and running like her usual self.