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Caring For Dogs With Urinary Problems
By Amy Caldwell
Published: 09/22/2017, edited: 09/20/2021
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Debilitating pain often seen with a urinary problem can also seriously affect the quality of your dog’s life. Fortunately, symptoms of urinary problems are typically noticed relatively quickly. You can expect whimpering when your dog pees, you may see blood when they pass urine, or they may urinate in short bursts. Some causes of dysuria (trouble urinating) can even be life-threatening, so getting swift treatment is essential. This article will identify the most common causes of urinary issues and offer guidance on how to care for your dog if they are suffering.
What Causes Urinary Problems in Dogs?
If your dog is having trouble urinating, getting a swift diagnosis from your vet is always advised. There are several reasons for the onset of urinary trouble which may include:
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Lesions in the urinary tract
- Bacterial infection of the bladder
- High mineral content in some dog foods can cause crystals
- Cancer, such as in the bladder or kidneys
- Prostate infection in a male dog
- Low water intake by your dog can lead to stones
- Serious trauma to the urethra and/or bladder
- Ingestion of a toxic substance that leads to poisoning
- Undiagnosed illnesses like diabetes and Cushing's disease can lead to an increased need to urinate
It is also possible that environmental changes have caused the problem. For example, if your dog has less opportunity to go outside than previously, the lack of elimination may bring on crystals or stones. If your dog is on a new medication, this may be the underlying cause. It is also possible recent surgical procedures could have led to a bladder malfunction.
Breed disposition is a factor, too. Dogs that may be prone to urinary stones include:
- Lhasa Apso
- Bichon Frise
- Yorkshire Terrier
Dogs predisposed to bladder cancer can be:
- Wire Fox Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- Scottish Terriers
What are the Symptoms of Urinary Problems in Dogs?
Urinary trouble is often easy to see. Your furry buddy may ask to go for a pee break more often than usual and could start having accidents in the house. Other symptoms you may see are:
- Dribbling or spurts rather than a steady urine stream
- Licking of the genital area
- Whining in pain when peeing
- Blood in the urine
Caring for your dog if they have dysuria will require getting fast and effective medical care from your local vet. The treatment, however, will depend almost entirely on the underlying cause. If the cause is a tumor, it will need to be removed surgically. An illness like diabetes can be treated with medication which will get your dog's system back on track, allowing the frequency of urination to lessen. A bacterial infection can be eradicated with antibiotics.
Don't Wait to Consult the Vet
Urinary problems can seriously affect your dog’s quality of life, causing significant pain and discomfort. But even more worryingly, symptoms of trouble could be a sign of a potentially life-threatening problem like cancer. Stones, lesions and a range of other circumstances can cause urinary problems, so getting prompt diagnosis and treatment from your local vet is advisable. Depending on the cause, surgery may be required, but often dog treatment will involve medication and supportive therapy.