It all starts when you notice your dog heading outside more than normal. On walks, the pee breaks start to multiply, and you can tell that your pup is straining a bit to get the job done. You may even find an accident or two inside the house, which is when a lightbulb goes off! Your dog has a bladder infection and she's not having a good time.
While they are very common, bladder infections can be a lot more serious than most people think. If the infection spreads up the urinary tract, it can affect the whole bladder and make your dog really sick. The longer you wait to get proper treatment, the worse the problem will get. Treating any infection head on is always the best bet to beating it.
Causes and Prevention of Bladder Infections in Dogs
Quite a few different issues can lead to your dog having a bladder infection. As a rule of thumb, if a male dog presents with a bladder infection it is probably more serious than if a female has the same problem. This is because males aren't as susceptible to the less harmful forms of bacterial infections as females are. Below are some of the main causes of bladder infections in dogs.
Bacteria From the Outside World
Female dogs have short, little urethras that are pretty close to their anus. This means that bad bacteria doesn't have too far to go if it wants to set up shop inside the dog’s bladder. Bacterial infections are by far the most common cause of bladder infections in female pooches. While they are fairly treatable, if they are left for too long your pup could end up with a kidney infection or worse! So it's best to head to the vet as soon as you notice that something is wrong. Once your pup has been diagnosed with a bladder infection, a course of antibiotics should do the trick to get rid of the bacteria that is causing the trouble. If some mild symptoms have started to appear, you may also want to try giving your dog cranberry capsules. The power of the cranberry actually stops bacteria from attaching to the bladder! This treatment is easier on your fur-baby's insides, but may not be quite potent enough if a full fledged infection has set in. Juniper berries offer natural protection from bladder infections as well. They kick start the kidneys so that more urine is filtered. The dose should be kept small to be safe.
When a dog's pH levels get messed up, crystals can begin to form in their bladder. This usually happens because of diet deficiencies, but can also be caused by underlying health issues. The crystals are sharp, and can grow to the size of small stones! Their presence in your pooch can lead to chronic bladder infections, which are no fun at all. If your vet confirms a stone is definitely in your dog's urinary tract, they may be able to flush it out using saline solution. If the stone is stuck and causing a blockage, surgery may be the best option to remove it. But the easiest way to stop bladder stones is to never let them form in the first place. Feeding your four-legged friend a balanced diet of top quality or raw foods can keep their insides working like a well oiled machine! Giving your dog species-appropriate food can also reduce a whole heap of other health issues from ever developing and causing you grief.
Rarely, fungus is to blame for your pupper’s bladder infection! It probably won't be your vet’s first guess when diagnosing your pooch, but after other treatments fail, they may finally test to see if fungi is the culprit. If spores are found, an antifungal medication will be prescribed to your dog. The prescription may go on for months depending on how bad the infection is. Although it can take a while, this treatment method is generally successful for getting rid of the fungus in your dog's bladder. To keep your dog from contacting spores, don't let them roam through marshy or moist terrain. Anywhere that mold or fungus is obviously present should be avoided. A dog with a healthy immune system is more likely to be able to fight off a fungal infection, so using basic tonics that boost the immune system can help prevent fungus from ever infiltrating.
Importance of Prevention
It can be tricky to stay on top of all of your pup's health issues. But with some extra work now, you can prevent your pooch from having to go through a whole lot of pain in the long run. Antibiotics are not cheap at all, and a urinalysis can cost up to $50 a pop! So every time that you keep a bladder infection from happening, both your wallet and your dog will thank you. Your mutt may also get added years from your prudence. Bladder infections can turn into more sinister illnesses if left unchecked for too long. By preventing them in the first place, you can save yourself from the early heartbreak that comes from losing a beloved pet before his time.
Get On with Your Walks!
Neither you or your dog wants to deal with the hassle of a bladder infection. All that wasted time outside waiting for pee that will never come could be spent doing better things, like playing fetch and going on walks! So put your pupper first and take steps before an infection occurs. Your future self will thank you, and so will your pup!