Canine Urinary Tract Infections - an overview
At Pet NutriSystems we encourage a proactive approach to pet health. It is the best way to protect our pets and keep them healthy. If your dog has symptoms of urinary tract infection or has recurring bouts of UTI, we offer well researched products and information that give much needed support when your friend needs it most. By following the proper guidelines to urinary tract health today you give your dog the best advantage for the future.
More About UTIs
Canine urinary tract infections (UTI) is a blanket term that may be used to refer to cystitis (bladder infection or inflammation), crystaluria (presence of crystals), urolithiasis (presence of stones), etc. Canine urinary tract conditions break down into 3 basic categories: bladder infection/inflammation, bladder stones/crystals and urinary tract blockages.
The most common symptoms include:
A dog suffering from a urinary tract condition my exhibit some or all of the above conditions. In fact, some dogs will show no outward symptoms of UTI. If undetected or untreated UTIs can lead to more serious, life threatening conditions. Regular home testing with The Pet Checkup will alert you to urinary tract infections as well as many other potential health problems.
- More frequent urination
- Prolonged squatting or straining (often confused with constipation)
- Blood in the urine
- Strong odor to the urine
- Urination in inappropriate places
- Tender abdomen (in the bladder area)
It is also important to note that dogs with conditions like diabetes and chronic kidney disease are more susceptible to urinary tract infections. Following a urinary health protocol can be especially beneficial for them.
Let's look a little closer at each of the basic categories:
There are a number of natural approaches that are very effective in assisting dogs with urinary tract disorders. Proper diet and supplementation can help reduce or eliminate recurrences. With proper diagnosis from your veterinarian, natural products may also be used to shorten recovery time when symptoms are present.
- Bladder infection and inflammation - True bladder infections are most common in females but can affect male dogs too. Antibiotics are the standard first line of defense for UTIs. Antibiotics are usually effective in eliminating the infection, however they destroy the good flora in the gut which can lead to other health problems. Once the antibiotic treatment is complete it is important to supplement with probiotics to reestablish healthy intestinal bacteria.
- Bladder stones and crystals - Crystals are mineral deposits that are often expelled during urination. When your dog's Ph level is out of balance, more crystals form than can be adequately flushed out and they may attach to each other and form stones. Stones and crystals have an irritating effect on the bladder and in turn cause inflammation. Struvite stones are caused when the urine Ph is too alkaline and calcium oxalate stones are formed when the urine Ph is too acidic. It is thought that the major cause of stones and crystals is diet and/or lack of proper hydration.
- Urinary tract blockages - This is the most dangerous category of urinary tract disorder. Blockages occur most often in male dogs in an attempt to pass a stone. The build up of toxins can result in kidney failure and death in as little as 24 hours. If you suspect your dog has a blockage, seek medical help immediately.
A comprehensive approach for achieving improved urinary tract function is a multi-step process.