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Urinary: Infections

Causes:

Dog bladder infections are mostly caused by different species of bacteria. Viral infections have not been detected as causative agents. Different species of bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Proteus and Klebsiella can cause lower urinary tract infections in dogs. Bacteria can enter into the dog's body through the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) and ascend to the bladder and kidney in some cases. Therefore, it can >be suspected that contamination in the dog's bedding and environment can transmit disease.

None of the bacterial species can be specifically termed as the exact cause of bladder infections in dogs, as pathogenesis (the development of the disease) only depends upon the predisposing factors. These factors may be mainly immune related, as most of identified species are opportunistic in nature.

Abnormalities in the kidneys along with immune deficiency can lead to dog bladder problems such as urine flow and concentration.

Signs and Symptoms:

Signs may arise from difficulty urinating; dogs may strain while urinating and may show signs of extreme stress. Frequent urination is common, reduced volumes of urine are passed and dogs tend to urinate even if a low volume of urine is present in the bladder.

Blood with pus suggests a the presence of a canine lower urinary tract infection. When blood mixed with pus passes in the urine, it makes the urine cloudy and foul smelling. Bladder infections in dogs can be identified by palpating (feeling) the bladder. The bladder appears swelled, hot and pain is felt on palpation.In severe cases, generalized illness is definite, with signs of fever, anorexia and stress.

Diagnosis:

Urinalysis or thorough examination of urine samples for pH, nature, consistency, concentration and contents should be carried out to confirm the presence of a bacterial infection. The Alkaline nature of the urine, positive test for urates and the presence of red blood cells and white blood cells in the sample, suggests a bacterial infection.

Radiography can help with an examination of the bladder itself, such as any blockages or swelling. Some types of neoplasm (an abnormal new growth of tissue such as a tumor) can make the immune system deficient and bacteria can invade; thereafter, thus radiography can help in diagnosing neoplasm as the possible underlying cause for bladder infection.

Treatment of Canine Bladder Infections:

Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is highly recommended after conducting sensitivity tests. High doses are usually recommended in the case of dog bladder infections, as it is the treatment protocol that leads to the highest possible concentration of drug in the urine itself.

Different antibiotics such as amoxicillin at a dose rate of 10–25 mg/Kg BW or Cefadroxill at a dose rate of 25–35 mg/Kg BW administered orally for at least two weeks can treat mild to severe cases of bladder infections in dogs.

Repeated urine cultures taken every 3–5 days are recommended in order to assess any improvement. On basis of the urine cultures, antibiotic therapy can be continued for 3–5 weeks, with relatively reduced doses over time.

Symptomatically, bladder infections can be treated for fever, pain and swelling by administering anti–Inflammatory drugs, along with antibiotics. Vitamins and minerals should be restricted during treatment, but can be administered once infected dogs recover from severe conditions.

After anti-biotic treatment, the addition of a homeopathic remedy such as UTI-Free Formula to the diet can help to boost the body's natural defenses against infection. Several natural ingredients such as Berberis vulg, Cantharis and Staphysagris are all known natural ways to support urinary health.

Another natural preventative is to add some cranberry juice to your dog's water bowel in the morning.  Berries have natural properties which help to keep bacteria from clinging to the bladder walls.

Water and urination itself also helps as increased urination is natures way of flushing the bladder and the entire urinary tract.  Consider adding an additional walk each day, to encourage urination, and an extra water bowel to encourage drinking.


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