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Female Dog Urinary Tract Infection

by Emma
(Austin, Tx, USA)

Reader Question: Female Dog Urinary Tract Infection


I have a 14 year old spayed female Hokkaido dog (Japanese hunting dog). She is on a homemade diet of bison, rice, and potatoes with supplementary vitamins, due to the fact that she is highly allergic. She receives two injections of antigen a week for her allergies, B-12 shot maintenance monthly for small intestinal bowel disease, and adequan injections once monthly for arthritis.

She had polyurea/polydypsia and was sonogrammed, had blood work, had a radiograph of her bladder, and was then discovered to have a severe Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). After a month of Baytril, the infection cleared up, according to the cystocentisis.

However, she continues to urinate too frequently, and her urine flow doesn't seem as full as normal. It takes her longer to urinate. She will squat and drip for a time after she urinates. She doesn't have stones or calculi but her urine specific gravity is a bit low (1.016).

She has no evidence of Cushings or urinary tumors. Her kidney values are within normal range. After a third cystocentisis, the vet and I are both stumped.

Two days ago, I noticed her urinating 2 streams, one of urine and one of clear mucous. Do these symptoms indicate possible vaginitis? I hate to take her back to the vet, not just because of my bank account, but also because I hate to put her through anymore. It was two months and countless tests before they diagnosed the UTI.

What do you suggest?

Thanks,

Emma

Vet Suggestions for Female Dog Urinary Infection

Hello Emma,

The large amount of mucus in your dog’s urine could be coming from anywhere in her lower urinary tract – the bladder, urethra, or vagina. I can’t be sure, but the mucus could be a result of irritation to the mucosa that lines the lower urinary tract.

Has your dog had an ultrasound of her urinary tract? You mentioned an x-ray, but an ultrasound is really necessary to fully eliminate the possibility of small stones, tumors, etc. that could be predisposing her to urinary tract infections. Also, you did not mention a urine culture. It is sensitive to be performed on a sample of urine taken directly from her bladder using sterile technique. This is the best way to know whether or not she has a bladder infection, and if she does which antibiotic is the best choice to treat it.

Your dog’s low urine specific gravity/poor kidney function might be to blame for the difficulty in diagnosing and treating her urinary tract infections, but I wouldn’t completely eliminate the possibility of other problems without an ultrasound.

Also, Cushing’s disease could certainly be playing a role. This can be a difficult condition to definitively rule out. Has she had a urine cortisol/creatinine ratio, ACTH stimulation test, and/or low dose dexamethasone suppression test?

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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