Urinary Issues in Pets

Hi Gentle Care clients. I don’t know about you but we are so excited spring is here. May is finally upon us, soon school will be letting out and the madness of summer will begin. We were thinking about another topic we have not addressed in an email but we see a fair amount in our clinic and thought should shed some light on the subject of urinary problems in pets. Not everyone knows the symptoms, so let us tell you a little more.

Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are common in pets. UTI’s are an infection caused by bacteria, fungi or parasites in the urinary tract. They can lead to an increase in urination, urgency, bloody urine and even accidents in the house. Incontinence can also be an issue (for female dogs more so than cats). If you are finding urine spots where pets are sleeping that is common with incontinence.

When dogs get UTIs, they may strain or have difficulty urinating. It could be painful for them to urinate and they may have blood in their urine. Crying out while urinating or obsessively licking the genital area is a sign that something may be going on with their urinary tract. Inappropriate urination is another possible sign of a bladder issue. You might not know that there’s blood in your dog’s urine unless you see a pinkish stain on the carpet where your pet had an accident. If you notice your house trained dog is peeing near the door or has increased frequency or urgency to go, producing a large volume of urine or maybe just small dribbles, there could be an issue. It helps to be observant about your dog’s urination habits now so you will notice if there are changes to the pattern.

Cats can get UTI’s too but more often have issues with stress induced inflammation or crystals. If an infection is found, your veterinarian will probably look for another disease or problem that may have put your cat at risk of infection. For example, kidney disease or diabetes can increase the risk of urinary tract infection. If inflammation or crystals are present we discuss how we treat and prevent these conditions.

When faced with symptoms of a UTI or incontinence, the first thing we do is a urinalysis. In most cases, we will ask the client to get a fresh sample to bring in at appointment time. If this is not possible, we will walk the dog and try to get one at the clinic. Cats are more difficult since they generally use a litter box, however we have a couple different methods for getting urine samples for testing. Once we have done a urinalysis and we know more about what is going wrong, we can treat the problem!

The treatment for urinary infections often depends on the severity of the infection and the organism causing the infection. Usually we treat with a round of antibiotics and/or antiinflammatories. Sometimes there is another reason for the urinary issue and we may need to do additional testing to determine the best course of treatment. Please call our office if you have any questions, concerns or need to make an appointment for your pet. 417-725-2386