VOSD Vet

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

8 Common Urinary Problems in Dogs

What Is a Urinary Problem in a Dog?

A dog’s urinary system comprises the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. These components are situated within the abdomen and the retroperitoneal space at the back of the abdomen. The urinary tract performs essential functions such as filtering blood to eliminate toxins, regulating electrolyte balance, and reabsorbing water for the body. Urine, a waste by-product, is produced as a result. Unfortunately, issues can arise at any point along the urinary tract, ranging from simple infections to more serious conditions like cancer.

Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a broad term typically referring to an infection affecting the lower portion of the urinary tract, including the urinary bladder and/or urethra. Symptoms of UTIs in dogs include straining during urination, blood in the urine, frequent urination in small amounts, or urinating in inappropriate locations. Dogs commonly experience urinary tract infections, which can stem from various bacterial strains. Additionally, UTIs may arise as a secondary issue due to underlying conditions like urinary crystals, stones, or cancers.

Urinary Bladder Infection in Dogs

Urinary bladder infections are prevalent among dogs and are usually manageable and treatable. These infections can cause discomfort and may necessitate prescription medication for resolution. Increased water intake is a common symptom in dogs with urinary bladder infections, so it’s crucial to observe your dog’s drinking and urination patterns closely.

Lower Urinary Tract Disease in Dogs

Lower urinary tract disease is a broad term encompassing various bladder and/or urethral issues in dogs. Some dogs may suffer from infections, while others might experience inflammation without infection, known as sterile cystitis. Although the symptoms are similar for both conditions, treatment methods vary depending on the underlying cause. Many dogs with lower urinary tract disease may exhibit increased water consumption, struggle to urinate, pass blood in their urine, or have accidents indoors.

Urinary Bladder Stones in Dogs

Urinary bladder stones in dogs pose a potential emergency if left unattended. Initially, these stones may go unnoticed within the body. However, if a stone migrates from the urinary bladder to the narrower urethra, it can become lodged, obstructing urine flow.

This blockage can lead to the urinary bladder becoming overly full and eventually rupturing, resulting in sepsis and potential fatality due to urine leakage into the abdomen. Many dogs experiencing urinary bladder stones exhibit signs of straining to urinate or repeatedly attempt to urinate, but only produce small amounts of urine.

Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs

Urinary bladder cancer in dogs commonly manifests as transitional cell carcinoma, the prevailing type. Typically, it arises in the trigone region of the bladder, where urine is expelled into the urethra. This form of cancer is notably painful, presenting symptoms including difficulty urinating, presence of blood in the urine, and the release of urine in small volumes at a time.

Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Urinary incontinence, a prevalent urinary issue, primarily affects female dogs, although it can also manifest in males. It is characterized by the leakage of urine, whether in large or small volumes, particularly noticeable where the pet has been resting. Weak sphincter muscle tone at the urinary bladder frequently underlies urinary incontinence.

Kidney Failure in Dogs

Kidney failure in dogs stems from various causes such as injury, infection, toxins, certain medications, and cancer. As the kidneys lose their ability to function effectively, dogs exhibit a range of symptoms. Common signs of kidney failure include reduced appetite, increased urination, potential weight loss, and episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Less Common Urinary Tract Conditions in Dogs

Less frequent urinary tract conditions in dogs present symptoms akin to more common ones and encompass pyelonephritis (kidney infection), kidney stones, proteinuria, neurologic urinary bladder disorders (such as atony), and issues affecting the ureters or urethra (like strictures and diverticulum).

Additionally, ailments originating from other bodily systems may manifest signs in the urinary tract. These include prostate diseases in male dogs, pyometra in female dogs, Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism), diabetes mellitus, and diabetes insipidus.

Symptoms of Urinary Issues in Dogs

Recognizing your pet’s typical behaviors regarding drinking, eating, urinating, and defecating is crucial for pet owners. In multi-pet households where pets share the same water bowl, distinguishing normal and abnormal patterns might be challenging, necessitating temporary separation to observe individual behaviors.

Common symptoms indicating urinary issues in dogs include deviations in water consumption (excessive or insufficient) and irregular urination patterns like straining to urinate, passing small or large volumes of urine, experiencing urinary accidents, or displaying blood in the urine.

Causes of Urinary Issues in Dogs

Urinary problems are prevalent among dogs and often respond well to treatment. Dogs of various ages, breeds, and sizes, regardless of gender, can experience urinary issues. Effective prevention measures may involve maintaining proper hygiene and weight management. However, factors such as genetics, diet, and lifestyle also contribute to the onset of urinary problems.

How Veterinarians Diagnose Urinary Issues in Dogs

Various urinary issues in dogs exhibit similar symptoms, making accurate diagnosis essential for appropriate treatment. To determine the underlying cause, your veterinarian will likely order diagnostic tests.

Initially, a urinalysis is conducted using a fresh urine sample from your pet. Additionally, your veterinarian may perform bloodwork analysis, submit urine for culturing, take X-rays, or utilize ultrasound to further assess the urinary problem. While most tests can be conducted by your regular veterinarian, some cases may require referral to an internal medicine specialist for advanced procedures like endoscopy or biopsy sampling.

Treatment of Urinary Problems in Dogs

Recognizing your pet’s typical behaviors regarding drinking, eating, urinating, and defecating is crucial for pet owners. In multi-pet households where pets share the same water bowl, distinguishing normal and abnormal patterns might be challenging, necessitating temporary separation to observe individual behaviors.

Common symptoms indicating urinary issues in dogs include deviations in water consumption (excessive or insufficient) and irregular urination patterns like straining to urinate, passing small or large volumes of urine, experiencing urinary accidents, or displaying blood in the urine.

Recovery and Management of Urinary Issues in Dogs

Many urinary issues in dogs can be effectively treated, enabling your dog to resume its normal activities. If your veterinarian advises follow-up testing post-medication, it’s crucial to complete this step to ensure stability, improvement, or resolution of the problem. During your dog’s annual examination, discuss any changes in eating, drinking, and elimination habits with your veterinarian.

Maintaining your pet at a healthy weight and practicing good hygiene is essential, as excessive hair around the urogenital area can contribute to urinary problems. Occasionally, diarrhea in pets may lead to urinary issues due to the proximity of the rectum and vulva in females. Ensure your pet has constant access to clean, fresh drinking water. Some pet owners opt for bottled water for pets with urinary problems. Certain diets and supplements designed to promote urinary health can be beneficial. However, since different urinary issues require specific approaches to maintain bladder health, always consult your veterinarian before initiating any therapy, including diets and supplements.

Scroll to Top