Help me get rid of this nasty UTI
A UTI, or urinary tract infection, happens in dogs in the same way it happens in humans. A UTI is the presence of bacteria in the urine. The infection can be in the upper or lower urinary tract but can also be present in multiple sites. A UTI happens when the bacteria enter any part of the urinary tract, whether it be the urethra or bladder. Signs that your dog is experiencing a UTI may include increased urination, dark or cloudy, foul-smelling urine, and lower abdominal pain or sensitivity. Dogs may get a UTI for various reasons. However, it is important to treat a recurring UTI in your dog to prevent permanent damage to the kidneys or bladder.
Even the finest get UTIs
Anytime the bacteria move up the urethra of the dog, a urinary tract infection can occur. If your dog does not urinate at least every six hours, the bacteria can collect in the urethra and then move up to the kidneys. Certain medications, such as steroidal medicines and antibiotics, can cause a UTI. Diseases like tumors, diabetes, or inflammation of the testicles in males, may also cause a recurrent UTI. A recurring UTI is more easily preventable with proper treatment. Some pet experts believe that diet is the culprit for many dogs. Dry dog food can be contaminated with bacteria that may or may not cause problems. E. coli bacteria can grow if food is not properly stored. Leaving water in pet food may also breed bacteria.
Herbal treatments or mainstream treatments?
Treatment for a recurring UTI in dogs is similar to that used for humans. The most common treatment for a UTI in a dog is antibiotics and changing the dog’s diet. Dogs who suffer from a urinary tract infection will want to and should drink a lot of water. If the UTI is chronic, the dog may be required to eat canned food or have water added to his food. UTI usually involves a higher pH balance in the urine. To manage the acidic urine and lower the pH balance for a dog that has recurrent UTI problems, a cereal-based food instead of an animal-based food may be recommended. Be sure that your dog’s diet includes the recommended levels of magnesium, phosphate and aluminum to reduce the risk of your pet getting another UTI.
Some veterinarians use a more natural approach to treatment of a recurring UTI. They often prescribe herbs and homeopathic remedies before resorting, again, to mainstream treatments like antibiotics. Many natural remedies used for humans work well in dogs, too. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Echinacea is known to be effective in removing residuals of the infection. Alfalfa and uva ursi reduce acidity in urine and irritation in mucosal linings. A blood cleanser, bucchu, is used as a remedy for UTI. People often drink cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections, and cranberries also works for dogs. Cranberry extract pills are made specifically for dogs.
If Left Untreated
If a UTI is left untreated or a dog continually suffers from a UTI, damage to the urinary tract, such as scarring of the bladder, can progress and, more rarely, can cause kidney damage, even kidney failure. If you suspect your dog has a problem with recurring UTI, it is crucial that he sees a veterinarian and gets long-term treatment early. If the UTI persists, the veterinarian may want to prescribe medication to bring a halt to it, and hopefully, avoid additional urinary tract infections.
Feed me a healthy diet
A chronic problem with UTI is more prevalent in female dogs but they do happen to male dogs as well. Persistent UTI is most commonly seen in female and male German shepherds, and toy and miniature poodles.