The Truth About Canine Urinary Tract Infections

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If you’re like most dog owners, you may think that canine urinary tract infections are no big deal.  All you need to do is give your dog an antibiotic for a couple of weeks, and the problem’s solved, right?

Wrong.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if your dog even has canine cystitis.

Does My Dog Have A Canine Urinary Tract Infection?

As smart as dogs are, they can’t talk and tell us what their problem is.  The only way they can communicate is with their behavior.  If your dog has canine cystitis, she’ll try to tell you by her actions.

If you’ve ever had a bladder infection, you know that the main symptom is pain and burning when you urinate.  Your dog will tell you she’s unhappy, with restless behavior like pacing around the house and whining.  She may want to go out again right away, even though she just came in.

Worse, she may urinate on the floor, your bed, or in other inappropriate areas.  Many dog owners mistakenly think this is a behavior problem.  Before you start looking for a dog trainer, rule out bladder infections in dogs first.

Tests Your Vet Should Do To Diagnose Canine Cystitis

Tests to diagnose a canine urinary tract infection include urinalysis, a dog urine culture, and a sensitivity test. 

A urinalysis should be done to see if bacteria or stones are present in your dog’s urine.  If bacteria are found, a urine culture needs to be done to find out exactly which bacteria they are.  The sensitivity test will tell your vet the correct antibiotic to use.

The problem arises because urine culturing and sensitivity testing increases your vet bill by $25 to $100.  Some dog owners can’t afford the extra money, and others just won’t pay for it even it they can afford it. 

So what happens?  Your vet ends up prescribing an antibiotic that may or may not kill the bacteria causing your dog’s bladder infection. 

Why Using The Wrong Antibiotic Is A Bad Idea

The first reason is that you can spend a lot of time and money treating your dog with an antibiotic that won’t do the job.  Giving a dog an expensive antibiotic for two or three weeks is no picnic, so you don’t want to waste time with the wrong drug.

Secondly, if you skip the sensitivity test, you may be treating your dog with a drug that won’t kill the bacteria causing the infection.  This can lead to a life-threatening bacterial infection that’s very hard to treat. 

An even more important reason to use the right drug is the problem of antibiotic resistance.

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