One thing I learned from my years working for the Humane Society in Southeast Alaska is that urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are quite common in dogs because they can be caused a wide array of different factors; and of course dogs are not always as health conscious as us humans. Diagnosing them definitively can be a bit more tricky without a vet consultation but if you learn some of these common root causes chances are you can attribute them to a UTI and begin necessary treatment without worrying you are needlessly wasting money on a vet visit.
If you have noticed your house trained dog urinating inside, drinking excessive water or having to urinate more frequently then it may be suffering from a urinary tract infection. There are many different possible root causes of a UTI and knowing them may help you to further evaluate if your dog needs further medical attention or antibiotics.
The most common cause of a UTI is a bladder infection or inflammation, which Live Strong points out makes a lot of sense as the condition is named for this very cause. Fortunately this is also the easiest treated cause as a simple course of antibiotics often clears it up.
Another frequent root cause is an actual physical blockage in the urethra or bladder of your pet. This can range from a bladder stone or other material buildup to crystal formation in your dog’s bladder. Essentially there is something either blocking or restricting that is causing the infection and symptoms.
If your dog is older what appears to be a urinary tract infection may in fact be a weakened urinary sphincter muscle. According to WebMD Pets this is common in dogs over the age of seven and the most common symptom is urine dripping or leaking slowly throughout the day.
In addition to age dogs with certain medical conditions, notably diabetes, prostate or adrenal gland diseases have a higher predisposition to developing UTIs. If your dog suffers from either of these conditions and is showing signs of a UTI chances are good that it is time for a vet visit.
There are even environmental factors that can lead to issues to watch out for. Stress is a large factor in a number of health concerns and can be a trigger here as well. A dog that drinks excessive amounts of water or binge drinks water due to regular inaccessibility has a good chance of developing problems. If nothing else is clicking you should make certain that your dog always has access to fresh water to avoid it feeling it has to over-drink while it has the chance.
There are some less common causes of urinary tract infections in dogs and no matter the cause professional help should always be sought as an untreated issue can and often does lead to severe pain and ultimately death, according to Dr. Barchas. If your dog is experiencing symptoms and any of these possible causes sound even remotely plausible then chances are quite high that you have found the issue.