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Most people have experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime. You may know it as cystitis. And yes, our precious pups can get UTIs too and the symptoms are pretty similar!
Although more common in female and older dogs, any age, breed or sex of dog can develop one. They can be uncomfortable and painful, just like when they develop in humans. So, you’ll want to help them out stat if you suspect that’s what they’re dealing with.
As a responsible pet parent, it’s good to know the signs of any problem your dog may be having so you can take the necessary measures to help them get back to feeling themselves again! But, did you know that there are two types of dog UTIs…?
There are two types of dog UTIs: fungal and bacterial, the latter being the most common.
Fungal UTIs are typically asymptomatic, even when an infection has become well established in their urinary tract, urethra or bladder. However, bacterial UTIs almost always come with symptoms. No matter which type of UTI your dog may have, when symptoms do present, the dog UTI symptoms to look for include:
If they are displaying any of the above symptoms, make sure they get checked over by the vet as soon as possible. If a UTI is present, they will usually be prescribed a course of antibiotics.
Petlab Co. Pro Tip: If you own a Shih-Tzu, Bichon Frize or Yorkshire Terrier, these breeds are predisposed to urinary tract stones, which are a very similar to UTIs. Your vet will be able to confirm which they are suffering with and treat accordingly.
If they are unable to urinate and they have a very tight abdomen, this is the sign of a medical emergency and you must seek veterinary assistance immediately.
Most fungal infections of the lower urinary tract (bladder, urethra and prostate) in dogs are caused by a species of fungal yeast known as Candida genus. This is the same yeast type that causes thrush, vaginal, mouth and skin infections in both pooches and humans.
Many factors can trigger the fungal yeast to overgrow which then results in infection. These include (but aren’t limited to):
Most dog UTIs occur when normal bacteria that’s present on the skin and in the gut grow and get past the urinary tract’s defences. The bacteria then takes over and becomes an infection. E.coli is the most common bacterial cause of UTIs.
Like humans, female dogs are more prone to UTIs than males. However there are other factors that can contribute to the development of bacterial UTIs in both sexes:
Having the odd UTI here or there is usually nothing to be too alarmed about. Bacterial UTIs affect 14% of all dogs throughout their lives so most may experience at least one in their lifetime. But, if they keep recurring it’s worth discussing the issue with your vet.
Firstly, you must get a diagnosis, treatment and advice from a vet as soon as you can to help quickly kill the infection at the source with a course of antibiotics.
However, moving forward, there are some things you can do to help prevent your dog developing a UTI in the future…
If your dog is prone or predisposed to UTIs, it sounds like their gut health may require a regular boost of good bacteria!
Bad digestion and an imbalance of gut bacteria can have a negative effect on organ function, the immune system, energy levels, and lead to the development of fungal/bacterial infections like UTIs. Providing them with a prebiotic, advisably one made with inulin which is a natural prebiotic, can support your dog’s digestive system.
Healthy digestion will result in strengthened immunity and may reduce the likelihood of UTIs and other fungal-related infections!
Coconut oil is considered to be an anti-candida ingredient! The fatty acids in coconut oil can kill candida and other damaging organisms in your doggy’s gut without harming the essential friendly bacteria.
Simply add it to your dogs food! Dollop a teaspoon of coconut oil per 5kg of body weight (or 1 tablespoon per 14kg). They’ll love the taste! But, be strict with the amount: if you feed them too much coconut oil it can lead to diarrhoea and greasy stools!
In addition, coconut oil also acts as a pretty effective, natural tooth plaque remover!
It’s thought that the reason wolves in the wild are very unlikely to suffer from candida overgrowth is because they consume little or no grains, starches, fruits, or sugars: all of which bad gut bacteria thrive on!
Looking at a low-carb, grain-free diet for your dog can be a great way of reducing the likelihood of yeast infection or UTI development. But remember, always consult with your vet before taking on any dramatic diet change you’re considering for your furry friend first.