Symptoms of UTI in Dogs and Cats

BY | June 07 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Symptoms of UTI in Dogs and Cats
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A urinary tract infection can bring excruciating pain along with it. Here are the symptoms your pet may experience.

Extremely painful symptoms go hand-in-hand with most urinary tract infections. A lower urinary tract infection that centralizes in the bladder makes it difficult for your pet to urinate freely, resulting in pain and strain during each attempt. Because lower UTIs can create the sensation of constantly having to urinate, your pet may try to eliminate over and over, resulting in further pain and distress when only small amounts of urine are expelled.

In the case of upper urinary tract infections that affect the kidneys, your pet would exhibit different symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, and a disinterest in food. In some cases, your pet may not exhibit any symptoms at all, so it is important to keep up with regular trips to the veterinarian during which an infection can be detected.

Upper and Lower Symptoms

With lower urinary tract infections that centralize in the bladder you may see blood in your dog or catโ€™s urine, difficulty during urination (pets may cry or strain), frequent attempts at urination (cats may linger by the litter box and dogs the door), accidents in the house or dribbling of urine, licking near the urinary opening, and bad smelling, cloudy urine. With upper urinary tract infections that take place in the kidneys, your pet may exhibit weight loss, vomiting, and a disinterest in food.

More serious UTI symptoms that may be indicative of a greater problem include fever, tenderness in the lower abdomen, lethargy, and crying out while trying to urinate. These symptoms may mean that the infection has spread and become life-threatening.

If you observe any of these symptoms you should contact your veterinarian right away. The sooner that you begin treating an infection the sooner your pet will start to feel better.

Symptomless Infections

Some urinary tract infections will show no symptoms or may be more difficult to detect. This is just one of the reasons that regular veterinary visits are so important. Make sure that your pet is getting both a physical examination and any necessary lab work to detect abnormalities. The longer your petโ€™s UTI goes undiagnosed the more difficult it can be to treat, so stay ahead of the game with regular trips to the vet.

What causes UTI in Dogs and Cats? Your Pet's Urinary Tract Infection Explained

Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs, are painful infections taking place anywhere along the urinary tract. Most people think of UTIs as a human affliction, but both dogs and cats are susceptible to this type of infection. The most common cause of urinary tract infections in dogs and cats is bacteria that enters the urinary tract through the urethra when your petโ€™s immunity is compromised due to health conditions or other circumstances. UTIs are not only uncomfortable for your pet, they can also lead to serious health complications and even death if left untreated. If detected, most UTIs are treatable using medications such as Clavamox for cats and dogs, and you can take steps to reduce your petโ€™s risk of future infection.

What Causes UTI in Dogs?

What causes UTI in dogs is most commonly bacteria (usually E. coli), that gathers around your petโ€™s urethral opening and moves into the urinary tract and bladder when your petโ€™s natural defenses are down. In dogs, prostate disease may increase the risk of UTIs. Your petโ€™s diet and water intake can also have an impact on urinary tract health.

What Causes UTI in Cats?

As with dogs, UTI in cats is usually caused by bacteria and is influenced by diet and water intake. Health conditions that can allow bacteria to develop in the urinary tract include bladder cancer, bladder tumorskidney stones, bladder stones, debris caught in the urinary tract, injury, spinal cord abnormalities, incontinence (involuntary urination)stress, congenital (or inborn) abnormalities, diabetes, or other urinary tract dysfunction.

Symptoms of URinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats

Your petโ€™s symptoms will depend on what type of UTI they have. With lower urinary tract infections that take place in the bladder, you may see blood in your dog's or catโ€™s urine, difficulty during urination, frequent attempts at urination, accidents in the house or dribbling of urine, licking around the urinary opening, and bad smelling, cloudy urine. Cats may scream or cry out when trying to urinate.

With upper urinary tract infections that affect the kidneys, dogs and cats can exhibit weight loss, vomiting, and a disinterest in food. More serious symptoms of urinary tract infections in dogs and cats that may indicate a greater problem include fever, tenderness in the lower abdomen, and lethargy. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms you should seek veterinary care right away. Especially in male cases, as a UTI can be life-threatening. In some cases your pet may not show any symptoms, so it is important to keep up with regular veterinary visits during which an infection can be detected.

Treating Urinary tract Infections In Dogs and cats

Your veterinarian will perform a full examination and run tests to determine if your pet has a UTI. Many urinary tract infections in dogs and cats are successfully treated with a course of antibiotics while others may be treated with a change in diet, increased water intake, urinary acidifiers, or herbal remedies. Surgery or urinary catheterization may be implemented in cases of more serious or persistent infections.

Your veterinarian may also suggest treating any underlying health condition, such as diabetes, that may be causing UTIs. Luckily, certain measures can be taken to decrease the risk of your pet getting this terrible infection. Evaluate your petโ€™s diet to ensure they are eating appropriate foods, provide plenty of clean drinking water, let dogs out often and make litter boxes accessible for cats, maintain proper hygiene, and visit the vet regularly to maintain overall health.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.


This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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Urinary Tract Infection

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