Urinary tract infections, commonly referred to as simply UTIs, are not only extremely uncomfortable and painful, but can also be significantly dangerous if not treated properly. Dogs, similarly to people, feel the discomfort associated with these infections and, contrary to popular belief, actually experience it quite often. In fact, the Merck Veterinary Manual estimates that an astounding 14% of all dogs will experience at least one UTI throughout their lifespan.
If UTIs go untreated for an extended period of time, your dog could develop more serious conditions because of it, including kidney stones and bladder failures. In extreme cases, a UTI may even be a fatal condition.
So how can we know if our dogs have a UTI and are in pain because of it? While there is no definitive answer except from a professional and/or specialized veterinarian, there are a few signs that may be indicative of a urinary tract infection:
1) Increased urge to urinate
If your dog is going outside or requesting to do so significantly more than usual, he may be experiencing an infection. Dogs with UTIs tend to experience an increased urge to urinate, and may even become whinier or start to bark more due to the discomfort. UTIs may also increase your dogs’ thirst, which as a result leads to more trips to the backyard
2) Urinating inside
Even if your dog is potty trained, he may urinate inside of your home when having a UTI as they often come as uncontrollable urges. Your furry best friend may have to go outside so often that he simply begins to fulfill his needs wherever he is. If your dog is usually well-behaved and accustomed to always go outside, and he suddenly begins urinating inside, he may have a UTI.
3) Blood stains
While this sign may be rather difficult to take notice of, make an effort to notice if you see any sign of blood in your dog’s urine. Whether it is a brownish or reddish tint, any sign of possible blood in dogs’ urine is indicative that something is wrong. Blood stains in urine, while not necessarily a product of a UTI, could also be due to other ailments.
If your dog seems to be experiencing any of these signs, it is highly possible he has developed some kind of a urinary tract infection. If this is the case, it is best to seek professional help that will guide you and your dog to proper treatment and healing.