Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common problem for dogs and cats. If you have a pet, chances are you've already dealt with a UTI at one time or another. Often this is a recurring problem, which can really frustrate the best of us as we see our pets suffering. Well, here is the 101 on how to recognize a possible UTI and our next article will discuss treatment and prevention of UTI.
There are number of issues that can cause detrimental effects on a pets lower urinary system. Some of these are more serious and less common, like cancer, spinal cord, and congenital abnormalities. These often require serious interventions that can include surgery. In most cases though the more common causes are found from the following list:
COMMON CAUSES FOR LOWER URINARY TRACT PROBLEMS IN PETS
- Incontinence from excessive water drinking or weak bladder (especially in animals that are 7 years or older)
- Bladder inflammation or infection
- Stones, crystals, etc accumulated in the bladder or urethra
Which Pets Are Prone to Lower Urinary Tract Problems?
In dogs, UTI can effect just about any breed of dog, but incidences are higher in female dogs, older dogs, and those dogs that may be diabetic. In cats, typically those that are 4 years and older suffer from UTI. Male cats may be more prone.
SIGNS OF POTENTIAL URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS
- Inability to urinate or only passing a small amount of urine
- Increased amount and/or frequency of urination
- Apparent loss of bladder control
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Straining, prolongation or pain when trying to pass urine
- Constant licking of urinary opening
- Strong odor to the urine
- Signs of lethargy or decreasing health
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- In cats: abdomen seems bloated or hard to the touch
- Increased water consumption