Bladder Infection: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Crystals or bacteria that have grown in the urinary tract.

What Causes It?

Bladder infections can be caused by bacteria entering the urethral opening and bypassing the urinary tract’s defense systems.  Most often feces containing E coli bacteria is the source of a bladder infection, but not the only cause.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Whimpering while urinating
  • Licking of genital area
  • Increased thirst
  • Fever
  • Listlessness
  • Accidents

Is it Life Threatening?

Typically no. However, no treatment or delayed treatment can create compounding issues. Additionally, sometimes bladder infections are a sign of more serious conditions including poisoning, kidney disease or bladder cancer.

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How is It Diagnosed?

The best method is for a vet to collect a sterile sample of urine. This is accomplished using a needle that is inserted through the skin into the bladder. The urine is removed by syringe. The urine sample would be tested for bacteria growth. This method is very safe and painless for your dog.

What Are The Treatments?

A veterinarian will be able to prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. In some circumstances your vet will also prescribe painkillers as well.

If the bladder infection is a symptom of something greater, your vet will help treat the infection while working towards treating the larger problem.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.