Think You Know the Symptoms of K9 Urinary Tract Infections? Think again!
“My dog is acting nuts,” I told the vet’s office lady over the phone.
“What do you mean?”
“She’s not behaving normal – just crazy,” I responded.
“What’s going on?” the lady asked in a tone that suggested I was the crazy one.
I know my dog . . .
If you have owned a dog for a while, you know their personality, their quirks, and their behaviors. I knew she wasn’t behaving normally (for her). I made an appointment for the next afternoon.
So, What Was the Crazy Behavior?
My 12-year-old pitbull, Lacey, doesn’t like to go out in the rain. She’s a big baby.
The weather was sleeting, and it was cold. Lacey wandered through the doggy door to the outside, down the steps and laid down. She wouldn’t come back in. I’d call her and she seemed confused. She’d start to walk to the deck stairs, pace back and forth, then turn around and lay back down.
She was now cold and completely soaked.
I hustled outside and brought her indoors. I wondered if she was getting dementia. Later, I found her standing with her head in the corner – again very weird.
Later that evening, she sat next to me on the couch and pressed her head into my chest rubbing up and down. I thought, “Aww, how sweet.” But then, as I ran my hand down her side, I could feel it tightening like contractions. Instantly, I knew my dog was in pain.
Urinary Tract Infections: Common Symptoms
The typical UTI symptoms usually include:
- blood in the urine
- cloudy urine
- strong urine odor
- trying to pee, but not able to get much out
- dribbling urine in the house – can’t control it
- excessive licking of the genital area
- loss of appetite
- crying in pain while urinating
- drinking more than usual
Know the Quirkier Symptoms
- off-balance, dizzy, possible falling or tripping
- unusual behavior
- walking with an arched back
- sleeping in unusual postures
How Does a UTI Get Diagnosed?
First, you’ll need a clean urine sample; ask your vet for a collection container.
Take the sample to your vet to run a:
- urinalysis; or
- urine culture (this takes a couple of days).
This will tell the veterinarian what kind of bacteria or fungi your dog may have contracted, and which antibiotic to use (should you choose that route). You want to eradicate the infection the first time because having to use additional rounds of antibiotics can cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria which you really don’t want.
(I prefer the urine culture because it determines the specific cause of the UTI infection, bacterial or fungal. The treatment can then be targeted for that particular cause.)
Do NOT Let a UTI Go Untreated!
If left untreated, a UTI can turn into a serious and possibly life-threatening problem (once it travels to the kidneys). At a minimum, get a urinalysis or culture to see what your dog is dealing with and then treat it with prescribed antibiotics or holistic alternatives.
Once you know whether you’re dealing with a bacterial or fungal UTI infection, get your canine on an appropriate treatment immediately.
If you decide to use holistic options, only use organic, pesticide-free herbs on an empty stomach.
Effective herbs for addressing UTIs include:
You could also use amino acid methionine. When used along with cranberry extract, it can be as effective as an antibiotic. Consult with a holistic vet versed in herbal treatments for proper dosing.
A Final Note
Whether you choose traditional or holistic treatments, the idea is to properly diagnose and treat your dog quickly.
I believe that holistic treatments and traditional treatments can work harmoniously. I use holistic treatment options on a regular basis with my dogs. But at times, you may opt for a traditional approach with antibiotics.
If your vet doesn’t offer holistic veterinarian services, search online for a holistic veterinarian near you. You can use the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) to search.
Whether you have access to a traditional or holistic vet, you must make the best decision for your dog.
No judgment here.
Image Credits (In Order of Appearance)
Photo by Pamela Morrison
Image by Free-Images.com
Photo by Pamela Morrison
Meet our Guest Blogger
Pamela Morrison is a professional copywriter for the pet industry including marketers, pet product and service providers, veterinarians and holistic pet practitioners. She does home visits for a local rescue when she can and has been a dog foster mom. She lives in western Michigan with her husband and two dogs, Lacey and Zadie. Pam enjoys walking her dogs, reading, and drinking lots of coffee!