Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Bladder Infections in Dogs

Bladder infections are one of the most commonly seen bladder issues in dogs and can be quite painful. In today's blog post, our Dallas vets discuss bladder infections in dogs, including the causes, signs, and treatment options.

Canine Bladder Infections

While bladder infections are more common in female dogs, any dog can develop this uncomfortable condition. Identifying and treating your dog's bladder infection is important not only for their overall well-being, but it can also help prevent infections from becoming recurring and resistant to treatment.

What causes bladder infections in dogs?

Bladder infections are caused by bacteria traveling up the urethra and into the dog's bladder. Dogs can get this bacteria from their general environment, swimming, or even by spreading the bacteria from their own rectal or genital areas while grooming themselves.

Although your dog's bladder infection could just be due to poor luck because of the environment they were in, some predisposing factors can make this issue more likely to occur. Common reasons why a dog may develop a bladder infection include:

  • Obesity
  • Holding in urine
  • Nodules or masses in the urinary tract
  • Endocrine conditions (diabetes or Cushing’s disease)
  • Underdeveloped vulva in females
  • Urinary sphincter incontinence
  • Decreased immune function
  • Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder lining)

Diabetes, for example, can cause your dog to lose sensory functions in his body. This means they may not realize they need to urinate until they do. As a result, they hold their urine for longer periods of time, potentially leading to a bladder infection. If your dog has bladder stones or masses in the urinary tract, they can block the flow of urine and cause a bladder infection.

Symptoms of a Bladder Infection in Dogs

Some signs that your dog has a bladder infection can be as simple as a well-potty-trained dog frequently urinating in the middle of the floor throughout the house. Other signs of bladder infections in dogs can be less obvious if you aren't looking for them. Try to keep an eye out for symptoms, such as:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Whimpering while urinating
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Reduced quantity of urine

If your dog is displaying any of these signs, head to the vet to have them examined. Bladder infections are very uncomfortable and often painful for your dog. If diagnosed and treated early, there shouldn't be any trouble clearing it up.

Untreated Bladder Infections

Although bladder infections in humans can be resolved without medical intervention, this is unlikely to be the case for your dog. If not treated promptly, your dog's bladder infection can worsen and cause complications such as kidney stones or an infection, necessitating emergency care.

It could also be the case that your dog's bladder infection is due to a more serious underlying condition that needs to be treated, such as diabetes and Cushing's disease. Treating your dog's bladder infection doesn't just help deal with their discomfort, but it can also help detect other issues that may require prompt treatment.

How to Treat Bladder Infections in Dogs

Antibiotics are the primary treatment for bladder infections in dogs. Your vet may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers depending on the severity and cause of the infection.

The vet may also prescribe a specific dog food designed to adjust the pH level of your pet’s urine. This diet will make bacterial growth in the urinary tract less likely in the future.

What can I give my dog for a bladder infection?

After you see the vet regarding your pup's bladder infection, you need to follow their instructions carefully and dosages accurately. Give your dog wet dog food as it will help increase their water intake and clean out the infected bladder.

Although there isn't much you can (or should) do beyond administering any foods or medications prescribed by a veterinarian, there is one thing you can do to help. Keeping your dog's water bowl filled with fresh, clean water can help your pet recover. Water helps to flush out bacteria and purify the urinary tract.

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 pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Is your dog showing signs of a bladder infection? Contact our Dallas vets to have your pup diagnosed and treated.

New Patients Welcome, New Hope Animal Hospital, Dallas

New Patients Welcome

New Hope Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Dallas companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (770) 485-1536