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Urinary Tract Infections in Puppies

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria migrate up the urethra to the bladder. Urine flushes out the bacteria that migrate up the urethra. This is a shorter distance for females than males. Consequently, females develop UTIs more easily than males. Urinary tract infections in puppies is more common than in adults because the urethra is shorter than in an adult dog. Water consumption is key in preventing UTIs because of its flushing action. But, sometimes water isn’t available and puppies don’t drink water when they should. This is why water should always be available for your dogs. I’ll be explaining why food is a different story in my next blog post.

Imagine what an infected swollen urethra would feel like. Squatting to pee but having nothing come out is the most common sign of a UTI. Bloody urine that smells funny is another sure sign of infection. Bacteria can migrate further up into the bladder and even the kidneys if they aren’t dealt with soon.

The best treatment for a UTI is a trip to the veterinarian for evaluation. Typically, a course of antibiotics can kill the bacteria and treat the root of the problem in a day or two. But, beware of celebrating too quickly. Many people fail to give the prescribed dose which leads to a second course of antibiotics when symptoms return. But, even that can fail.

I work as a wound care specialist and culture infected wounds in order to get the right antibiotics the first time.  Every bacteria is susceptible to a certain type of antibiotic. Finding the right antibiotic is the key to getting the job done quickly and avoiding the creation of antibiotic resistance. This is the standard of care for humans and with some veterinarians.

Recently, one of our puppies developed a urinary infection. She was prescribed three rounds of the same antibiotics and as of now it has worked… after three rounds. Three rounds of antibiotics and no culturing of the bacteria. This isn’t acceptable to me and it should be unacceptable to you also.

Here’s Up North Pyrenees advice.
1. Request a urine test every time you get antibiotics when treating a urinary infection for your puppy. This will be around $150 and will make the medication for effective for your puppy every time. You may spend a little more money and your veterinarian may think it is overkill. But, it is your money and your dog. It will be worth it in the long run.
2. Ask your veterinarian for a probiotic after any antibiotics. Recolonizing the body with beneficial bacteria will help to combat any future return infection. There are many formulations out there. I am no expert on probiotics. But, this general principle is widely accepted.

So, fill up the water dish when it’s empty and bring your puppy or dog in immediately if they are having problems. Your puppy and your checkbook will be glad you did.

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