Ask a Vet: What are the signs of a UTI in your dog

Learn the six unmistakable signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) in dogs.

If you've ever experienced the discomfort of a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know how unpleasant it can be. You may have vented to friends, indulged in comfort food, and binge-watched Netflix until you finally found relief. However, when dogs suffer from UTIs, they can't express their discomfort with words. They endure silently, but the condition is no less uncomfortable for them.

Here are six unmistakable signs that every dog parent should know that could indicate a UTI.

1. Sudden Accidents

If your dog has been reliably potty trained for years and then starts having frequent accidents indoors, it's a red flag for a potential bladder issue. UTIs can make it challenging for your dog to control their bladder and signal when they need to go outside. These accidents might seem like incontinence but are often symptomatic of a highly treatable condition.

2. Frequent Urination

Most adult dogs typically relieve themselves 3-5 times a day, depending on their outdoor routine. If your dog begins to urinate more frequently, especially if the volume of urine produced during each break is reduced, it's a clear sign of urinary tract inflammation caused by infection.

3. Pain While Urinating

Another common symptom of a canine UTI is painful urination. Signs may include yelping or whining during urination or visible signs of straining while trying to urinate. These behaviors are often a result of an inflamed urinary tract, making it uncomfortable for your dog to urinate normally.

4. Bloody or Cloudy Urine

While you may not routinely examine your dog's urine, try to observe it if you suspect a UTI. The presence of blood or cloudiness in your dog's urine is a telltale sign of an infection that your Parker & Ace veterinarian should be aware of.

5. Excessive Genital Licking

Dogs lick themselves, including their genitals, as part of their grooming routine. However, if your dog suddenly seems to be excessively licking its genital area, it may be trying to alleviate discomfort. Although the actual pain from a UTI is internal, dogs instinctively attempt to soothe themselves by licking.

6. Unquenchable Thirst

Determining whether your dog is drinking more water than usual can be challenging, especially during hot weather. However, if you observe that your dog is drinking water constantly, especially if it's urinating less during each bathroom trip, it may indicate a UTI.

Is Your Dog Suffering from a UTI?
Your dog might indeed have a UTI, but it's essential to consult your Parker & Ace veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Various underlying reasons can lead to bladder problems in dogs, each requiring specific treatment.

Your vet will likely request a urine sample to identify the specific type of infection and prescribe an appropriate antibiotic. Close monitoring will ensure that your dog's symptoms improve over time.