Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections can affect the lower urinary tract and in more severe cases they can progress to upper urinary tract infections involving the kidneys.
The signs of a urinary tract infection include straining to urinate, blood seen in the urine, a foul odor to the urine and inappropriate urination. In treating the infection immediately we hope to avoid a more severe infection. The diagnosis of a urinary tract infection can be reached through a thorough physical exam, urinalysis and possibly a urine culture. Urinalysis findings that can indicate an infection are red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. These are all abnormal findings and are indicative of a problem.
Some underlying diseases can predispose our pets to urinary tract infections. These diseases include diabetes, thyroid disease, Cushing's disease, bladder stones and kidney stones. If urinary tract infections seem to be recurring, it may be time to look at the overall health of your pet to assess any other issues that may be present.
Typically, with no underlying problems, a course of antibiotics will quickly clear an infection. Recurrent or untreated urinary tract infections can lead to other problems such as bladder stones or a kidney infection. Always pay attention to the signs your pet is displaying and have regular check-ups to prevent health issues.