If you’ve ever suffered from a urinary tract infection, you know how uncomfortable they can be. You probably complained to every close friend within ear shot (or at least wanted to), and dulled the pain with empty carbs and Netflix until you finally, mercifully felt better.
Your dog can’t do that. When dogs get a UTIs, they don’t have the words to complain. They soldier on being good boys and girls but the condition is no less uncomfortable for them.
Here are six surefire signs every dog owner needs to know that could indicate a UTI.
1. Sudden Accidents
If your dog has been reliably potty trained for years then suddenly starts peeing in the dining room twice a day, he’s probably suffering from some sort of bladder issue. Urinary tract infections can make it really difficult for your dog to tell when he needs to go to the bathroom. Those dining room pit-stops might look like incontinence, but they’re probably just symptomatic of a highly treatable condition.
2. Frequent Urination
Depending on how often they’re taken outside, most adult dogs relieve themselves about 3-5 times a day. (Of course, that doesn’t include “marking” and other intentional pee behaviors!) More frequent peeing, especially if those potty breaks don’t produce as much pee at one time as they used to, is a surefire sign of urinary tract inflammation caused by infection.
3. Pain While Urinating
Another common symptom of a canine UTI is painful urination. Accompanying symptoms include yelping or whining while urinating and/or the appearance of straining while urinating. Again, these symptoms can usually be attributed to an inflamed urinary tract which makes it difficult for your dog to use the restroom comfortably.
4. Bloody or Cloudy Urine
Okay, so you probably don’t often to get the chance to examine your dog’s urine, but if you suspect a UTI, do your best to try. Your vet will want to know if you see blood or cloudiness in your dog’s pee because they’re both tell-tale signs of an infection.
5. Licking of Genitals
Dogs lick, yes, and sometimes they lick their genitals. But if your dog suddenly seems to be licking his genitals constantly, he’s probably just trying to soothe his own pain. Of course, the real pain from a UTI is mostly internal, but your dog doesn’t know that. He’s just trying to feel better.
6. Insatiable Thirst
It can be tough to tell whether your dog is drinking more than usual, particularly during hot weather. But if you notice he’s gulping water constantly, especially if he’s urinating less each time he goes, you’ve probably got a UTI on your hands.
Does your dog have a UTI? He might! There are plenty of reasons your dog might come down with a bladder problem and each reason requires specific treatment. Your vet will probably want to take a urine sample to determine what kind of antibiotic to prescribe, and she’ll want to monitor your dog closely to make sure his symptoms subside.