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The Signs Of UTIs In Dogs - Could It Be Fungal?
The Signs Of UTIs In Dogs - Could It Be Fungal?

Did you know there are two types of dog UTIs? Fungal & Bacterial…

Estimated Read Time: 2 ½ minutes

Summary: If you're wondering "can my dog get a bladder infection?", the answer is yes! In this blog we learn all about urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs, the different types of UTIs in dogs, the signs, the causes and what to do to help...


Can My Dog Get A Bladder Infection?

Most people have experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime. You may know it as cystitis. And yes, our precious pups can get UTIs too and the symptoms are pretty similar!

Although more common in female and older dogs, any age, breed or sex of dog can develop one. They can be uncomfortable and painful, just like when they develop in humans. So, you’ll want to help them out stat if you suspect that’s what they’re dealing with.

As a responsible pet parent, it’s good to know the signs of any problem your dog may be having so you can take the necessary measures to help them get back to feeling themselves again! But, did you know that there are two types of dog UTIs…?

What Are The Signs OF UTIs In Dogs?

There are two types of dog UTIs: fungal and bacterial, the latter being the most common.

Fungal UTIs are typically asymptomatic, even when an infection has become well established in their urinary tract, urethra or bladder. However, bacterial UTIs almost always come with symptoms. No matter which type of UTI your dog may have, when symptoms do present, the signs of UTIs in dogs to look for include:

  • Blood in their urine (hematuria)
  • Cloudy or badly smelling urine
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Pain/Straining when they urinate (they may whimper or yelp)
  • Tenderness or pain in the bladder area (they may whimper or yelp, but also growl when you try to touch there)
  • Urinating in the house despite being trained
  • Lack of appetite

If they are displaying any of the above symptoms, make sure they get checked over by the vet as soon as possible. If a UTI is present, they will usually be prescribed a course of antibiotics.

Petlab Co. Pro Tip: If you own a Shih-Tzu, Bichon Frize or Yorkshire Terrier, these breeds are predisposed to urinary tract stones, which are a very similar to UTIs. Your vet will be able to confirm which they are suffering with and treat accordingly.

If they are unable to urinate and they have a very tight abdomen, this is the sign of a medical emergency and you must seek veterinary assistance immediately.

How Do Dogs Get UTIs?

Fungal Dog UTIs

Most fungal infections of the lower urinary tract (bladder, urethra and prostate) in dogs are caused by a species of fungal yeast known as Candida genus. This is the same yeast type that causes thrush, vaginal, mouth and skin infections in both pooches and humans.

Many factors can trigger the fungal yeast to overgrow which then results in infection. These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Antibiotic/Coritcosteroid use
  • Recent use of a urinary catheter
  • A poor diet
  • Diabetes
  • A weakened immune system

Bacterial Dog UTIs

Most dog UTIs occur when normal bacteria that’s present on the skin and in the gut grow and get past the urinary tract’s defenses. The bacteria then takes over and becomes an infection. E.coli is the most common bacterial cause of UTIs.

Like humans, female dogs are more prone to UTIs than males. However there are other factors that can contribute to the development of bacterial UTIs in both sexes:

  • Having Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism)
  • Having kidney disease
  • Having cancer
  • Having diabetes
  • Having spinal cord abnormalities
  • Having bladder or prostate disease/inflammation
  • Having general poor health
  • Are over 7 years old

Having the odd UTI here or there is usually nothing to be too alarmed about. Bacterial UTIs affect 14% of all dogs throughout their lives so most may experience at least one in their lifetime. But, if they keep recurring it’s worth discussing the issue with your vet.

How To Treat (And Prevent!) UTIs In Dogs

What Can I Give My Dog For Urinary Tract Infection?

Firstly, you must get a diagnosis, treatment and advice from a vet as soon as you can to help quickly kill the infection at the source with a course of antibiotics. If you're wondering "what can I give my dog for urinary tract infection?", antibiotics obtained from the vet are the only sure fire way of clearing and curing the problem. 

However, moving forward, there are some things you can do to help prevent your dog developing a UTI in the future…

How To Prevent UTIs In Dogs: Try Probiotics!

If your dog is prone or predisposed to UTIs, it sounds like their gut health may require a regular boost of good bacteria!

Check out a probiotic supplement for dogs, which will help restore and maintain optimal gut health and can support in keeping UTIs at bay! Bad digestion and an imbalance of gut bacteria can have a negative effect on organ function, the immune system, energy levels, and lead to the development of fungal/bacterial infections like UTIs.

Healthy digestion will result in strengthened immunity and may reduce the likelihood of UTIs and other fungal-related infections!

How To Prevent UTIs In Dogs: Try Coconut Oil!

Coconut oil is considered to be an anti-candida ingredient! The fatty acids in coconut oil can kill candida and other damaging organisms in your doggy’s gut without harming the essential friendly bacteria.

Simply add it to your dogs food! Dollop a teaspoon of coconut oil per 10lbs of body weight (or 1 tablespoon per 30lbs). They’ll love the taste! But, be strict with the amount: if you feed them too much coconut oil it can lead to diarrhea and greasy stools!

How To Prevent UTIs In Dogs: Check Their Diet

It’s thought that the reason wolves in the wild are very unlikely to suffer from candida overgrowth is because they consume little or no grains, starches, fruits, or sugars: all of which bad gut bacteria thrive on!

Looking at a low-carb, grain-free diet for your dog can be a great way of reducing the likelihood of yeast infection or UTI development. But remember, always consult with your vet before taking on any dramatic diet change you’re considering for your furry friend first.

Related Reads

Checking Your Dog’s Poop Could Save Their Life

How To Spot, Manage & Treat Your Dog’s Yeast Infection

Why Do Dogs Chew Their Feet?

Prevent Canine Cancer With These 11 Foods


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