How do I Treat a Canine Bladder Infection?

Debra Durkee
Debra Durkee
Veterinarian with a puppy
Veterinarian with a puppy

A bladder infection can be uncomfortable for a dog as well as troublesome for his or her owner. Characterized by frequent urination and occasional discharge, most canine bladder infections can be successfully treated by consistent administration of antibiotics. The infection can be further encouraged to disappear by drinking plenty of water.

A canine bladder infection is caused in much the same way urinary tract infections are. Bacteria enter the urethra of the dog, and in the case of a bladder infection, travel up the tube and settle into the bladder. As the condition is caused by a bacterial infection, most veterinarians will prescribe two to three weeks of antibiotics.

It is vitally important that the entire prescription be given to the dog, even if he or she is showing no signs of still having the canine bladder infection. If there are any bacteria left in the bladder or urethra when the antibiotics are stopped, they may begin to multiply again and re-infect the dog. The canine bladder infection may return, and after an incomplete round of medication the bacteria can build up a resistance to the medication. When this occurs, it is necessary to start the dog on another type of antibiotic, or the infection may be much, much more difficult to get rid of with the original medication.

Dogs should always have fresh water provided for them, but encouraging them to drink more can also help flush foreign bodies through the system. Keeping an eye on the dog while it is urinating can also help determine the effectiveness of the medication; if the canine bladder infection is getting worse, blood may be visible in the urine. A bladder infection, left untreated, can turn into a more serious problem like a kidney infection or result in the buildup of crystalline structures inside the bladder.

Some foods can help prevent the bacteria inside the bladder from continuing to build up. Much like in humans, cranberries can be effective in aiding antibiotics in ridding the bladder and urinary tract of bacteria. Chemicals in cranberries keep the bacteria from infecting the tissues of the bladder itself, and with the addition of plenty of water to the diet, this can also help flush the bacteria from the system. Foods like raspberries include the same chemicals that make cranberries effective, and when a dog is subject to recurring infections, giving these fruits as a preventative may help canine bladder infection from taking hold.

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    • Veterinarian with a puppy
      Veterinarian with a puppy