Top Signs that Your Pet Has a UTI

UTI in pets.

People aren’t the only ones that suffer from urinary tract infections. Animals can be affected as well. They can’t talk, though, so it can be harder to know when they are having issues. Read on to learn Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital’s top ways to know that your pet has a UTI. 

How UTIs Happen

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria from the outside world make their way up into the urinary bladder. They can occur for several reasons, but most often there is just simply a temporary lapse in the body’s defenses that normally keeps bacteria from ascending up the urethra into the urinary bladder itself.

When urinary tract infections are recurrent or do not go away as expected, underlying predisposing factors need to be considered. These could be things like:

  • Excessive skin folds around the external genitalia
  • An anatomical abnormality 
  • Urinary stones
  • A metabolic or endocrine condition such a Cushings Syndrome
  • A weak urinary sphincter 
  • Resistant infection
  • A tumor or polyp within the urinary tract
  • Cystitis

Signs Your Pet Has a UTI

Because a urinary tract is confined to the urinary bladder, most affected pets will not be “sick.” There are definitely signs you can observe to let you know that your pet has a UTI, though. Take notice if your pet:

  • Is going to the bathroom more frequently
  • Seems to be in pain while urinating
  • Is urinating small amounts
  • Is drinking a lot
  • Exhibits signs of straining while urinating
  • Is licking around their urethral opening a lot
  • Is suddenly having accidents
  • Has noticeable blood in the urine

Urinary tract infections can be diagnosed by examining your pet’s urine (performing a urinalysis) for signs of infection. Most simple UTIs are easily treated with a course of antibiotics. 

Unfortunately, there are no simple home remedies for a bladder infection. Encouraging your pet to drink more can help them to feel better faster. The simple fact is that most UTIs need to be medically treated.

Left untreated, urinary tract infections can progress to a more serious and systemic kidney infection. 

It is worth noting that not all pets showing these symptoms have a UTI. In cats particularly, lower urinary tract inflammation can cause straining and even life-threatening blockage. 

It is so important to contact us right away if your pet is having urinary symptoms so that we can get started finding the problem and helping immediately. If your pet has a UTI, they are not comfortable, and we want to help as soon as possible.