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Dog Urinary Problems

Dog urinary problems include disorders in the bladder, urinary tract, and kidney. This page introduces the common urinary problems in dogs, and the signs and symptoms of such problems.

The urinary tract system consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. In males, it also include the prostate.

Dog urinary problems are rather common. Many of such problems cause a disruption in the normal pattern of voiding.

There are some classic signs and symptoms that indicate problems in the urinary system.

Signs and Symptoms of Dog Urinary Problems

  • Urinary Incontinence

    Canine urinary incontinence is a common symptom of dog urinary problems. An incontinent dog does not have the voluntary control over over the act of voiding, and as a result urinates in inappropriate places or wets his bed. In some cases, urine dribbles out intermittently or consistently.
  • Frequent Excessive Urination

    Another typical sign of dog urinary problems is frequent urination. Dogs with kidney problems usually pass a lot of water more frequently than normal, whereas dogs with bladder infections urinate frequently but each time only a little bit of water is passed.
  • Painful Urination

    Dogs with urinary problems usually experience pain while urinating. Signs of pain include straining during urination, whining or crying out, and licking at the penis or vulva.

    Sometimes, a dog cannot pass any water even after a long period of squatting or lifting of the leg.
  • Blood in Urine

    Blood in urine is also a sign of urinary problems in dogs. If you see blood in your dog's urine, try to ascertain whether the blood appears in the first portion of the urine, at the end of voiding, or uniformly in the urine. As you can see below, different kinds of bloody urine indicate different urinary problems in dogs.

    Blood in Urine Possible Problem Locations
    Blood appears in first portion of urine, clears with voiding penis, prostate, vagina, urethra, uterus
    Blood appears at the end of voiding bladder, prostate
    Blood appears uniformly kidneys, ureters, bladder

Common Dog Urinary Problems

Urinary problems that can occur in dogs include:
  • Bladder Infections: Dog bladder infection (cystitis) is a bacterial infection of the lining of the dog's bladder. Bacteria sometimes travel up the urethra into the dog's bladder, causing an infection. In many cases, an urinary tract infection precedes a bladder infection in dogs. Female dogs are more prone to urinary tract infections and bladder infections because their urethra is shorter, making it easier for bacteria to travel upwards.
  • Bladder Stones: Bladder stones in dogs are common, whereas kidney stones are not. In most cases, the stones are in the bladder, but sometimes some of the stones may pass into the urethra. If a stone is large enough, it can cause a blockage which is extremely serious and requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Kidney Failure: Canine kidney failure is the inability of the dog's kidneys to remove toxins from the blood, causing toxin build-up in the body. Kidney failure in dogs can be acute (one that appears suddenly) or chronic (one that comes on gradually over a period of time).
  • Other Kidney Diseases: Other kidney problems that can occur in dogs include inflammatory of the kidney (nephritis), kidney tissue degeneration (nephrosis), kidney infections, and some congenital kidney disease (such as renal dysplasia, and cysts on kidney).
  • Prostate Problems: In male dogs, urinary problems can also be brought on by problems in the prostate (such as prostate enlargement, prostatitis, and prostate cancer).
As you can see, there are quite a few problems related to the urinary tract in dogs, all of which can lead to serious consequences if left untreated. If your dog is showing the above signs and symptoms of urinary problems, be sure to take him to the vet for a thorough medical check-up.
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