If you are having a hard time housetraining your Shih Tzu puppy and she urinates frequently in the house, the problem may not be with your puppy’s learning ability, but with an underlying condition called a urinary tract infection. The condition is more common in females, but the incidence in males is increasing.
Signs of urinary tract infection (UTI)
The signs are not identical in all dogs, but if most of the following are present, your dog may be suffering from a UTI.
- Bad smelling urine
- Blood in the urine
- Cloudy dark gold urine
- Increased urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Low energy levels
- Sensitive lower abdomen
- Licking genitals
How does it happen?
There are a large number of bacteria outside the urinary opening. When bacteria enter the urethra, they multiply in the urine and eventually end up in the kidneys.
The dangers of urinary tract infections.
Frequent infections can cause bladder scarring and, in more severe cases, kidney failure. For this reason, it is advisable to take your dog to the vet if you suspect a urinary infection and especially if the condition is chronic.
How to prevent urinary tract infection
- Make sure your dog has access to fresh water. The more often your dog drinks, the more often he will urinate. Urinary tract infection is more common in dogs that do not urinate enough, as it allows more time for bacteria to multiply while sitting on the bladder.
- Certain medications and illnesses increase the risk of your dog developing a UTI. These include antibiotics, glucocorticoids; corticosteroids, urogenital diseases (such as epididymitis or inflammation of the testicles), diabetes, and tumors. By eliminating the drug or treating the disease, you can prevent the urinary tract infection from reoccurring in the future.
- Do not pour water or milk on your dog’s food and leave it out for a long time. This will create an environment in which the E Coli virus can multiply and increase the chances of your dog getting a UTI.
- Always buy the best quality commercial dog food. Some experts believe that dog food is one of the main contributing factors to urinary infection due to the presence of bacteria in food.
Treatment for urinary tract infection
- It is best to take your dog to the vet for a proper examination. In most cases, the vet will prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition.
- Change the dog’s diet. Homemade dog food is the first option. If you can’t make homemade dog food, canned food is the next best thing. UTIs occur more often in alkaline urine than in acidic urine. You should feed your dog foods that encourage acidic urine and this includes animal-based protein sources. Stay away, as much as possible, from vegetarian-type diets, as they lead to alkaline urine.
- A pill or tablet containing cranberry extract is also a very cost-effective way to treat or prevent UTIs.
- Give your dog 1000 mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) twice a day.