A urinary tract infection is a temporary condition that is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Both cats and dogs are susceptible to contracting a bacterial infection within the urinary tract. Although it is uncommon, urinary tract infections may also be caused by viruses and fungi. Certain medical conditions may increase your pet’s risk of urinary tract infection, including Cushing’s disease and diabetes mellitus.
Symptoms of urinary tract infections vary between species; dogs tend to urinate frequently in small amounts and display pain while urinating, while cats may exhibit the inability to urinate, cries during urination and vomiting. Other symptoms may also include blood in urine and an abnormal pungent odor of urine. If you suspect that your pet may have a urinary tract infection, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for an examination. Your veterinarian may request that a urine sample be brought in with the examination, or may collect a urine sample during the examination. This urine sample will be used to diagnose a urinary tract infection, based on a ‘culture and sensitivity’ test and urinalysis.
If the test results for a urinary tract infection come back positive, your veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic medication for your pet based on the severity of their infection and the number of antibodies present. If the examination reveals that your pet’s urinary tract infection has been caused by a virus or fungi, your veterinarian will prescribe a different kind of medication. It is important to administer the medication that your veterinarian has prescribed for the full length of your pet’s prescription, as symptoms of the urinary tract infection may recede before the infection has cleared up completely.