In most cases, experts agree that the best way to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI) in dogs is with a course of antibiotics. Generally, these are prescribed for seven to fourteen days. Additionally, it's important to encourage your pup to drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria from the bladder. Most dogs start feeling better within 48 hours of beginning the antibiotics.
It's not always easy to tell if your dog has a UTI, but there are some common signs. For instance, they may try to urinate more often than usual when they go outside. They may also struggle to urinate, or even cry or whine when they do so if it hurts. In some cases, you may even see blood in their urine.
Other signs include frequent urine dripping or licking of the genitals, as well as urine that smells very strong. If you suspect your pup has a UTI, it's important to take them to the vet right away. Your vet will analyze your dog's urine and may take some x-rays or perform an ultrasound to get a better look at their urinary tract, particularly the bladder. To treat the infection, your vet will likely prescribe medications, such as antibiotics, pain relievers, and probiotics. Your vet will choose an antibiotic based on the results of the urine test in order to achieve the best outcome and avoid antibiotic resistance. In cases of chronic UTIs in dogs, it's also necessary to treat any underlying causes.
Initially, an antibiotic may be prescribed that targets bacteria that are likely causing the infection. After the culture is finished (which may take a few days), your vet may need to switch up the antibiotic if the results show that the first one isn't ideal. It's also important for pet owners to take steps to protect their pets from parasites like heartworms, fleas and ticks. By following these steps and consulting with your veterinarian, you can help ensure that your pet's urinary tract infection is treated properly and quickly.