Has my dog got a bladder problem?

April 13, 2012

What’s happening with you Lady? First you have soiled momma’s new comforter. Now you have leaked in the carpet. What made you unlearn all your housebreaking lessons? Dogs normally make accident inside the house but some dog owners have perfectly trained the pet to do its business in the designated area. The bladder control problem of the dog can be behavioral in nature. Have you again forgotten to walk the dog or have you failed for the nth time to fill the doggie bowl? Dogs are very intelligent animals and it would not be surprising if the pet does something to make you pay up for these errors. However, a dog would have real bladder problem if it needs to urinate frequently so that it would have no time to go out, one that dribbles urine or one that strains to urinate may have bladder problem especially if the foul smelling urine is noticed to be tinged with blood.

Bladder problems are common in dogs. Some of these problems can easily be remedied; some have the tendency to recur and others are serious enough to be life threatening. The bladder problem of the dog can range from urinary tract (UTI) and bladder infection, urinary incontinence, bladder stones to bladder cancer. Urinary tract and bladder infections are more common in female dogs. The urethra, the tube where urine passes from the bladder to be excreted outside the body is shorter and wider in females so that bacteria can easily enter the bladder. Urinary incontinence is again more common in female dogs as this condition is usually a side effect of spaying. This condition is also called estrogen responsive incontinence. The removal of ovaries and the uterus results to the low level of estrogen. The lack of estrogen results to a condition known as urethral sphincter mechanism incontinence. Lack of estrogen weakens the muscles that keep the bladder close. As a result the dog will lose control over the flow of urine. Of the bladder problems of a dog, bladder cancer is believed to be the most uncommon condition. But if it does occur, not only the bladder is affected. The malignant form of bladder cancer would affect the urethra, the urinary tube and the surrounding area of the lower urinary tract. The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma.

Bladder problem of dogs can be caused by viral, bacterial and fungal infections. As mentioned, spaying can be the cause of bladder problems in female dogs. Some breeds would have congenital defects that make bladder control practically impossible. Ectopic ureter that is often seen in Welsh Corgi, Miniature Poodle, Collie can be corrected with surgery. Various conditions can result to the dog’s bladder problem but all would have the same symptoms. Not only would the dog urinate more frequently, the dog will have no bladder control so that accidents happen inside the house. A dog with bladder problem will be in pain. The pet will strain to urinate but be able to pass only small amount of urine. The foul smelling urine will have pus and blood.

A urine sample will be used to diagnose the dog’s bladder problem. For bladder infections, oral antibiotics will be prescribed for the dog. A 14 day course of amoxicillin or cephalexin would usually cure the infection. To remove the bacteria out of the bladder, the dog must be encouraged to drink more water. Bladder stones can be removed with medications but if the medications were not effective in breaking down the stones, the next option is surgery. Estrogen and testosterone can be administered to deal with the urinary incontinence of the pet. Chemotherapy and surgery (if possible) are the common management for bladder cancer. After the cancerous tissues are removed natural remedies can be administered to improve the quality of life of the dog.

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