How Can Pet Owners Protect Their Pets from Dangerous Urinary Tract Problems?
In our last blog, we showed pet parents how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
As we talked about in the above post, some urinary tract problems are medical emergencies! If your pet is experiencing any of the symptoms, please call us immediately. We’re an emergency veterinary hospital and we’re open 24/7 with a vet on-site.
Luckily, urinary tract conditions are treatable if detected early enough.
What Causes Urinary Tract Problems?
Urinary tract problems in dogs and cats can be caused by a range of different factors and conditions, the same as with people.
Common causes include:
- Urinary sphincter muscle weakening with old age
- Bacterial infection
- Adrenal gland disease
- Bladder cancer
- Bladder stones
- Kidney stones
- Debris in the urinary tract
- Spinal cord abnormalities
- Bladder inflammation
- Prostate disease
For dogs, those with diabetes and older female dogs are at the biggest risk for urinary tract infections.
For older cats, those with weak kidneys or diabetes are at the biggest risk for urinary tract problems. Sometimes, the cause of a cat’s urinary tract problem is related to stress. This is called “Feline Idiopathic Cystitis”.
Of course, as a loving owner, you’ll want to prevent urinary tract infections before they become a concern! The rest of this post is about how you can do that, keeping your furry friends pain-free and infection-free.
Urinary Tract Infection Prevention for Dogs
Keep your dog’s urinary tract healthy with these tips!
- Nutrition: Feed your dog veterinary approved foods with the S/O index to discourage bladder and kidney stone formation. Excellent nutrition will also keep your dog’s immune system healthy, which reduces their susceptibility to bacteria when it comes around. There are even special diet foods available made specifically for dogs who are prone to urinary tract problems.
- Hydration: Keep fresh, cool water in a clean bowl out at all times to encourage your dog to drink more water. With an appealing water supply, your dog will drink more and urinate frequently, flushing out potential bacteria build-up.
- Take Your Dog to the Bathroom: Holding in urine for long periods is a big contributor to urinary tract infections. Make sure your dog is able to go out frequently for bathroom breaks.
- Grooming: Your dog should be kept clean, especially around their genital area. Long hair near this area should be trimmed as well.
- Annual Check-up: Catch issues before they become serious medical problems by bringing your dog in for annual check-ups at the vet.
Urinary Tract Infection Prevention for Cats
Keep your cat’s urinary tract healthy with these tips!
- Nutrition: Feed your cat smaller meals more regularly. Proper nutrition will also keep your cat’s immune system healthy, which reduces their susceptibility to bacteria when it comes around. All of the foods that we provide have the S/O index to minimize chances of kidney or bladder stones.
- Hydration: Keep fresh, cool water out at all times to encourage your cat to drink more. If you can, get a cat water fountain; cats prefer running water. Cats won’t drink stagnant water that’s been left out for days! With an appealing water supply, your cat will drink more and urinate frequently, flushing out bacteria build-up.
- Cat Soup: A great trick that we’re fond of is mixing fresh water into your cat’s wet food! It’s a very effective way to get cats to drink more water without even knowing it. Here’s a previous blog we did explaining how to make Cat Soup.
- Litter Boxes: Provide several, clean litter boxes throughout the house. A good general rule is to provide one more litterbox than you have cats (e.g. for 2 cats you should have 3 litter boxes). Clean them once a day. Keep the litter boxes in quiet areas of the house so your cat will feel comfortable using them. Try to spread the litter boxes out in different rooms, as cats like to have different bathroom options.
- Stress: Cats can become stressed out easily by seemingly minor changes in routine or environment. Try to minimize big changes, and if you think that stress is present, please call us for easy help.
- Annual Check-up: Cats are masters of hiding their medical symptoms. Catch issues before they become serious medical problems by bringing your cat in for annual check-ups at the vet.
>> When’s the last time your pet visited the vet for a check-up? Book an appointment with us now!
Do vet visits stress your cat out? Download our free guide to calming your cat for the trip.
Get Your Paws on Our Previous Posts:
- How to Care for Your Aging Dog – 7 Health Considerations
- Pet Bites, Veterinary Teams, and Helping Your Pets Stay Calm
- Do You Have an Emergency Care Plan for Your Pet?
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- Pet Hospital Tails: 15lb Dog Survives Coyote Attack in the GTA (Featured on CityNews with Dr. Mudrick) - February 28, 2017