Shih Tzu Health Issues – Urinary Tract Infections

If you are having a hard time house training your Shih Tzu puppy and she frequently urinates in the house, the problem may not be with your puppy’s ability to learn, but rather an underlying condition called urinary tract infection. The condition is more frequent in female dogs, but the occurrence in male dogs is on the rise.

Signs of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The signs are not identical in all dogs, but if the majority of the following are present your dog may be suffering from UTI. 

  • Foul smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or dark urine
  • Increased urination
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Low energy levels
  • Tender lower abdomen
  • Licking of the genitals

How does it occur?

There is a large amount of bacteria outside of the urinary opening. When the 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 scarring to the bladder and in more severe cases kidney failure. For this reason it is advisable to take your dog to the vet if you suspect UTI and especially if the condition is chronic.

 How to prevent Urinary Tract Infection

  • Make sure your dog have access to fresh water. The more often your dog drinks, the more often she will urinate. Urinary tract infection is more common in dogs that do not urinate enough, as it gives more time for the bacteria to multiply while sitting in the bladder.
  • Certain medication and diseases increase your dog’s risk to develop UTI. These include antibiotics, glucocorticoids; corticosteroids, urogenital diseases (such as epididymitis, or inflammation of testicles), diabetes and tumors. By eliminating the medicine or by treating the disease you can prevent urinary tract infection to recur in the future. 
  • Do not throw water or milk on your dog’s food and leave it outside for a long time. This will create an environment where the E Coli virus can multiply and you will increase your dog’s chances to contract UTI.
  • Always buy top quality commercial dog foods. Some experts are of the opinion that dog food is one of the major contributing factors to UTI due to bacteria in the foods.

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 choice. If you cannot prepare homemade dog food canned food is the next best choice. UTI occur more often in alkaline urine than in acidic urine. You need to feed your dog foods that encourage acidic urine and this includes animal based protein sources. Stay away, as far 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 UTI.
  • Give your dog 1000mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) twice daily.
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