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One of the more common medical issues our veterinarian here at Solomons Veterinary Medical Center treats is an animal bladder infection. Though common, the signs and symptoms of this disease may not be readily recognizable to you. Read on as our vet tells you more.
The most common cause of an animal bladder infection is the pet’s feces, the bacteria from which travels into the normally healthy bladder and urinary tract. This bacteria then builds up in the bladder and causes infection to occur. The reason you need to get your pet to our veterinarian as soon as possible is because left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys.
Sometimes pets show no signs that they have a bladder infection, but more often there are clear symptoms that may include a combination of any of the following:
Straining when trying to urinate
Urinating more often than usual
Producing small or no urine when trying
Showing pain by crying out
Urinating outside the litter box or in the house
Urine has a definite, unpleasant smell
Urine may contain blood
Drinking more than usual
Lost interest in eating
Depression and lethargy
The test for a bladder infection is a simple urine test which we perform right here in our Solomons medical center. Once we have confirmed a pet has a bladder infection, the vet immediately puts them on a course of antibiotics to last a minimum of two weeks. Generally, the symptoms improve after 48 hours and the dog or cat is noticeably more comfortable. When a pet is in extreme pain, the veterinarian may prescribe several doses of painkillers as a bridge for when the antibiotics eliminate the symptoms. After a full course of antibiotics, we will bring the pet back for another urine test to ensure the infection has totally cleared up. In cases where the infection has not cleared completely, we would perform further testing. Unfortunately, we find that by the time the pet gets to us, the bladder infection has become quite serious, largely because they cannot communicate their pain and the difficulty in recognizing symptoms. As a result, they need a longer course of antibiotics than human beings with bladder infections.
Some pets are prone to and have repeated bladder infections. These pets would need continued urine testing and depending on the case, additional diagnostics performed with our digital x-ray or ultrasound equipment.
If you notice any signs of, or suspect an animal bladder infection festering or full-blown in your pet, please give our veterinarian a call as soon as possible. When you do, be sure to ask about our new client special!