Urinary Problems For Dogs
The kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra make up the urinary system. The bean shaped kidneys filter waste products from the blood, produce a hormone called erythropoietin that stimulates the production of red blood cells, and maintain the body’s water and electrolyte balance. They funnel filtered wast material, urine, into an ureter, where it’s transported to the bladder and then eliminated through the urethra, a hollow tube leading from the bladder out of the body. There are urinary problems for dogs when part of these functions don’t work right.
Content goes here. Signs of urinary tract trouble include painful urination, bloody urine, excessive urination, and incontinence. Dogs can suffer bladder infections (cystitis), and bladder and urethral stones.
Frequent, painful urination signals a bladder infection (cystitis), one of the most common problems in dogs. The urine may look cloudy or small funny because of the bacteria and blood cells in it. Some of the conditions that can trigger cystitis include urethral infections, diabetes, or simply increasing age. Letting a bladder infection go without treatment can lead to kidney infection, so seek veterinary advice if a dog show these signs. Cystitis is treated with oral antibiotics, and it’s a good idea to have a follow-up urinalysis to ensure that the infection is gone.
Stones, or uroliths, are rock like collections of minerals that form in the bladder or urethra. Most such stones are formed of magnesium ammonium phosphate and are called struvites. Other stones are made of calcium oxalate or cystine. Uric acid stones for in an alkaline urine and often result from a bladder infection.
Dogs can have a single large stone or many small stones. Bladder stones are common in dogs, but some dogs have a greater incidence of them, including dalmatians, dachshunds, bulldogs, miniature schnauzers, and shih tzus.
Signs of stones are painful urination and bloody urine. Sometimes stones can be felt by the veterinarian when examining the abdomen by hand, but in most cases diagnosis is made with X-rays. Stones are treated by resolving a bladder infection if present and feeding the dog a special diet that helps dissolve the stones. If stones are blocking the urethra o\, or bladder stones fail to dissolve, surgery is the best treatment.
Incontinence is the involuntary passing of urine. It can occur for different reasons related to the bladder, urethra, or abnormalities in the parts of the brain and spinal cord responsible for controlling bladder function. Before diagnosing incontinence, rule out medications and diseases such as diabetes, Cushings disease, and kidney failure, which can increase urine production and cause a dog to involuntary urinate. Some causes of incontinence include:
Aging- incontinence related to aging is quite common and can be caused by the weakening of bladder muscles, senility, or diseases common to older dogs.
Birth defects-the most common birth defect that can cause incontinence is an ectopic ureter, which may cause puppies to drip urine. The ureters carry urine from the kidney to the bladder, but if defective one or both ureters may bypass the bladder and connect to an abnormal location. The condition is most common in females and in certain breeds such as Siberian huskies, miniature poodles, Labrador retrievers, collies, Welsh Corgis, wire-haired fox terriers, and West Highland white terriers.
Partial blockage of the urethra-a stone or tumor partially blocking the urethra can cause an animal to become incontinent. If urine flow becomes totally blocked, the animal can die within a few days.
Bladder infections-though not incontinence, bladder infections can cause a strong urge to urinate leading to inappropriate elimination. Veterinarians commonly evaluate incontinent animals for bladder infections.
Brain or spinal cord diseases- a dog dribbling urine may have a brain or spinal cord disease, but other signs of nervous system disease are usually present as well.
Hormone responsive incontinence-this occurs most often in altered female dogs, though it can occur in neutered male dogs, too. The dog leaks urine while resting.
Depending upon what’s causing the incontinence, surgery or treatment of underlying disease may be necessary. When no specific reason can be found, drugs may be prescribed to help increase muscle tone in the bladder. These drugs include phenylpropanolamine, estrogen, and ephedrine. Use of L-deprenyl (Anapryl), can reverse some of the behavioral changes related to aging, may help remedy incontinence in older dogs. Dogs can wear specially made diapers, which are available at pet supply stores, to help mange the incontinence, which are available at pet supply stores, to help manage the incontinence.
What Is Kidney Failure
Does blood in the urine mean kidney failure? No, it doesn’t, particularly if she didn’t seem ill to you before you heard that diagnosis. “Kidney failure” is a legitimate medical description, but “chronic kidney disease (CKD)’ is also accurate and less dire-sounding.
Kidney failure, or CKD means the kidneys aren’t removing waste products from the blood efficiently. It is diagnosed by blood and urine tests. A dog with kidney disease will have higher than normal levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine, to substance the kidneys are supposed to get rid of, and dilute urine. (A dog with normal kidney function who had high BUN and creatinine levels would have concentrated urine.) Many vets use a numerical system to describe the severity of the disease, based on the creatine level: from CKD,stage 1 to CKD stage 4, with 4 being the worst.
High BUN and creatinine levels plus dilute urine are signs that a dog’s kidneys are working at 25 percent of normal capacity or less. That’s the bad news. The good news is that many dogs can get along quite well for a long time with only 25 percent kidney function, depending on how they got there and how quickly the problem is progressing. So ask your vet what she thinks may have caused the kidney problem and whether you should be taking steps to treat it.
What We Have Learned Today
The kidneys are responsible for processing waste before going to the bladder. There are kidney stones, age, blood infections and other things that cause incontinence. We also touched what is and what isn’t kidney failure. I hope you have learned from this article. Feel free to leave comments.