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How To Prevent Recurring Urinary Tract Infections in Pets

Did your pet finish up their antibiotics, only for their UTI symptoms to come back? While urinary tract infections are fairly common in cats and dogs, recurring infections are a sign that something’s amiss. You may need to make a change in your pet’s routine or investigate underlying causes that could be affecting their urinary tract health.

Why Do Pets Get Urinary Tract Infections?
Around 14% of dogs will get a urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime, but they only affect about 1-2% of cats. A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enters the urethra or bladder, causing painful inflammation, especially upon and immediately after urinating, frequent urination, and for some pets, temporary incontinence.

The majority of UTIs are caused by e.coli bacteria. Escherichia coli or E.coli is a type of bacteria normally found in the lower intestines of healthy people and animals. Female animals are more likely to have bacteria enter their bladder because their urethra is shorter and wider than that of a male’s. Animals with chronic illnesses like diabetes and Cushing’s disease may be more susceptible to UTIs.

Bacteria can also flourish in the bladder when stones prevent the pet from emptying it completely. It’s also possible for pets to get urinary tract infections when they do not drink enough water or urinate frequently enough to flush out the bladder.

Prevent Your Pet’s Urinary Tract Infection From Recurring
Urinary tract infections should always be taken seriously because they can cause serious urinary tract issues, spread to the kidneys, or life-threatening blood poisoning/sepsis. Also, urinary symptoms could have other underlying causes like stones.

If your pet is currently being treated for an active infection, make sure to give their antibiotics at the same times each day or as directed by your veterinarian. Always finish the course of antibiotics until they’re all gone, even if your pet seems to be feeling better. Failing to complete a course of antibiotics allows a small population of bacteria to flourish and repopulate the bladder.

Make sure your pet always has access to clean, fresh water. You may want to offer a diet that’s rich in moisture - soaked kibble, wet food, or dehydrated pet food, or fresh raw or cooked diet ensures your pet urinates more frequently, helping their bladder stay clear of bacteria.

When your pet finishes their antibiotics, bring a urine sample to your veterinarian to re-test for UTI. If your pet is susceptible to infections, ask your veterinarian about testing regularly to ensure the UTI does not come back. It’s possible for pets to suffer from a UTI without showing obvious symptoms.

Protecting Your Pet’s Urinary Tract Health
Certain over-the-counter supplements help prevent urinary tract infections. However, supplements cannot treat an active infection, so if your pet has symptoms, see your veterinarian right away.

Cranberries are known for their protective properties for the urinary tract because they contain d-mannose, a simple sugar that prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Cranberry supplements also have diuretic properties to help your pet urinate more frequently.

Try NaturVet Cranberry Relief Plus Echinacea for cats and dogs or Crananidin for Dogs.

Recent studies suggest that probiotics may help prevent recurring urinary tract infections in humans. Since they have many other health benefits, it’d be worthwhile to add a probiotic supplement to your pet’s diet too.