A smile comes across your face.
He appears quite carefree and content, relishing his life as a canine suburbanite.
However, you also recognize a peculiar behavior.
You notice Biscuit eagerly hiking his leg on just about everything in the backyard including every bush, every tree trunk, and even all four tires of your husband’s new truck.
Hmm, you think. That’s odd!
For almost two years, Biscuit has lived in the same house, played in the same backyard and essentially ruled the neighborhood.
He constantly attracts dozens of local kids seeking the companionship of a family pet.
Although you hesitate to admit it, Biscuit is the neighborhood star.
You start to get worried and concerned for Biscuit.
“Biscuit is a young dog and he could be marking his territory. A lot of young dogs mark,” you say to yourself.
But, when he lifts his leg, nothing seems to come out except a little squirt here and there.
You continually try to rationalize Biscuit’s new behavior knowing full well something may be wrong.
Continuing to mull over Biscuit’s new behavior, you remember that Biscuit has also been aggressively licking between his hind legs.
So much that the once white fur coloring his flanks is now a rusty brown. Remember salivary staining?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but these signs and symptoms appear to be that of a dog with a urinary tract or bladder infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Dog Bladder Infections
- Straining to urinate
- Eliminating small amounts of urine
- Squatting or hiking frequently
- Bloody urine
- Licking the private parts
- Change in elimination behaviors
All of these signs are applicable to both male and female dog bladder infection symptoms.
So, you have accepted the fact that Biscuit possibly suffers from a dog urinary tract infection. What do we do next?
Off to the veterinarian, perhaps, with a tad bit of trepidation.
Upon entering the veterinarian’s office, you notice the big blue sign that reads “Hill’s Dog Food.”
On the first shelf is a food “for the urinary health of your best friend.”
You are puzzled and wonder why the veterinarian, your dog’s doctor, would sell pet food.
You also wonder why prescription diets for people are not commercially available.
Ironically, people succumb to the same health problems as pets.
And since trends in veterinary medicine generally follow trends in human medicine, your questions are understandable.
But, “Maybe Biscuit could benefit from one of these diets?”
After an examination and urinalysis, your veterinarian, the once young kid who always wanted to be a veterinarian since he found his first baby squirrel in the backyard, recommends a treatment of antibiotics followed by the dog bladder infection home remedy of cranberry and apple cider vinegar.
We all know cranberry juice benefits women with urinary tract infections.
But, did you know that cranberry supplements can also benefit dogs as well?
The mechanism, although not completely understood, is believed to result from proanthocyanidins (PACs), a class of polyphenols found in a variety of plants including cranberries.
Proanthocyanidins inhibit the attachment of certain bacteria, most notably E. coli, to the bladder wall.
Instead of attaching to the bladder wall and multiplying, these bacteria are subsequently flushed out in the urine.
Maritime pine bark extract and red wine do essentially the same thing as cranberry but are not as well recognized.
What about apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as an antimicrobial and antifungal agent.
Whether or not the benefits of apple cider vinegar apply to dog urinary tract infections in dogs is debatable. Its use will do no harm.
However, I would suggest antibiotics for the treatment and cranberry and vinegar for ongoing prevention.
If you want to decrease the chance of your dog acquiring bladder stones, then treating and controlling bladder infections is the key to preventing stone formation, especially regarding struvite stones.
Control the infection!
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