Owning a dog is a special gift that keeps on giving. Dogs are loving and faithful angels who will fill our life with laughter and joy. As a dog owner, you must ensure that your dog is healthy and happy. That starts with healthy diet and regular exercise. In addition, there are certain common health issues your dog is predisposed to that you ought to be aware of.
Urinary tract infections and digestive issues are common health problems in dogs. Why discuss the digestive system and urinary tract together? Urinary tract infections in canines are closely related to both areas - they help filter and get rid of unwanted and harmful waste products from the body. Without these vital functions, a dog’s body wouldn’t be able to get rid of bacteria and harmful substances.
Digestive Problems in Dogs
1.Causes of Digestive Problems in Dogs
Common causes of digestive issues in dogs can include:
- Changing type of dog food too quickly
- Consuming inappropriate foods that are indigestible
- Consumption of garbage
- Viruses (canine parvovirus, distemper, canine rotavirus)
- Pancreatitis due to feeding food high in fats Gastroenteritis
- Bacterial infections (E.coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella variants) Parasites (hookworms, whipworms and Giardia)
- Hemorrhagic gastritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
2.Symptoms of Digestive Problems in Dogs
There are a wide range of digestive problems in dogs and the symptoms can include:
- Changes in stool quality or quantity
- Changes in appetite
- Regurgitation or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
It’s very important that you be alert to warning signs and continue to monitor your dog.
If your dog shows any signs for more than a few days, bring him to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian will test the blood and urine to rule out kidney or liver conditions and may carry out a fecal exam to rule out parasites, giardia and bacterial infections.
3.What to Feed Dogs with Digestive Issues?
One of the best things dog owners can do for their dogs is give them a probiotic and multivitamin supplement such as Natural Pet Seaweed Calcium + Vitamin C&D + Probiotic Powder For Pets (2 Sizes). Try adding probiotics to your pet’s diet and see if you notice a change. Probiotics are the great equalizers. They are known to help repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria, and compete with harmful bacteria for intestinal wall space and nutrients which allow them to grow and reproduce. Always consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes.
Recommended dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs: Acana Grass-Fed Lamb Dog Dry Food // Nature's Protection Superior Care Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb Dry Dog Food // SAFE V2 Hypo-Allergenic Salmon Dry Dog Food
Urinary Tract Problems and Infections in Dogs
Urinary tract infections in dogs are common. A urinary tract infection is an infection caused by fungi, bacteria or parasites in the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. There are numerous factors that can affect your dog’s lower urinary system.
1.What Causes Lower Urinary Tract Problems in Dogs?
- Bladder inflammation or infection
- Stones, crystals or debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra
- Incontinence from excessive water drinking or weak bladder/hormonal issue
- Prostate disease
- Congenital abnormality
- Spinal cord abnormalities
2.What Health Conditions Might Lead to Lower Urinary Tract Problems in Dogs?
According to WebMD, the most common lower urinary tract disease in canines over 7 years of age is related to a weak urinary sphincter muscle, allowing urine to “leak” out. Another common disease is bacterial infections. Endocrine diseases and diabetes mellitus can predispose most dogs to bacterial infection of the lower urinary tract.
3.Which Dogs Are Prone to Lower Urinary Tract Problems?
Dogs with diabetes and elderly female dogs are prone to urinary tract problems.
4.What Are The Symptoms of Urinary Tract Problems in Dogs?
The following general signs may indicate that your dog is having urinary tract problems:
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Loss of bladder control, dribbling urine
- Inability to urinate or only passing a small amount of urine
- Increased amount and/or frequency of urination
- Strong odour to the urine
- Soiling in inappropriate places
- Constant licking of urinary opening
- Weight loss
- Changes in appetite
- Severe back pain
- Increased water consumption
5.How Are Lower Urinary Tract Problems Treated?
Depending on your dog’s diagnosis, one of the following may be recommended:
- Medications or supplements
- Dietary changes
- Increase in water intake
- Urinary acidifiers or alkalinizers
- Intravenous or subcutaneous fluid therapy
- Surgery to correct congenital abnormality
- Surgery or other procedures to remove bladder stones or tumor
Recommended dog food for dogs with urinary tract problems: Hill's Science Diet® Adult 7+ Small Paws™ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food