Canine Urinary Tract Infections: Are All Those Expensive Tests Really Necessary?

Updated on March 6, 2017
Darlene Norris profile image

Darlene Norris loves cats and dogs. She has worked as a vet assistant, and draws on this experience when she writes her hubs.

Canine urinary tract infections can be frustrating and expensive when they keep coming back!
Canine urinary tract infections can be frustrating and expensive when they keep coming back!

If canine urinary tract infections are a problem for your dog, you're probably getting tired of all the vet bills. In fact, you may even think your vet is running a swindle to get all your money!

Well, this isn't true. Canine cystitis can be a very difficult condition to treat, especially when it keeps coming back. If your frustration level is rising, simmer down and read this article to learn more about bladder infections in dogs.

Inappropriate Urination May Be Caused by a Canine Bladder Infection

It would be great if our pets could talk to us and tell us exactly what their problems are. But since that's not possible, it's up to us, as owners, to figure out what she's trying to tell you by her behavior.

Anyone who's ever had a bladder infection knows about the pain and burning when you urinate. Well, it's just as uncomfortable for your pet. She'll let you know she's not happy by her restless behavior, which includes pacing around the house and whining. She may ask to go out again almost as soon as you've let her back in.

Worse yet, you may start finding puddles of urine around the house. Don't immediately assume this is a behavior problem. She just may not be able to hold it long enough to get outside. Before you call a dog trainer, be sure cystitis in dogs isn't what's causing the problem.

What Tests Will Your Vet Want to Run to Diagnose Canine Urinary Tract Infections?

Three tests your vet should do are a urinalysis, a dog urine culture, and a sensitivity test.

A urinalysis will reveal whether bacteria or canine bladder stones are present in your buddy's urine. If bacteria are present, a urine culture will let your vet know which bacteria are causing the infection. A sensitivity test will show which antibiotic should be used.

The problem is that these tests are expensive. They can add between $25 and $100 to your vet bill. Some dog owners can't afford the extra cost. Others just won't pay the added expense.

The result is that your vet will probably be shooting in the dark as far as using the right antibiotic to clear up your pet's case of canine cystitis.

Any Antibiotic Will Work, Right?

Wrong. Skipping the sensitivity test can be a false economy, since you can waste a lot of time and money giving your pet an antibiotic that won't kill the bacteria causing the problem.

The problem of antibiotic resistance is also an issue. More and more bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics that used to kill them. Often this is a result of using the wrong antibiotic to try to eradicate an infection.

Can Natural Remedies for Dogs Be the Answer?

Many people have turned to natural remedies to prevent and treat various health problems, and they're wondering if these remedies can help their pets as well.

The answer is yes, natural remedies for dogs are safe and effective for treating canine urinary tract infections. You'll want to use a remedy manufactured especially for pets so that your companion receives the right dosage. Look for a product that contains the herbs uva ursi and berberis, and the homeopathic remedies Cantharis and Staphysagris.

Now you can understand why your vet wants to run those expensive tests. Once your pet has recovered from canine cystitis, you'll probably want to learn more about natural remedies for pets, so that you can prevent the stress and pain of bladder infections in dogs in the future.


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      Pauline Robinson 4 months ago

      I just paid 175.00 for the lab work, and 195.00 for the culture. Not counting the medications...

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      Kristina Wesman 6 months ago

      I dropped off a urine spec for testing and I needed a ua/uc recheck because she just got done with a 2 week course of Keflex for a staph infection uti. The vet did the ua but didn't do the uc because she says it would need to be expressed sterilely. Is this true? I didn't do this before.

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      graystones 10 months ago

      $25-100 sounds reasonable. I'm being quoted $140 for the urinalysis/culture. I wish vets didn't markup lab tests so significantly. A lot more pets in need of life savings tests would get them if lab tests were not a big profit center for vets