UTI in dogs and cats

Urinary tract infection in dogs and cats

Bacterial infections of the urinary tract occur more frequently in dogs than cats. Although inflammation of the lower urinary tract is common in cats, bacterial infections are rare. Fewer than 2% of the cases of lower urinary tract inflammation (LUTI) in cats are caused by a primary urinary tract infection in dogs and cats. Most of the UTIs in dogs involve bacterial inflammation of the lower urinary tract (bladder, urethra); however, the ascension of bacteria into the ureters and kidneys is a potential sequela of lower UTIs. Compared with the incidence of bacterial UTIs, mycoplasmal, chlamydial, viral, and fungal UTIs are rare in dogs. Most bacterial infections of the lower urinary tract respond quickly to appropriate antibiotics treatment; however, UTIs associated with defects in the host immune system often fail to respond to antibiotic therapy, or the infection relapses shortly after antibiotic withdrawal.

Inflammation of the lower urinary tract often results in pollakiura, stranguria, and gross or microscopic hematuria. Urinalysis findings compatible with a lower UTI include bacteriuria, hematuria, pyuria, and increased numbers of transitional epithelial cells in the urine sediment. In addition, an increased urine protein concentration and alkaline urine may be observed. Cystocentesis constitutes the best way to collect urine for urinalysis and bacterial culture, because it prevents urine from being contaminated by bacteria inhabiting the distal urethra.

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