How to Tell if a Dog Has a Kidney Infection

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If a dog has a kidney infection, there may be blood in its urine, she may be drinking more water than usual, and she may be urinating more than usual. Find out how a kidney infection can make a dog's back tender to the touch with help from a veterinarian in this free video on dog kidney infections.

Part of the Video Series: Dog Health
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Dr. Greg McDonald we are talking about dog health. I own McDonald Animal Hospital in southern California. Today we wanted to talk a little bit about kidney infections. Dogs and cats both can get kidney infections and usually it's what we call an ascending infection. It means that they started with a bladder infection and then it went out through the ureters into the kidney. And so the things that you'd notice in a dog that has that, you might see some blood in their urine. You might see that they are having difficulty urinating. They may be drinking more water as well as urinating more then usual. And so sometimes we see increased frequency where an animal is going to go outside all the time and when they do go outside, they are running to every tree in the backyard trying to pass urine. It's very important I think that people should watch very carefully on their dog's intake of water and the output of water as urine, as well as their eating habits and their passing of stool. Those are all things that you can monitor on a daily basis to be sure your dog is normal. Sometimes if dogs do have a kidney problem it could be painful for them when you touch them up in their back area. And I'll show you on Zack here where that is. If you go along the spine like this and then right behind the rib cage but higher up on the dog in this area right here is where the kidneys are and so if you push on those areas your dog might cry out if your dog actually had a kidney infection. Fortunately we don't see too many kidney infections in dogs. So if your dog is experiencing a kidney infection, they may act sick, they may not want to eat very much. They are feeling very ill because they have a bacterial infection that's going on in their kidneys and you often times you'll see some blood in the urine and increase frequency of urination. Often times if you suspect a urinary tract infection your veterinarian is going to require you to get a urine sample from your dog and bring it in. One of the things that can help that is if you fashion, you could do this out of a coat hanger but this has been done out of a little piece of aluminum. You can put a little cup at the end and again this cup comes out and you can put it in like this and as the dog goes to urinate you can catch a little bit of the urine like this. You don't need very much urine, that is all the amount that you'd need. It would be important to try and get it into your veterinarian within a few hours. Sometimes for female dogs it's a little more difficult to catch and we are not really looking for sterile urine at first and so you can catch it in a little pie pan or sometimes people even use something like a Frisbee for the female dogs. They get a little nervous they have to kind of sneak it under them when they are not looking. But your veterinarian is going to require you to bring a urine sample and it's one of those single best things you can do to try and find out if your dog has a urinary tract infection.

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