October 1, 2009 "Ask Seth"

My dog is urinating in the house and has been drinking a lot of water. Should I take him to the Vet?


Dear Seth,

My 6 year old Golden Retriever, Henrietta has been urinating in the house.  She never had a problem before.  In her defense, she has been drinking much more than usual.  I think she may have a bladder infection.  Should I have her seen by the vet?

Henrietta should definitely be seen by a vet very soon. A veterinarian will base a diagnosis on Henrietta’s symptoms and tests.  It very well could be a bladder infection, but there are other causes of urine incontinence.  Bladder infections are the most common cause of incontinence in female dogs.  Your veterinarian will most likely perform a urinalysis and urine culture.  The urinalysis would confirm the presence of white blood cells, thus confirming a bacterial infection.  A urine culture will confirm the infection, identify the organism and provide valuable data on which antibiotic your vet should prescribe.  After a short period of antibiotics, patients show improvements and incontinence ends. It is very important to finish the entire course of medication to avoid recurrence.


Seth Mayersohn, CVT


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