Urination for dogs should be as comfortable as, well, urinating usually is. The flow should be steady and strong, no matter what the age and gender of your dog are. However, if you notice that your dog is trying harder than usual to urinate, there is a reason for that, and you should examine the situation closely to find out what the underlying cause is.
Signs and Symptoms
Firstly and most importantly, you should examine your dog’s genitals closely. You can do this by starting a belly-rub session with your pet. While you are rubbing its belly, look for signs of chewing, scratching, and licking on your dog’s genitals. You should be able to locate saliva staining in the form of copper-colored discoloration on your dog’s fur, redness on his skin, excoriations, and wounds. While you are assessing the situation, look for other changes in your dog’s appearance, such as pigmentation, rashes, or blisters, as well as the discharge from your dog’s genitals.
On the other hand, if your dog has complete urinary tract obstruction, that is a serious emergency that requires medical attention. This obstruction can be the result of inflammation or compression of the urethra, and treatment for this is absolutely possible depending on the severity of the issue. The first symptom of this issue is the straining to urinate. This can remind of constipation because your dog will likely hunch over while attempting to urinate. Since the passage of urine is blocked, the stream can be interrupted and appear cloudy, and urine can be tinged with blood and dark in color.
This issue causes a lot of pain to the dog, therefore he may cry out repeatedly and refuse to eat. He may even become depressed, vomit, and retching. If he goes without medical attention, he can develop renal failure which can lead to death.
Your dog can be suffering from functional urinary retention as well, which may result in several complications, such as those of urinary tract infection, which can spread to your dog’s bladder. Other possible complications may include the rupture of the urethra, and atony and permanent injury to the detrusor muscle. This is more likely to happen to male dogs than female ones.
Possible symptoms of this issue include ineffective attempts to urinate, weak or interrupted urine stream, bladder so full that it leaks urine, pain in the abdominal area, muscular issues, and abdominal distension.
There are several possible causes of urinary problems in dogs, ranging from urinary tract stones, prostate and urinary diseases, the accumulation of minerals in the tract, tumors, scar tissue, and lesions.
Causes of urinary tract obstruction include lesions of the pelvic nerves, electrolyte disturbances (for example hypocalcemia, hypokalemia, hypercalcemia), lesions of the sacral and supra sacral spinal cord, neuropathy, midbrain disorders, abnormal functioning of the autonomic nervous system, and Cushing’s disease.
Causes of functional urinary obstruction include anticholinergic medications, excessive urethral resistance, and possible side effects of the previous urethral and pelvic surgery.
Urinary tract infections must be treated by a vet who will be able to tackle the underlying disorders which could include neurologic lesions or electrolyte disturbances. The vet will be able to normalize the levels of urea and other substances in your dog’s blood.
The obstruction in the urinary tract should be relieved, and often, sedation will be necessary. The vet may perform urethral massage or fluids to push out the obstruction from the urethra and into the bladder. Once the obstruction is pushed to the bladder, a catheter can be placed and left there for at least one day. Usually, the vet will administer intravenous fluids in order to normalize your dog’s electrolyte levels. Some pain medications will most likely be prescribed.
After the treatment at the vet, you will need to monitor your dog’s urine flow to look for signs of possible complications. You may also be asked to change your dog’s diet in order to prevent possible formation of stones, crystals, or other causes for future obstruction. Also, you will have to make sure that your dog urinates regularly to relieve the pressure from the bladder.