Many dog owners are unaware that canine bladder enlargement can pose a serious problem if left untreated. Health issues associated with canine enlarged bladder problems can range from urinary incontinence to complete blockage of the urinary passage. In all cases, from mild to severe, your dog will be uncomfortable and, often, in pain.
There are several causes for canine bladder enlargement. Two of the more common ones are infections and bladder stones. Infections of the urinary tract can take place anywhere along the tract, and when the bacteria reaches the inner bladder, it can produce irritation. This irritation often results in canine bladder enlargement. Stones that form within the canine bladder also will cause inflammation and irritation, thus leading to canine enlarged bladder issues. Knowing the cause of the irritation is the first step to treatment.
Dogs suffering from infections are most often treated with antibiotics, dietary change and natural dietary supplements. Owners must keep in mind that once a treatment of antibiotics to fight bacterial infection is prescribed, it must be taken for the full course. In other words, do not stop giving your pet its medicine just because he or she begins to look better or act healthier. Your pet must get the full dose of medicine to ensure that the bacteria causing the infection are completely destroyed. Failure to do so can result in the infection returning, often in a more severe form than before.
The key to flushing bacteria from your dog’s system is a normal schedule of urination that is done with the required force. If there is nothing blocking the urinary system and everything is functioning properly, then more water and possibly a supplement can help. For example, an easy way to get your dog to drink more is to switch to canned food since this type of dog food has 80% more water than dry kibble. Supplements known for urinary support can help to correct the PH balance of the urine. If the urine doesn’t have the right PH, it can’t keep bacteria from colonizing as easily as dog’s that have the right PH.
Canine bladder enlargement that is caused by stones is treated differently. There are different kinds of bladder stones that can affect your pet. One type, canine struvite bladder stones, can be dissolved through various treatment options including changing the diet of the animal. A typical change will be to a Prescription Diet such as Hill’s u/d. The other type of stone, oxalate, cannot be dissolved and usually requires surgical removal. In either case, if the stones become too large, they will not be able to pass through the urinary tract. This can lead to blockage of the tract and is considered a serious health issue as it can be life-threatening. In addition to this, your pet will be in severe pain, and this pain will only increase as time goes by. Large stones, particularly canine oxalate bladder stones will need to be removed surgically.
Like a canine urinary tract infection, a canine enlarged bladder due to stones can be prevented by helping the urinary system function properly. Diet and natural supplements will also help the urine flush crystals which get trapped and then form into stones which in turn can cause canine bladder enlargement. Natural supplements such as Berberis vulgaris can help to restore the bladder and urinary tract by working as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Because canine bladder enlargement can be life-threatening, it is imperative that your vet see your animal as soon as you believe there is a problem. There is simply no way that you can determine the cause of the problem on your own. Lab tests such as urinalysis and x-rays are the only sure way of revealing the underlying cause and the only sure way to ensure the proper treatment is given.