If you notice any changes in your dog's normal urinary function then you must get him to the vet as soon as possible to be investigated. Your dog's kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood, while retaining useful chemicals, and ridding your the body of harmful and toxic chemicals. Waste material is then passed down the ureters to the bladder where it is stored. When the dog's bladder is full, the dog passes the urine through the urethra and out of the body.
If your dog is straining to urinate then this may caused by any number of multiple issues. It may be caused by infection, mineral sediment in the urine, or bladder stones that may be lodged in your dog's urethra. Not only are urinary disorders life threatening to your dog, they are also very painful. If there is increased amount of urination or even decreased trips to the bathroom then your dog may also have a metabolic illness such as diabetes.
Infections of your dog's bladder and urethra may cause inflammation and an increased need to urinate, even when the bladder is empty. Male dogs may experience the same need when the prostate gland is either enlarged or infected, or the penis inflamed. The urine is sometimes clouded and will have slight discoloration from blood. Vaginal infections can cause females to strain in the same much the same fashion. Urination straining is more serious and much more painful if the cause is due to stones. Stones originate from the buildup of minerals from the bladder. Male dogs have a very narrow urethra, and these stones sometimes get stuck inside, causing severe pain and straining when urinating.
What to do: It is imperative that you get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. If the straining is so bad that he cannot urinate, then his life could literally be cut short within a few days of not being able to urinate. It is recommended that you get a urine sample to the vet.
If the problem is a result of a urinary infection, then antibiotics will be prescribed as well as urinary acidifiers. For severe blockage, the vet may use a urinary catheter in order to relieve pressure and pain. X-rays will be used to determine if bladder stones exist, and if there are indeed stones inside, then you will be notified to make a heavy change in your dog's diet to prevent them from forming again in the future.
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