Urination Problems

Information to help cats and dogs with symptoms such as frequent urination problems and trouble urinating.

Select a Topic

  1. What are Urination Problems?
  2. What Causes Urination Problems?
  3. Diagnosing Urination Problems
  4. Help for Urination Problems

What are Urination Problems?

Urination problems are common in both dogs and cats. There are many causes and symptoms, as the bladder is a sensitive organ, used to remove toxins and waste from the animal body. Some urination problems are behavior-related (indiscriminate urination from stress, anxiety or behavioral problems) and others result for physical reasons.

Symptoms of urinary problems in dogs and cats include:

  • Incontinence (loss of bladder control caused by bladder muscle weakness)
  • Frequent dribbling and urinary ‘accidents’
  • Whimpering during urination (seek your vet’s advice)

What Causes Urination Problems?

The accumulation of tartar, plaque and gingivitis may result in the blood vessels of the gums carrying bacteria to the organs in the body, many times, landing in the kidneys resulting in a urinary tract infection. Other causes of urinary problems include Kidney stones and bladder crystals.

You should consult your veterinarian if:

  • There is blood or pus in your pet’s urine (urine appears red or has strings of blood in it)
  • The urine smells very strong and/or is darker
  • Your pet is urinating more than usual (a possible indication of Cushing’s Disease or Diabetes)
  • Your pet is having difficulty urinating
  • Your pet tries to urinate but nothing comes out. (Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately as this may be a result of a blocked stone and is common in male cats)
  • Your pet urinates more than normal and drinking more water than usual
  • Your pet starts suddenly peeing in the house
  • Your pet wets wherever he or she has been sitting
  • Your pet urinates when he is excited

Diagnosing Urination Problems

Your vet may try extraction of urine using a needle inserted into the bladder. Although this sounds painful for your pet, it is superior to using a urinary catheter, which may introduce bacteria and a spasm of the urethra. Blood tests may be done to rule out infection and crystals.

Help for Urination Problems

Most vets may prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics if a urinary infection is the cause of bladder problems. Keep in mind that antibiotics can weaken the immune system in the long term.


Tips related to urination problems
  • Give your pet fresh water daily (fill the bowl every few hours)
  • If you are traveling, give your pet frequent potty breaks
  • Taking your dog for a walk gives them ample opportunity to empty their bladders.
  • Try not to let your dog drink stagnated water, or from drains.
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