Dogs naturally lose old or damaged hair by shedding. Although shedding is a normal process for dogs, the amount and frequency of hair that is shed often depends upon their health and breed type. It can also depend on the season-many dogs develop thick coats in the winter that are then shed in the spring. Dogs who are always kept indoors, however, are prone to smaller fluctuations in coat thickness and tend to shed fairly evenly all year.
You'll need to take your dog to the vet immediately if your pet produces only a few drops of urine -- or none -- when he or she tries to urinate. Don't wait: being unable to urinate can quickly result in serious illness for your dog or even death.
Painful Urination in Dogs: Common Causes and Treatments
A few of the more common causes of painful urination in dogs include:
While your dog's bladder is normally a sterile place, sometimes bacteria can climb from the genital area into the bladder, leading to infection and inflammation. Symptoms of a bladder infection can include painful urination, urinating only a little bit at a time, incontinence (unable to hold urine in), bloody urine, or urinating often. Some dogs show no symptoms at all.
Treatment for simple bladder infections is usually 10-14 days of antibiotics, with symptom improvement often within the first few days. Sometimes the urine is cultured to determine which antibiotic will work best. To prevent a relapse, always be sure your dog completes the entire course of antibiotics your vet prescribed.
Bladder Crystals and Bladder Stones
Sometimes the naturally occurring minerals in your dog's urine can clump together, forming crystals or stones. Many things can cause the minerals to clump, including an infection, medication, genetics, diet, how often your dog urinates, and how much water he drinks.
Symptoms of urinary stones can vary depending on whether they're in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra, but signs may include slow and painful urination, inability to urinate, bloody urine, vomiting, fatigue, as well as abdominal or kidney pain.