Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Bacterial Infection (Pyelonephritis) of the Kidneys in Dogs

ADVERTISEMENT

Pyelonephritis in Dogs

 

Pyelonephritis is a bacterial infection of the renal pelvis, the funnel-like part of the ureter in the dog's kidney.

 

Normally, if pyelonephritis takes place, it is due to an impairment of the dog's defenses: ureteral movement, blood supply to the kidneys, or the flap valves found between the kidney and ureters.

 

Pyelonephritis can also develop due to kidney stones or when microbes climb upward, spreading a lower urinary tract infection to the upper urinary tract. Blockage of an infected kidney or ureter can lead to more serious complications: sepsis, a bacterial infection of the blood; or urosepsis, an infection of the blood resulting from decomposed urine being forced into the bloodstream.

 

The condition described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn how pyelonephritis affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Fever
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Discolored urine
  • Frequent thirst (polydipsia)
  • Polyuria (frequent urination)
  • Abdominal or lower back pain

 

Causes

 

Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus spp. are the most common bacterial causes for infection. Other bacteria which may lead to pyelonephritis include Proteus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and Pseudomonas spp., which commonly infect the lower urinary tract, but which may ascend into the cat's upper urinary tract.

 

Diagnosis

 

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your dog, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel.

 

If your dog has a lower urinary tract infection already, this highly predisposes it to pyelonephritis. Your veterinarian may perform an ultrasound, or an X-ray of the urinary tract (excretory urography) to differentiate between a lower urinary tract infection and pyelonephritis.

 

Definitive diagnosis requires urine cultures obtained from the renal pelvis (funnel-like part of the ureter in the kidney) or parenchyma, or, as a last resort, histopathology from a renal biopsy.

 

 

A fluid sample from the renal pelvis, using a procedure called pyelocentesis, can also be performed through the skin (percutaneously) using ultrasound guidance, or during exploratory surgery. A specimen for culture might also be obtained from the renal pelvis. If the dog has kidney stones, an incision into the dog's kidney (a nephrotomy) will be necessary to acquire a sample of the mineral.

 

 

Related Articles

Particles in the Urine in Dogs
Cylindruria is a medical condition characterized by an abnormally high amount of...
READ MORE
Lack of Bladder Control in Dogs
Dogs are sometimes unable to control their bladder activity, a medical condition...
READ MORE
Crystals in the Urine of Dogs
Crystalluria is characterized by the presence of crystals in the urine. Crystals...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

What Are Lean Proteins and How They Can Help ...
Protein is an important component in your pet's food, but not all proteins are the...
READ MORE
How Antioxidants Improve Our Pet's Health, ...
The science behind pet nutrition continues to make major advances. One such example...
READ MORE
The Role of Exercise in Pet Weight Loss
Exercise is beneficial for our pets in many ways, including weight loss, and here's...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM