Painful and Frequent Urination in Dogs

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 16, 2008

Dysuria and Pollakiuria in Dogs

Dysuria is a condition that leads to painful urination in the animal, while pollakiuria refers to abnormally frequent urination. While the urinary bladder and urethra normally serve to store and release the urine, these two disorders affect the lower urinary tract by damaging the bladder wall or stimulating the nerve endings in the bladder or urethra. In other words, you'll have a pet that goes to the bathroom often, and it may even have pain or discomfort when it urinates.

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


  • Extreme irritability
  • Discomfort or pain during urination
  • Frequent "accidents" occuring indoors after he has been housebroken


Dysuria and pollakiuria are generally caused by lesions, stones, cancer or trauma in the urinary bladder and/or urethra. (Lesions and stones are good indicators of a lower urinary tract disease.)

Other factors include:

For the Urinary Bladder

  • Anatomic abnormalities
  • Malfunction of bladder muscles
  • Chemicals/drugs
  • Medical procedures

For the Urethra

  • Anatomic abnormalities
  • Kidney stones
  • Urethral plugs
  • Increased tension of the urethral sphincter (muscle used to control urine flow)
  • Medical procedures

For the Prostrate Gland

  • Cancer
  • Inflammation or abscess
  • Cysts




After establishing a thorough medical and behavioral history on the dog, the veterinarian will be able to rule out a variety of causes, such as surgical procedures, spraying or marking territory, and drug usage. Once those are ruled out, the veterinarian will run tests (i.e., blood, urine, etc.) to determine which of the causes listed above is affecting your pet.


Dogs with less serious, nonobstructive lower urinary tract diseases are typically seen on an outpatient basis, while others requires hospitalization.

Treatment mainly depends on the underlying cause of the condition(s). But if an illness has led to dysuria and/or pollakiuria, it will include supportive therapies, along with any medication to help with the symptoms. However, these conditions often clear up rapidly after proper treatment has been given.

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