Dog Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

MiDOG can help detect the cause of your dog’s urinary tract infection for a better treatment plan.

The neighborhood fire hydrant, that lamp post with some certain joie de vivre, and that favorite patch of grass have all become experts in your dog’s urine. If your dog seems to be visiting their local bathroom more often than normal, perhaps it’s time you become an expert too! Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are painful and if left untreated can result in dangerous urogenital complications, and so early identification and intervention are beneficial.

What Is a UTI?

Canine UTIs are fairly common and occur in approximately 14% of dogs throughout their lifetime [1]. While the majority of UTIs are a result of pathogenic bacteria ascending external genitalia and the urethra, contemporary research has started to shift away from attributing UTIs to solely one pathogenic organism. Instead, a more complex relationship between the polymicrobial nature of the urinary tract and its interactions with the canine host can have significant implications on UTI manifestation and severity [2]. It is important to note that one organism can still be the primary culprit to your dog’s UTI, but the interactions with your dog’s urinary microbiome can play an important role as well.

What Is the Urine Microbiome?

Your dog’s urinary tract is composed of a microbiome, meaning the collective genomes of all types of microbes including bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. This microbiome and its specific composition can actually be an indicator of your pup’s health status. For example, an imbalanced microbiome, or so-called “dysbiotic state”, can result in an environment conducive to a UTI manifestation [3]. Opportunistic pathogens can thrive and multiply in such an imbalanced urinary microbiome. Capturing the microbiome composition in a dog urine sample is technically quite challenging. Traditional diagnostic tools like culture and PCR can only detect a few microbes, but contemporary diagnostic tools provide a unique clinical application for dogs suffering from chronic or even acute UTIs.

The opportunistic bacteria most frequently involved in canine UTIs include the Gram-negative bacteria like Escherichia sp., Proteus sp., Klebsiella sp., Enterobacter sp., Pseudomonas sp., Mycoplasma sp., and Ureaplasma sp. and the Gram-positive cocci Streptococcus sp. and Staphylococcus sp. [4]. Pathogenic bacteria can cause inflammation in the urinary tract, and can even go on to cause stones to develop in the bladder [3]. In some cases where UTIs are not identified and treated soon enough, the infection may even spread to the kidneys and prostate [3].

Dog UTI Symptoms

A house-broken dog uncharacteristically urinating in inappropriate areas may be a sign your dog has a UTI.

Dog UTI Symptoms:

There is a spectrum of UTI severity that can range from being mild to potentially life-threatening. So knowing the warning signs of a UTI is very important. Older female dogs and diabetic dogs are particularly prone to urinary tract infections. Here are the most common symptoms associated with canine UTIs:

  • Increase in frequency of urination
  • Strain in urination
  • Strong odor in urine
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Frequent licking of genitals
  • Crying out in pain when urinating
  • Loss of bladder control

Dog UTI Treatment

If you think your dog may have a UTI, the best thing you can do is get a quick and accurate diagnosis from your vet as soon as you notice symptoms. Getting started on an antibiotic treatment plan tailored to the severity and strain of your dog’s UTI is important [5]. In severe cases, your dog could need immediate medical intervention.

Dog UTI Diagnostics: Conventional versus Contemporary

Considering the importance of understanding the severity of your dog’s UTI, diagnostic tools are critical in delivering quality clinical care. Although culture-based urinalysis has historically been lauded as the convention for UTI diagnosis, scientific research has provided increasing evidence for the diagnostic benefits of Next-Gen sequencing (NGS) technology. Conventional urinalysis has significant limitations in sensitivity to various microorganisms, as many remain undetected by culture methods [2].

Some examples of these organisms are Mycoplasma sp., and Ureaplasma sp. The inability for culture-based urinalysis to detect various microorganisms can result in “no growth” cultures despite symptomatic UTI presentations [2]. A recent study has highlighted that even in cases where a UTI was confirmed, up to 64% of all culture tests return with the “no growth” results [6]! This issue can delay the treatment of your dog and is particularly problematic in cases of antibiotic-resistant strains of opportunistic pathogens [7]. Having the diagnostic knowledge to assign appropriate medical intervention is key and is needed quickly.

A collaboration between Western University School of Veterinary Science and MiDOG has recently shown how contemporary diagnostic tools can be used to advance our knowledge about dogs’ urine and health status. This is the first study to show that there is a microbiome present in your dog’s urine, even when your pup is perfectly healthy. This highlights that dog urine is not sterile, even if the culture testing results come back with” no growth”. Read the study here to learn more.

The MiDOG All-in-One Microbial test utilizes the same NGS technology as described in the study to detect and quantify all microbial DNA through untargeted and comprehensive sequencing and quantitative comparisons to reference databases [2]. Considering urine is non-sterile in both health and disease states, the MiDOG NGS technology provides a useful opportunity to shed light on the microbial makeup of your dog’s urine for clinical application [2,8]. The MiDOG microbial test is grounded on scientific research that provides veterinarians DNA evidence for the guided treatment of canine infections, such as UTIs.

The MiDOG All-in-One Test has helped veterinarians treat even the most chronic UTIs in the past. Read a case study to learn more.

uti test for dogs

The MiDOG Urine Collection Kit may be the solution to your dog’s urinary tract infections.

Find out if your vet uses MiDOG before you book your next appointment!


[1] Ling, G., 1984. Therapeutic strategies involving antimicrobial treatment of the canine urinary tract. J Am Vet Med Assoc., 185, pp.1162–1164.

[2] Melgarejo, T., et al., 2021. Canine Urine Microbiome: Assessment of Bacterial and Fungal Populations in Clinically Healthy Dogs Using Next-Generation-Sequencing. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. IN PRESS

[3] Thompson, M., Litster, A., Platell, J. and Trott, D., 2011. Canine bacterial urinary tract infections: New developments in old pathogens. The Veterinary Journal, 190(1), pp.22-27.

[4] Penna, B., Varges, R., Martins, R., Martins, G., & Lilenbaum, W., 2010. In vitro antimicrobial resistance of staphylococci isolated from canine urinary tract infection. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne, 51(7), 738–742.

[5] Jessen, L., Sørensen, T., Bjornvad, C., Nielsen, S. and Guardabassi, L., 2015. Effect of antibiotic treatment in canine and feline urinary tract infections: A systematic review. The Veterinary Journal, 203(3), pp.270-277.

[6] Acierno, M., et al., 2018. Effect of refrigeration of clinical canine urine samples on quantitative bacterial culture. J Am Vet Med Assoc., 253(2), pp.177-180.

[7] Hall, J., Holmes, M. and Baines, S., 2013. Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of canine urinary tract pathogens. Veterinary Record, 173(22), pp.549-549.

[8] Burton, E., Cohn, L., Reinero C., et al. 2017. Characterization of the urinary microbiome in healthy dogs. PLoS One, 12: e0177783.

Categories: Dogs, Next-Gen DNA Sequencing Technology, Pet Health, Safety and Wellness, Pet Parents, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

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Validated by Veterinarians

“Clients expect their veterinarians to stay up to date on all matters that affect the health and well being of their non-human family members. The current technique that we have used to determine the presence and antibiotic sensitivity of organisms causing disease in our pets is over a century old.

With the emergence of dangerous antibacterial resistance, it is critical that veterinarians are able to offer laser focused diagnostics and treatment. MiDog enables us to offer care that exceeds the typical standard of care.”

Bernadine Cruz, DVM, Laguna Hills Animal Hospital Laguna Woods, CA

“I love the absolute abundance and comparing the fungal with bacterial infection. I do not worry as much about getting a false negative urinary infection reading as I do with traditional urine cultures. Several times the same urine would culture negative but MiDOG would detect pathogens.”

Michael Morgan, DVMQuail Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“The MiDOG All-in-One Test is amazing, I would use it instead of culture and sensitivity.  Such rapid and detailed results, I will reach for MiDOG before culture next time!

Thank you very much MiDOG, for sharing the opportunity to try your technology.”

Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, President of Forensic Veterinary Investigations, LLC – Boston, MA

The MiDOG All-in-One Microbial Test is our new gold standard of pathogen identification. The results are so accurate and valuable – especially with assessing both bacterial and fungal infections with the same sample.

Thank you MiDOG!”

Kathy Wentworth, DVM, Diplomate ABVP Canine and Feline Practice – PetPoint Medical Center, Irvine, CA

“The MiDOG staff was extremely helpful and supportive.”

Cathy Curtis, DVM – London, UK

“I have had great results using the MiDOG® Test. Compared to traditional culture tests, I am better able to target the treatment for dogs because the MiDOG® Test is so sensitive that it identifies all pathogens including bacteria and fungi, as well as antibiotic sensitivity.

The cost and turnaround time are about the same as a culture test, but I get much more data. The test has great performance and I believe the NGS technology will be a game changer for veterinarians treating dogs with lesions or other infections.”

Michael Kavanagh, DVM, Practice owner – Saddleback Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“It’s helpful to have an NGS spectrum because it gives you a broader insight of what’s happening and what might be going on.”

Richard Harvey BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS – European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology – Head of Dermatology, Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service – Solihull, England UK

“I have been using MiDog for over 4 years now and exclusively as my test of choice for all cultures for 3 years.  It is so great to submit a culture and feel confident there will be a result when it comes back, especially for urine cultures.  The reports were intimidating at first because they contain so much information.  After the first few, I am now quickly able to glance over it and pick out the highlights.  I can then come back later and pour over all the details.  I have been extremely pleased with my patients’ results using the test as well.  I don’t envision ever going back to traditional culture and susceptibilities again.”

Brian M. Urmson, DVM, Columbiana Veterinary Associates

“As an exotic veterinarian, there are numerous tests we have to consider to check specific bacterial and fungal organisms based on the species. MiDOG eliminates the need for many of these separate samples and provides definitive results quickly to help us treat our patients more efficiently and effectively. The lab is wonderful to work with and has never rejected our samples- they even processed a lizard toe we amputated and determined the cause of skin infection.”

Dr. Melissa Giese, Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital

“MiDOG’s diagnostic approach offers the unique ability to identify pathogens that evade traditional culture and sensitivity testing. I have found that adding a molecular based testing approach in the form of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) from MiDOG to my routine diagnostic cultures can be extremely helpful in the identification and diagnosis of uncommon pathogens in veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Wayne Rosenkrantz, Animal Dermatology Clinic – Tustin

“She [Dr. Krumbeck] really did a great job of making complicated concepts accessible and demonstrating the value of your services. I’m really looking forward to working with MiDOG on my research project!”

Dr. Yaicha Peters, Animal Dermatology Clinic – San Diego

“As a proud collaborator with MiDOG, I deeply appreciate their dedication to fostering partnerships between industry and veterinary experts. Their commitment to enhancing diagnostic quality for veterinarians is commendable. In my experience, their support has been invaluable, earning them a ‘Double A+, Triple Star’ rating. Their assistance has been faultless, contributing significantly to the success of my projects and studies. I eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration.”

Dr. Richard Harvey, BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS; European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

“We’re seeing that, if we prescribe too many antibiotics or they’re taken too frequently, animals are developing inappropriate or pathogenic strains of bacteria. We’re also seeing that our antibiotics are just not working against them anymore… It’s a good example of why we need better diagnostic testing, like MiDOG, so that we’re selecting the correct antibiotic every time our patients have an infection.”

Dr. Alissa Rexo, DVM, CVA, DACVD, Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Dermatology

“The NGS technique as offered by MiDOG is wonderful because pathogens like Melissococcus plutonius, for example, are difficult to grow and keep alive in the laboratory. A standard laboratory cannot truly examine or even properly diagnose this pathogen in bee hives at this time. But with NGS, we can reliably diagnose it.”

Dr. Joerg Mayer, Entomologist and Microbiologist at the University of Georgia

“For me, as a clinician and as a researcher, I see the immense value in the product [the All-in-One Test]. I have had great success using MiDOG clinically, including identifying Mycoplasma in a 24 year old pigeon, a Nannizziopsis spp in a ball python from a large pet distributor, Mycoplasma and Fusobacterium necrophorum co-infection in a peacock, and to identify an abnormal gut GI in a technician’s dog that tested negative for everything else (but we were able to establish what was abnormal, and work toward fixing it).”

Dr. Jeremy Rayl – Veterinarian, Block House Creek Animal Hospital, Cedar Park, Texas