If you notice your furry friend wincing from pain while urinating, they could be suffering from a common pathogen-related disease called a urinary tract infection (UTI). A pathogen is any bacterium, virus, or other microorganisms, undetectable by the naked eye, capable of causing disease. A urinary tract infection is a common disease that can be contracted by both human and small animal patients.

This type of infection typically originates when germs infect parts of the urinary system, typically the urethra and bladder, which creates havoc inside what is normally a healthy urinary microbiome. The urinary microbiome refers to the microscopic organisms (also called “microbes”) that reside in the urinary tract. These microscopic organisms form communities that play a major role in maintaining a healthy and balanced system.

UTI Symptoms

An animal suffers from a UTI when healthy and clean urine in the bladder is invaded by harmful, foreign bacteria that reproduce and create new populations inside the bladder. Urinary tract infections cause a significant amount of pain until the infection is treated with antibiotics to eliminate the infectious microbes. Patients with UTIs can exhibit symptoms including cloudy urine, excessive thirst/drinking, excessive licking of the genital area, breaking housetraining, and urinary incontinence (uncontrollable leaking of the bladder). Recurrent UTIs not only cause discomfort for patients, but they also pose a therapeutic challenge.

Canine UTIs

If your dog breaks housetraining and suffers urinary incontinence, they may have a UTI. ,a

UTI Treatment

If a patient is expressing signs of a urinary tract infection, the next step is for the veterinarian to prescribe an antibiotic treatment plan. Antibiotics target the specific foreign bacteria that are causing the infection, however, determining the most effective antibiotic treatment is not always as easy as it seems since the microbes causing the infection can vary from patient to patient. Although there are common bacteria that cause UTIs, it is typical for other bacteria to also be present which can exacerbate the infection and lead to a more complicated diagnosis.

Diagnostics

To determine the source of the infection, the common and traditional diagnosis method is to perform a culture and sensitivity test. With this type of test, a urine sample is collected from the patient and taken to a laboratory where the bacteria are cultured (grown and allowed to reproduce). After identifying the specific types of bacteria present in the urine sample, the bacteria are presented against various types of antibiotics to determine an effective treatment plan.

 

dog urinary tract infection

 

A collaboration with Western University has helped unveil the clinical importance of using MiDOG technology to diagnose naturally occuring UTIs in dogs.

Since there is an inevitable lag during the diagnosis period while veterinarians determine the source of the infection, patients are usually discharged with a general antibiotic treatment targeting common bacteria present in UTIs to provide immediate relief of pain for the patient. The laboratory results typically become available within 3-5 days, however, if the types of bacteria in the UTI are misdiagnosed, the patient is subjected to an ineffective choice of antibiotics which could result in the development of antibiotic resistance and a long, painful recovery. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop resistance mechanisms to survive antibiotic treatments that were once effective in treating the infection. One mechanism that gives bacteria their antibiotic resistance properties is through antibiotic resistance plasmids which contain the antibiotic resistance genes. These antibiotic resistance plasmids can be transferred amongst a population of bacteria which poses a major threat to us and our pets since it hinders the animal’s ability to defend themselves against the invasive microbes and contributes to the pathogen’s ability to reproduce and spread.

antibiotic resistance

MiDOG technology helps detect antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Better Patient Care

To optimize patient care and accurately identify the specific microbes affecting an animal’s health, scientists at MiDOG LLC created a new microbial DNA sequencing-technology that identifies the presence and composition of microbes in patient samples. The scientists demonstrated how microbial DNA sequencing has provided veterinarians with a method for targeted diagnosis of pathogen-related diseases. MiDOG’s sequencing technology has allowed for rapid identification of pathogenic microbes in less than two hours after the collection of your pet’s urine sample.

This has revolutionized the ability of veterinary medicine to accurately diagnose and treat canine bacterial and fungal infections. In a collaborative case study led by scientists from MiDOG LLC and researchers from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University, the types of bacteria present in UTI positive and healthy dog urine samples were identified and compared using two methods: MiDOG’s modern microbial DNA sequencing method and the traditional culture and sensitivity method.

Establishing the Urinary Microbiome

Using MiDOG’s microbial DNA sequencing technology, the urinary microbiome was established, and the test identified the different types of microbes including bacteria, fungi, and antibiotic resistance plasmids. In both the UTI positive group and the healthy group of dogs, shared types of pathogenic bacteria were observed in the dog’s urinary system. Although the urinary microbiomes of both the UTI positive and healthy groups contained some of the same types of pathogenic bacteria, only the UTI positive group expressed UTI symptoms.

For the culture and sensitivity test, the results were negative for several of the urine samples even though MiDOG’s test showed positive results indicating the presence of pathogenic bacteria. This demonstrates how MiDOG’s DNA sequencing methodology has high sensitivity detection abilities and can determine the presence of less abundant microbes which enables veterinarians to prescribe a more personalized and targeted treatment plan. If a dog was expressing UTI symptoms but their urine sample was determined negative for common pathogenic bacteria using the culture and sensitivity test, the MiDOG DNA sequencing technology could provide a more comprehensive analysis.

Modern DNA Sequencing Technology

MiDOG’s modern DNA sequencing technology for microbial detection gives our pets a second chance. This is clearly seen in a notable clinical case where a canine patient was prescribed an antibiotic based on the type of bacteria that was identified in her sample using the culture and sensitivity test. However, even after antibiotic treatment, she did not show signs of improvement.

When her sample was analyzed using the MiDOG test, the bacteria present in her urine was identified to contain an antibiotic-resistant plasmid which enabled the pathogenic bacteria to defend themselves against the prescribed antibiotic. Unlike with MiDOG’s test, the antibiotic-resistant plasmid was not detected with the culture and sensitivity test since the test was only equipped with detecting the presence of the bacteria and was not equipped to detect antibiotic-resistant plasmids inside the bacterial population. After the prescription was modified to account for the antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the patient’s UTI symptoms subsided.

If MiDOG’s technology did not exist, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria may have never been detected and the bacteria in the UTI infection would remain unconstrained and could spread to other parts of the body, leading to fatal consequences. This case highlights why MiDOG’s accurate methodology for rapid pathogen detection is necessary for a proper diagnosis and is critical in saving time and saving lives. The ability of MiDOG’s test to expedite the diagnosis and treatment process for these types of microbial infections means less time spent at the vet and more time spent at home with happy, healthy critters.

 

midog test

 

The MiDOG Urine Collection Kit is a useful tool to help diagnose your dog’s urinary infection.

Learn more about the MiDOG Test


Categories: Dogs, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

animal diagnostics

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