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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Healthcare Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in canine health and behavior. 20 years of experience with dogs
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Why is E-coli recurring in dogs urine?

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What causes recurring Ecoli in dogs urine? A 1.5 year old Catahula, has recurring bladder infection due to E coli. She is given antibiotics by the vet and it clears it up for a few weeks but they find E-coli in her urine again. The vet does not know why this keeps happening.

Have you encountered anything like this before? And if you did, what can be done to cure it?

This is most likely a recurring Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

You are absolutely correct to be concerned, Not only can recurring infections damage your baby's urinary tract but her immune system as well. UTI's must be treated with an effective broad spectrum antibiotic like Clavamox or Clidimycin and for a long enough duration so all bacteria is eradicated. If not, they will re-flourish, stronger and more resistant and reinfect her. In addition, the bacteria can become tolerant of the same antibiotic so the medication should be varied for best results.

If this becomes more frequent, your baby should not eat dry food. Canned only so she gets adequate fluid. She should also be encouraged to drink as much as possible to keep the kidneys and bladder flushed. You can give her one daily drop of unsweetened (only) cranberry juice. That will reduce the PH of her urine and make her bladder inhospitable to UTI bacteria.

It is also possible these events may be triggered by stones or crystals, you may want to consider low ash, low magnesium food or even a renal diet if she would eat it.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.

Thank you for your response.

She has had x-rays and ultra-sounds and they didn't show abnormalities, stones, crystals, growths, etc. She is put on different antibiotics each time she goes in. The longest period she has gone with a sterile urine sample is 2 months. She does not seem to be in pain or uncomfortable.

The vet is puzzled as to why and how E coli is getting into the urinary tract and bladder. Have you run into this problem before? We are desperate for some resolve and a cure. She can't stay on antibiotics for ever.

Has she been treated with these antibiotics:

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Most nonenteric E coli infections in dogs involve the urinary tract. Amikacin, gentamicin, norfloxacin, and enrofloxacin have the highest efficacy against canine E coli isolates. For E coli isolates from dogs, in vitro susceptibility to commonly used antimicrobial agents has remained fairly stable during the past decade. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:381-384)

Here is the entire link:

The problem may be that she was not treated for a long enough period to effectively kill all bacterium, so after the meds were stopped, the ecoli re-flourished stronger than ever and reinfected her.

I understand you do not want her on antibiotics for extended period but the meds have to be continued until her urine tests negative for two full weeks. Then she should be completely free of it.

Please let me know if you still have questions.

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