Module 9: Urine Culture and Sensitivity

Module 9.1: Introduction to Bacterial Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common condition seen in both dogs and cats worldwide and considered one of the top reasons for antibiotic administration in small animal practices. In fact, 14% of all dogs (that’s almost 1 in 5!) will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. As multiple drug-resistant pathogens (MDR), specifically bacteria, become more common increased diligence for targeted drug therapy based on diagnostic testing will become increasingly more common practice.

In dogs, the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Disease (ISCAID) has developed guidelines (Links to an external site.) for antimicrobial use and stewardship to help decrease the number of MDR pathogens. In regards to UTI, they have broken the disease process up into 5 different groups.

  1. Sporadic bacterial

    Sporadic bacterial cystitis (sometimes referred to as ‘simple uncomplicated UTI’) is a sporadic bacterial infection of the urinary bladder with compatible lower urinary tract signs in dogs or cats.

  2. Recurrent bacterial cystitis

    Recurrent bacterial cystitis implies a diagnosis of three or more episodes of clinical bacterial cystitis in the preceding 12 months or two or more episodes in the preceding 6 months

  3. Subclinical bacteriuria:

    Subclinical bacteriuria is defined as the presence of bacteria in urine as determined by positive bacterial culture from a properly collected urine specimen, in the absence of clinical evidence of infectious urinary tract disease.  Treatment may not be necessary as the urinary bladder is NOT sterile and has its own unique microbiome. In humans, there is abundant support that antimicrobial treatment is not needed for asymptomatic bacteriuria (the human analogue of subclinical bacteriuria), even in most compromised patients

  4. Pyelonephritis:

    is an infection of the renal parenchyma that can occur from ascending infection or , with  causing the majority of infection.

  5. Bacterial prostatitis:

Bacterial prostatitis is an uncommonly encountered problem in veterinary practices in some regions because of the high prevalence of castration in the canine population. However, it is second to benign prostatic hyperplasia/hypertrophy as a leading cause of prostatic disease


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