Bladder & Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Aimee Beck
5 min readMar 19, 2021

Bladder infections are painful. Period. They can also be dangerous when left untreated.

But before we get into that, first thing’s first: bladder infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs) are not one in the same, although the terms are often incorrectly used to describe similar symptoms.

What is a bladder infection?

A bladder infection is a urinary tract infection (UTI) that only affects the bladder.

What is a urinary tract infection?

UTIs can affect any part of the urinary tract: urethra, ureters, bladder, and even the kidneys.

So now that we know the difference between bladder infections and urinary tract infections, let’s explore the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention options.


Bladder infections are often preceded by long periods of time in which your pet may not urinate, or shows signs of distress while trying to evacuate his bladder.

Contact your vet immediately if you see any of the following bladder infection symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Needing to “go outside” more frequently
  • Frequent need to urinate while passing only a small amount of urine
  • Urinating outside the litter box or away from the pee pad
  • Straining to urinate
  • Crying or whimpering while urinating
  • Interruption in potty training/accidents in the house
  • Excessive licking near the urinary opening
  • Thickened, firm, contracted bladder wall (your vet will check for this)
  • Fever (your vet will also check this)
  • Shivering or shaking may be a sign your pet is in pain
  • Strong odor from the urine
  • Lethargy
  • Increased water consumption
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
Aimee Beck

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