Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, will affect approximately 14% of dogs at some point in their lives. Females and senior dogs are more susceptible to urinary tract infections, but the condition can affect any dog regardless of breed, age, or sex.
Just like we make our way to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment of any health condition we are experiencing, our dogs must make their way to the veterinarian for help with issues such as these. While prices can vary depending on several factors, if you are curious about how much the medication and associated veterinary costs for a dog’s UTI are, you have come to the right spot.
The Importance of a Dog’s Urinary Health
Urinary health is crucial to your dog’s overall health and survival. The urinary system includes the kidneys and bladder, which have the role of liquid waste elimination. The kidneys filter the blood and separate toxins from nutrients, returning the nutrients into the bloodstream and eliminating the toxins through the creation of urine, which is collected and released from the bladder.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
While many conditions can affect the urinary system varying from mild to severe, one of the most common conditions is urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are exactly as the name indicates, an infection of the urinary tract. UTIs are most commonly the result of bacteria, which can enter upward through the opening of the urethra. Once bacteria enter the urinary tract, they can reproduce, resulting in the infection.
UTIs can also be accompanied by other conditions, such as bladder stones which can result in more serious conditions. If a urinary tract infection is left untreated, the infection can spread to the bladder or even one or both kidneys, which can lead to permanent damage to kidney function and risk of kidney failure. Therefore, veterinary intervention and early treatment are so important for a UTI.
How Much Does the Medication and Veterinary Care Cost?
Prices for veterinary care services and medication are going to vary depending on several factors including geographical location, the local economy, your dog’s age, size, healthy history, and even the particular veterinary clinic.
First and foremost, if you suspect your dog has a UTI, you will need to set up an appointment with your veterinarian for an exam. As mentioned, the initial examination costs will vary based on location, cost of living, and the clinic’s size and capabilities.
Location and Cost of Living: Pricing for veterinary care will vary by location. For example, prices in Los Angeles, CA for an initial exam at a Banfield Veterinary Clinic is estimated to start at $71.95, while the same examination is estimated at $57.95 in the Columbus, OH area. Costs can also vary between urban and rural settings.
Clinic Size and Capability: Care costs can also be dependent on the size of the clinic and the different capabilities they have. A small clinic with little staff and less fancy equipment will be more likely to charge less for care since their overall expenses are lower. Large clinics that employ more staff and have high-tech equipment will have to cover those costs, causing care prices to increase.
Clinic Specialty: Veterinary specialty clinics and emergency clinics or services will cost more than your average, routine veterinary exam.
Cost of Veterinary Exam by Geographical Location
|Location||General Practice Clinic Exam||Emergency Exam|
|Eastern United States||$55–$100||$80–$250|
|Midwestern United States||$30–$90||$80–$250|
|Western United States||$70–$150||$100–$300|
Treatment for your dog’s UTI will be determined by the veterinarian and based on the underlying cause of the infection. Here is what you can expect in terms of medication and treatment costs:
If your dog’s UTI is caused by a bacterial infection, your veterinarian will prescribe a round of antibiotics for your pet. A single antibiotic capsule can cost anywhere from $0.39 to $3.00 depending on the type of antibiotic and whether it is generic or name brand. Your dog’s size will also play a role in prescription cost, the larger the dog, the higher the cost. You can expect a round of antibiotics to range from $20 to $50 or more.
UTIs can cause pain and inflammation, your veterinarian may decide it is best to describe something to help ease the pain and decrease the inflammation. This could be administered by pill or by injection. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory will cost between $5 and $20, while injections can cost anywhere from $100 to $150.
Treatment for Underlying Conditions
Some underlying conditions can cause a dog to experience a UTI. Health conditions such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease can even lead to recurrent urinary tract infections. If your dog is expiring the UTI due to an underlying condition, they will need to treat the condition and the price of that is difficult to determine since the cause can vary. Your veterinarian would discuss the diagnosis, treatment plan, and costs directly with you.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
When your dog is brought into the veterinary clinic to be diagnosed and treated for a UTI, there are going to be some extra costs on top of the initial visit and medication. The veterinary staff must perform testing to properly diagnose the condition and treat it accordingly.
For a urinary tract infection, it is standard procedure to collect a sterile urine sample but additional testing may be necessary and will be determined by your veterinarian and will be based on your dog’s health status and history.
Additional costs can include the following:
This test will undoubtedly be needed to confirm the presence of a urinary tract infection. The staff will collect a sterile urine sample from your dog and perform laboratory testing. There are three different collection methods for urine that will result in varying costs. The typical overall cost of urinalysis is between $30 and $100 depending on the collection method.
Your veterinarian may decide it is best to get a blood panel on your dog during the visit. Bloodwork can give your veterinarian information regarding hydration, anemia, infection, blood clotting ability, and immune system response. Bloodwork can vary in pricing from $40 to $200 depending on the clinic and the type of chemistry panel completed, as different panels will check for different values.
If your veterinarian is suspecting your dog may be suffering from bladder or kidney stones in addition to a UTI, they may perform an X-ray to rule out these other conditions. An X-ray will typically run anywhere from $150 to $200.
An ultrasound is another procedure that may be necessary to accurately diagnose any additional problems with the urinary system. Ultrasounds can run anywhere from $200 to $350 in normal veterinary practice settings. The costs do increase at specialty clinics and can be as high as $500 in these circumstances.
How Do I Prevent My Dog From Contracting a UTI?
Urinary tract infections are preventable conditions. The best ways to prevent or decrease your dog’s risk of contracting a UTI include:
Does Pet Insurance Cover a Urinary Tract Infection?
Pet insurance comes with a wide range of different plan types offered by various companies. There are certainly plans available that will cover the cost of your dog’s urinary tract infection diagnosis and treatment. You will need to check with your insurance provider and go over your specific plan coverage to ensure that type of coverage is available.
What to Do for Your Dog’s Urinary Tract Infection
It’s easy for UTIs to go undetected as most of the time they are asymptomatic, though there are some tell-tale signs. Make sure you reach out to your veterinarian for an appointment if you notice any of the following signs, as the infection will require treatment.
The cost of veterinary care and the associated medication for the diagnosis and treatment of a urinary tract infection will vary depending on the factors mentioned above. If you feel your dog may be suffering from a UTI, it is important to get them to the veterinarian so that you can begin treatment and get rid of the infection before it is able to spread further into the urinary system.
Featured Image Credit: Lindsay Helms, Shutterstock