German Shepherd Bladder Problems

german shepherds bladder issues

Owning a dog can be a big responsibility. Not only will you need to care for the dog with feeding, training, grooming, and exercise, but you are their sole caretaker and need to see to their health needs as well.

If you consider a German shepherd, they grow to be a fairly large dog and needs training for this strong breed to grow into a well-mannered and obedient dog.

A German shepherd will also cost you some money, first, for their purchase from a reputable breeder and also for food, training, and necessary supplies.

Healthcare will also be costly with regular wellness visits to their veterinarian and necessary vaccinations.

Veterinary care can really break the bank if your pup suffers from any serious health conditions or even an accident.

German shepherds can be prone to a few health conditions. Diagnosing a health problem early on can save not only money but complications as well.

In this post, I will concentrate on one area of health: German Shepherd bladder problems. I will also include some information on German Shepherd bladder infections and German Shepherd bladder control.

German shepherd bladder control.
Image by Niels Hansen from Pixabay

For your dog’s vitamin supplement, food, toys, or other dogs product please visit the Sundays for Dogs website.

German Shepherd Bladder Infection

Bladder infections are a common condition that any breed including the German shepherd can suffer from at one time or another in their lifetime.

During their life, the estimation of dogs that will develop bladder infections is 14%. Generally, older dogs are more susceptible as are females.

Also, the later your dog is spayed or neutered leaves the door opens for infection as well as for unaltered dogs.

Bladder infections occur when bacteria enter your pup’s urinary tract and their bladder function becomes compromised.

Causes of bladder infection can be uncleanliness, eating tainted food, drinking bacteria-laden water (pond, lake, creek, etc.), kidney stones, or a tumor in the bladder.

To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.

German Shepherd Bladder Infection
Image by dendoktoor from Pixabay

German Shepherd Bladder Infection Symptoms

  • Straining to urinate
  • Urinating small amounts
  • Drinking water in excess
  • Urinating or having accidents in odd places when already potty trained
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Pain in the area of the stomach
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Dark urine
  • Bloody urine
  • Fever
  • Licking genitalia to relieve burning

German Shepherd Bladder Infection Treatment

Treatment for a bladder infection in your German Shepherd would be antibiotics. The prescribed antibiotic would depend on the type of bacteria that has caused the bladder infection. An anti-inflammatory may also be suggested for pain.

Several homemade remedies also exist. The herbs bearberry and barberry have antiseptic and antibacterial qualities.

Apple cider vinegar added to your pup’s water balances the Ph in their urine. Consult your veterinarian before using any holistic remedies and especially before mixing these with antibiotics or anti-inflammatories.

German Shepherd Bladder Infection Prevention

  • Take your German shepherd out at least every three hours (every 60 minutes if still a puppy). If dogs have to “hold” it too long, this allows bacteria to build up in the bladder.
  • Ensure that your pup has plenty of clean fresh water all day, every day, no matter if the weather is hot or cold. This will help flush out the kidneys and bladder, preventing infections.
  • If your German shepherd has been swimming in a pond, creek, or lake, shower them off well even in an outdoor shower, if possible. These waters can contain various types of bacteria
  • Keep your German shepherd clean with baths (don’t over bathe) using neutral, gentle Ph shampoo, and be sure to clean the anal and bladder exit well.
  • Cranberry supplements can prevent bladder infections but consult with your veterinarian before administering. If your pup has never had any bladder issues, there is any need to start any supplements.

German Shepherd Bladder Problems

German Shepherds can be prone to several bladder problems, including:

  1. Urinary tract infections (UTIs): UTIs are a common problem in dogs and can cause discomfort, frequent urination, and accidents in the house. Signs of UTIs include frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, and urinating in inappropriate places.
  2. Bladder stones: Bladder stones are mineral formations that develop in the bladder and can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty urinating. Signs of bladder stones include difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, and frequent urination.
  3. Incontinence: Incontinence is a condition where a dog is unable to control their bladder and may leak urine or have accidents in the house. This can be caused by weakened bladder muscles, nerve damage, or hormonal imbalances.

If you suspect your German Shepherd is experiencing bladder problems, it is important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

The vet may perform a physical exam, urine analysis, and other tests to determine the underlying cause of the problem. Treatment may include antibiotics for UTIs, surgery for bladder stones, or medication for incontinence.

A few other bladder problems are listed below.


Cystitis is caused by different diseases or conditions and is an inflammation of your German shepherd’s bladder.

Causes can be urinary stones, polyps, the anatomy that has developed abnormally or can simply be brought about by bacteria.


  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Straining
  • Hematuria or blood in the urine
  • Pain


The first step in the treatment of cystitis would be to ease the pain with anti-inflammatory medication.

Secondly, treating the root cause is necessary to clear the problem. This could be with the use of antibiotics, fluids for flushing the urinary tract system, and sometimes surgery for urinary stones or bladder polys.

Urinary Stones in Dogs

Urinary or bladder stones are sometimes common in dogs. These stones are usually made of minerals, calcium oxalate, struvite, or urate, to name a few.

There is no exact cause for urinary stones and some dogs are more prone to them than others such as Dalmatians, dachshunds, pugs, Pekingese, bulldogs, and beagles.

Contributing factors that can lead to bladder stones are urinary infections, diet type, and an abnormally functioning metabolism.

Urinary Stones Symptoms

  • Blood in urine
  • Straining
  • Frequent urination
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetit

Urinary Stones Treatment

If stones block the urinary tract, this becomes a medical emergency and can permanently damage the kidneys and bladder if not treated promptly.

Treatment for urinary stones depends on the cause, the size, and the type of stones. Antibiotics and/or pain medication may be prescribed.

For your pup to pass the stones, fluid therapy may be used to flush their system. If the stones are large and blocking the urinary tract, surgery would be required. Some types of stones can be dissolved with either medication or the consumption of certain foods.

Bladder Cancer in Dogs

I will mention that bladder cancer is rarely found in dogs. If it should be found, the most common type is transitional cell carcinoma.

This is found in the bladder and is extremely aggressive. Studies have no causes for this, but it usually occurs in dogs older than six.

Breeds more susceptible are some terriers, Australian shepherds, Bichon Frise, and border collies. Symptoms are similar to most other bladder and urinary maladies and can be difficult to diagnose.

Bladder cancer in canines is not often curable. To treat it, one or all of the following may be used: chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

Your veterinarian may prescribe piroxicam, which slows the progression of cancer and relieves the pain allowing for a longer quality of life.

Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

This condition makes it difficult for German shepherd bladder control. This is often a problem in senior dogs but can be caused by side effects of medications, congenital abnormalities, imbalance of hormones, or injury of the spinal cord. Urinary incontinence, with a medical cause, can occur at any age.

Symptoms may be urine dripping, or at times, loss of control over the bladder, and bedding may be wet continually.

Again, treatment depends on the underlying cause and can range from medication to surgery.

In senior shepherds, taking them out more often, using waterproof pads on bedding, or using doggie diapers may be necessary.

Your German shepherd may never suffer from any bladder problems or conditions. Be aware of the signs and symptoms, especially if they are displaying more than one.

If you spot any of these and are concerned, take your shepherd to the veterinarian and have them checked out.

To prevent bladder issues, make sure your German shepherd eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of exercise,s and always has fresh clean water nearby.