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Prevalence and clinical outcome of subclinical bacteriuria in female dogs

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  • 1 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 2 Clinical Pathology Laboratory, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 3 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 4 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria and its natural clinical course over a 3-month period in healthy female dogs.

Design—Observational, prospective, cross-sectional study.

Animals—101 healthy client-owned female dogs.

Procedures—In all dogs, screening clinicopathologic tests and bacteriologic culture of urine were performed. In culture-positive dogs, subclinical bacteriuria was confirmed by 2 positive culture results within 2 weeks and dogs were reevaluated at 3 months.

Results—The prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria in healthy female dogs was 9 of 101 (8.9%). Three-month follow-up data were available for 8 of 9 dogs with subclinical bacteriuria. Four dogs had persistent bacteriuria, and 4 had transient bacteriuria. No dogs with subclinical bacteriuria developed clinical signs during the 3-month observation period. Subclinical bacteriuria was diagnosed in 6 of 51 (12%) young and middle-aged dogs and 3 of 50 (6.0%) senior and geriatric dogs. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria with age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that subclinical bacteriuria is a nonprogressive condition in healthy female dogs and can be persistent or transient. No significant difference in the prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria in young and middle-aged dogs versus senior and geriatric dogs was detected. No dogs with subclinical bacteriuria developed clinical signs requiring antimicrobial treatment during the 3-month observation period. Healthy female dogs with subclinical bacteriuria may be a population of dogs in which antimicrobial treatment is unnecessary.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria and its natural clinical course over a 3-month period in healthy female dogs.

Design—Observational, prospective, cross-sectional study.

Animals—101 healthy client-owned female dogs.

Procedures—In all dogs, screening clinicopathologic tests and bacteriologic culture of urine were performed. In culture-positive dogs, subclinical bacteriuria was confirmed by 2 positive culture results within 2 weeks and dogs were reevaluated at 3 months.

Results—The prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria in healthy female dogs was 9 of 101 (8.9%). Three-month follow-up data were available for 8 of 9 dogs with subclinical bacteriuria. Four dogs had persistent bacteriuria, and 4 had transient bacteriuria. No dogs with subclinical bacteriuria developed clinical signs during the 3-month observation period. Subclinical bacteriuria was diagnosed in 6 of 51 (12%) young and middle-aged dogs and 3 of 50 (6.0%) senior and geriatric dogs. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria with age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that subclinical bacteriuria is a nonprogressive condition in healthy female dogs and can be persistent or transient. No significant difference in the prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria in young and middle-aged dogs versus senior and geriatric dogs was detected. No dogs with subclinical bacteriuria developed clinical signs requiring antimicrobial treatment during the 3-month observation period. Healthy female dogs with subclinical bacteriuria may be a population of dogs in which antimicrobial treatment is unnecessary.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Wan's present address is Veterinary Referral and Critical Care, 1596 Hockett Rd, Manakin-Sabot, VA 23103.

Presented in abstract form at the 2nd International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases Symposium, San Francisco, November 2012.

The authors thank Dr. Karen Hershberger-Braker for assistance in study recruitment.

Address correspondence to Dr. Viviano (viviano@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu).