Urinary tract infections are frequently identified in dogs with diabetes mellitus. In this retrospective study, 51 diabetic dogs with negative and positive bacterial urine cultures were compared to determine if urine parameters other than leukocyte counts might increase clinical suspicion of occult infection. No difference was identified between the two groups in urine specific gravity, pH, glucose, ketones, protein, erythrocytes, leukocytes, or epithelial cells. Although it was not a consistent finding, dogs with occult urinary tract infection did have increased incidence of bacteriuria. The authors recommend that all diabetic dogs have urine cultures to accurately identify the presence or absence of bacterial urinary tract infections.

COMMENTARY: Dogs with diabetes mellitus have an increased susceptibility to urinary bacterial infections due to glucosuria and immunosuppression. The authors identified a high incidence of occult (infection in the absence of pyuria on sediment evaluation) urinary tract infection in diabetic patients, and they recommend bacterial culture and sensitivity testing on urine for all diabetic patients.

Detection of occult urinary tract infections in dogs with diabetes mellitus. McGuire NC, Schulman R, Ridgway MD. JAAHA 38:541-544, 2002.