Effect of antibiotic treatment in canine and feline urinary tract infections: a systematic review

Vet J. 2015 Mar;203(3):270-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2014.12.004. Epub 2014 Dec 19.


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a major reason for antibiotic prescription in small animal practice. Optimal antibiotic treatment strategies have not been established for veterinary species, especially when considering duration of treatment, which is often considerably longer than for human patients with UTI. The aims of this study were (1) to identify and assess evidence related to the efficacy of antibiotic treatment in canine and feline UTIs; and (2) to compare the efficacy of short (<5 days) and standard (≥7 days) duration of antibiotic treatment for canine uncomplicated UTI. An electronic literature search was conducted for publications to 1 May 2014. Fourteen peer-reviewed prospective and controlled studies were retrieved, 10 of which evaluated antibiotic treatment in dogs and four in cats. Of the 14 studies, seven were clinical trials and five of those were randomised controlled trials. Most (12/14) studies were not considered to contribute sufficient evidence to evaluate treatment strategies. There were no clinical studies examining the effect of duration of the same drug. Of the short duration regimens evaluated, the efficacy of 3 day antibiotic therapy with trimethoprim-sulphonamide (females only) or high-dose enrofloxacin in dogs with uncomplicated UTIs was supported by fair evidence, as these treatment strategies were non-inferior to medium duration (10-14 days) therapy with β-lactam antimicrobials. In conclusion, there is little published evidence relating to antibiotic treatment of UTIs in dogs and cats. Well-designed clinical trials focusing on the duration of treatment are warranted to create evidence-based treatment protocols.

Keywords: Antimicrobial therapy; Canine; Feline; Urinary tract infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections / veterinary*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents