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Are you wondering if Azo can help your dog with a urinary tract infection?
Straight to the point:
The Standard, Value Size and Maximum Strength versions are too dangerous. Anything with phenazopyridine as the active ingredient is off limits to pets.
So despite being readily available over-the-counter, Azo can be harmful for your dog.
Hemolysis, or destruction of red blood cells, is of particular concern. But muscle and liver damage are also possible.
Do Not Give Your Dog AZO®
While people have administered this OTC analgesic to their animals without incident, we do not recommend it.
Phenazopyridine Too Risky
Clearly Azo is not intended for canine use — nor is it safe for treating bladder problems!
Case in point:
A Chihuahua experienced muscle hyperesthesia after being given phenazopyridine according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Take your chances providing this urinary pain reliever and your dog could suffer side effects. Don’t do it!
AZO Isn’t a Fix Anyway
AZO tablets, and similar drugs, are not remedies for bladder infections.
Your dog may get short-term relief because that is what analgesics do.
Any benefit would be temporary and, more importantly, there are numerous potential downsides including:
- Stomach pain
Warning: Your dog could require blood work to rule out liver damage or anemia.
More Reasons To Avoid
It gets worse!
Phenazopyridine formulations, AZO included, are all wrong for dogs due to a possibility of Rhabdomyolysis which is yet another muscle-related complication.
Further, Azo may be carcinogenic though this has only been proven in lab rats — not dogs.
Nevertheless, please heed the concerns including rare situations where red blood cells could be affected by Phenazopyridine (AKA Pyridium).
A Safe AZO Alternative
Why not use a natural, safe remedy rather than giving your dog an over-the-counter or prescription medication?
Cranberry also cannot fix nagging symptoms associated with urinary tract infections and other bladder urgency issues — meaning Azo’s other products are also ill-advised.
On the other hand, chamomile tea may help your dog a bit.
Above all else remember that your vet deals with urinary tract infections all the time. Give them a call!
A Prescription Antibiotic
You may need to obtain some sort of prescription medication for your pet’s infection.
Azo, even a relatively safe version, is not the right approach for helping your dog.
Act Soon For a Dog’s UTI
It can be difficult to spot a UTI in the early stages. Again, you really should get a professional’s expertise if you’re uncertain.
The thing is most urinary infections are already in the advanced stages by the time a dog typically exhibits obvious signs.
A vet visit will ensure that your buddy gets the right treatment. Save the Azo for human use.
The Bottom Line
It is not safe to give your dog Azo for a urinary tract infection or any other reason.
We favor natural remedies but it could be that a vet’s antibiotic prescription is necessary.
One thing is certain:
Providing your dog with phenazopyridine, the active ingredient in Azo, is not worth the risk.