What Every Dog Owner Should Know About Canine Cystitis

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You may already know that bladder infections in dogs are a very common problem.  But quite a few dog owners have questions about canine urinary tract infections.  Here are answers to your questions.

What Is Canine Cystitis?

It’s a bladder inflammation caused by bacteria infecting your dog’s bladder.  Your vet may refer to it as an “ascending” infection.  Most of the time the bacteria that cause bladder infections in dogs come from the dog’s own intestinal tract.  The bacteria start out at the skin around the anus, and “ascend” through the urethra to the bladder. 

Are There Other Causes Of Canine Urinary Tract Infections?

Yes.  Your dog may have bladder stones, which can make it easier for him to develop a bladder infection.   

Other factors include tumors in the bladder, not being able to empty the bladder completely, and diseases like diabetes or Cushing’s disease.  If your dog is being given drugs that suppress the immune system, like cortisone or chemotherapy, he may be more prone to a bladder infection.

What Symptoms Should I Be Watching For?

Blood in your dog’s urine, straining to pass urine, and frequent urination are common signs of a bladder problem.

But sometimes it’s not so obvious.  If your dog is acting restless and wants to go out all the time, or starts urinating all over the house, this may not be a behavior problem.  It could be signs of a canine bladder infection.

How Does Your Vet Diagnose Canine Cystitis?

Ideally, your vet will run a urinalysis first to determine if there are bacteria or bladder stones in your dog’s urine.  If bacteria are present, the next step should be a dog urine culture and a sensitivity test. 

A urine culture is necessary to identify which bacteria are present.  The sensitivity test tells your vet which antibiotic is the best one to do the job. 

Do I Really Have To Give My Dog ALL The Antibiotic?

Absolutely.  If you stop treating bladder infections in dogs too soon, the infection can come back.  Plus, stopping the treatment too soon encourages antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. 

If your dog has side effects from the antibiotic, contact your vet.  Don’t just stop giving your buddy the medication.

Why Does My Dog Keep Getting Bladder Infections?

It’s possible that it’s the same infection that was never completely eradicated.  A dog urine culture and sensitivity test should be done before you treat him again.  After treatment is over, you can see if it was successful by repeating these tests.


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