Home » other animals » Cystitis in a dog: how to recognize and treat it?

Cystitis in a dog: how to recognize and treat it?

Cystitis in a dog

Inflammation of the lower urinary tract, the so-called. leading out, i.e bladder and urethra, are quite a common ailment that plagues our four-legged pupils.

Bladder diseases usually run together with urethritis, but often also involve ureters or renal pelvis.

Inflammation of the urinary tract can be divided according to the causative agent into: infectious and sterile, and according to their course into:

  • acute and uncomplicated inflammations,
  • acute and complicated
  • chronic and recurrent.
  • The causes of the disease
  • Cystitis in a dog symptoms
  • Diagnostics of bladder diseases
    • Urinalysis
    • Urine culture
    • Imaging tests (ultrasound, radiography)
  • Complications of inflammation of the bladder
  • Treatment of cystitis in a dog

The causes of the disease

Bacteria are the cause of most inflammation in the lower urinary tract.

Usually, infection occurs through the ascending route, i.e. from:

  • vagina,
  • foreskin,
  • prostate,
  • large intestine,
  • anus,
  • or leather.

Prostate hypertrophy and inflammation are a common cause of urinary problems in mature and elderly dogs.

The secretions from the prostate gland contain substances with anti-infective properties that disappear during prostatitis, which makes the gland a focus of infection for the urinary tract.

Less commonly, infection occurs through the descending route, i.e. through blood or lymph from other organs in the body (for example, from a neglected mouth with inflammation).

The bacteria that attack the urinary tract are most often the so-called. uropathogenic, i.e. having the ability to attach to the mucosa of the urinary tract, penetrate it and damage it.

The most common bacteria causing urinary tract infections are:

  • E.coli,
  • Proteus spp.,
  • staphylococci,
  • streptococci.

Infections with naturally occurring bacteria in the body are also possible when the body's immunity is lowered, whether general or local.

Weakened immunity plays a large role in the development of secondary infections and the tendency to relapse.

Older animals are more predisposed to the disease.

Other diseases that contribute to the development of urinary tract infections are also important, such as:

  • diabetes,
  • overactive adrenal cortex,
  • diseases of the uterus and prostate,
  • urinary stones.

Also, urinary retention, whether acute (caused by sudden obstruction of the exit tract) or chronic, and incomplete emptying of the bladder in its paralysis (caused by neurological disorders, which may result, for example, from spinal injuries or degenerative diseases of the spine) usually lead to urinary tract infections.

Cystitis in a dog symptoms

Cystitis in a dog symptoms

Occasionally, lower urinary tract inflammation does not cause serious symptoms and may be overlooked by the pet caregiver.

It may also happen that the dog's guardian ignores more frequent urination or letting go, or explains the symptoms by age or behavior disorders of the dog.

Usually, however, urinary tract inflammation is accompanied by more or less severe symptoms.

Disturbances in urination are quite characteristic symptoms accompanying diseases of the lower urinary tract.

It could be:

  • pollakiuria,
  • painful urination,
  • dropping,
  • disorders in the control of urination,
  • hematuria.

The animal may be interested in the area of ​​the urethra, such as licking it.

In serious, acute cases, general disorders develop:

  • the dog may be depressed,
  • may have a poor appetite,
  • there is a fever,
  • may be accompanied by vomiting and soreness in the abdominal area.

Diagnostics of bladder diseases

Urine test in a dog

Diseases related to the genitourinary system have similar symptoms and often without additional diagnostics, only on the basis of symptoms and clinical examination results, it is difficult to clearly and accurately make a diagnosis.

Urinary incontinence can result from both cystitis and post-sterilization urinary incontinence or neurological disorders.

The cause of hematuria, pyuria, and cystitis may be:

  • infection,
  • diseases of the prostate, uterus, vagina,
  • bladder growth changes,
  • urinary stones,
  • inflammation of the foreskin sac,
  • injuries of the urinary tract,
  • foreign bodies,
  • side effects of the medications administered.

Therefore, if a urinary tract disease is suspected, additional tests are necessary, and first a general urine test.

In more serious cases, in ambiguous situations, in animals with general symptoms, urination retention, in the case of chronic or recurrent inflammations, diagnosis should usually be extended to include:

  • urine culture,
  • Blood tests,
  • imaging tests (radiology, ultrasound).

Urine general examination

Even the urine of the dog's guardian may be visibly abnormal, which is why the guardians often come to the doctor after seeing something disturbing.

There is often urine cloudy, reddish or even brown, maybe smell very bad.

The sample should be collected in a clean container, preferably one intended for this purpose, trying to discard the first portions of urine and catch the middle stream.

The first stream of urine is contaminated with blood, bacteria, and other cells from the urethra, vagina, and prostate.

In the results of the laboratory with inflammation of the urinary system, the following may be present:

  • pyuria,
  • bacteriuria,
  • proteinuria,
  • the presence of blood,
  • abundant active sediment,
  • sometimes there are crystals.

The urine reaction often becomes neutral, or even alkaline.

Importantly, not always bad urine results (bacteriuria, pyuria, blood in the urine) correlate with the dog's urinary tract symptoms, and vice versa - not every urinary tract inflammation is accompanied by severe pyuria or hematuria, despite the current symptoms and disease.

Urine culture

Urine culture is recommended in the case of recurrent, chronic or severe purulent, haemorrhagic inflammations.

The recommended way of taking a sample is puncture of the bladder, because then the urine does not contain impurities from the urethra and external urogenital organs.

If this is impossible, the veterinarian will sterilely catheterize the patient.

The final method, but unfortunately false results are then possible, is to take a sample from the urinating animal.

It is worth rinsing the vulva or the foreskin sac a few times beforehand with a disinfecting solution.

You should download morning urine, middle portion of stream down sterile container, and then immediately deliver the sample to the laboratory or veterinary clinic.

Imaging tests (ultrasound, radiography)

They can provide information about:

  • the possible presence of malformations,
  • neoplastic growths,
  • the existence of inflammatory infiltrates,
  • the presence of a sediment in the urine that could be a clot, or urinary crystals or stones.

Ultrasound examines the bladder wall, its thickness and the correctness of its structure.

In addition, it is possible to exclude lesions in the prostate and uterus, which may also cause inflammation of the urinary tract.

The kidneys are also imaged and their structure assessed.

Radiological imaging examinations (x-rays, tomography) show urinary stones, possible hyperplastic changes or may be recommended in the case of suspected urination disorders resulting from neurological diseases.

Specific tests, such as blood hormone measurements, may be recommended by a doctor suspecting endocrine diseases that may be causing urinary disorders.

Also, the recommendation to consult a cardiologist and measure blood pressure may result from the possibility of abnormalities in the kidneys and urinary tract, which are a complication of circulatory failure.

Complications of inflammation of the bladder

Complications or recurrences of the disease primarily result from neglect in treatment and going to a veterinarian too late for advice, and non-compliance, for example, too short administration of drugs.

From mild cystitis, serious kidney disease can develop.

Serious complications are difficult to treat and sometimes a full recovery may not be achieved.

The following should therefore be mentioned here:

  • urine reflux from the bladder into the ureters and kidneys, causing inflammation of the kidneys,
  • deep inflammation of the bladder wall, and even its necrosis,
  • general disorders that appear with the development of uremia,
  • bladder paralysis,
  • secondary to bacterial infections, formation of crystals and struvite stones,
  • emphysema cystitis.

Therefore, in order to avoid complications and heal the pet quickly, it is so important to bring your dog to the doctor quickly, make a diagnosis and start treatment.

Treatment of cystitis in a dog

Treatment of diseases of the urinary system

Remember that whenever the symptoms concern the urinary system, a general urine test should be performed. It is not an expensive or complicated test, and it avoids errors in treatment.

Urine specific gravity, presence of protein, blood, leukocytes, glucose, ketones, rolls, evaluation of urine sediment These are very important parameters that help to make a correct diagnosis and introduce appropriate treatment.

In uncomplicated cases of lower urinary tract inflammation, therapy with an appropriate antibiotic is usually sufficient for at least 14 days.

In serious cases, diseases that complicate or cause cystitis should be treated.

It can be, for example, a feed with an appropriate composition that changes the pH of the urine, which facilitates the dissolution of the crystals. You can also use properly selected dietary supplements for your dog.

In the presence of urinary stones, prostate or uterine cysts, surgery may be necessary.

If urinary tract disorders result from general, endocrine, neurological and infectious diseases, it is very important to treat the underlying cause.

It is always worth checking the condition of the urinary tract at the end of the therapy by performing another general urine test, and preferably also urine culture.

Urinalysis results are necessary to assess the course of therapy, whether the treatment has been effective and whether it should be extended or corrected.


In the event of relapses, treatment should be started with urine culture.

The prognosis is usually favorable and in most uncomplicated cases of cystitis there is a rapid improvement with adequate duration of therapy.

Sources used >>

Leave Your Comment