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Cystitis in Dogs… What is it? And How Can it be Avoided?

Cystitis in dogs (or cats) can be a painful experience – even for an owner. After all, no one wants to see their dog suffer from an infection, inflammation or any medical problem that can cause him or her any discomfort.

But don’t worry…

There’s a lot you can do to help elevate any pain your dog is feeling because of cystitis, and to help him or her on the way to restored health.  The key is to first determine that your dog is suffering, and then be sure to get him or her the care that they need.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet like to write articles like these so that we can help our readers learn a little bit about many of the common aliments that their pets could suffer from.  This way, you as a pet owner can be better prepared to help your loved one receive the care that they need.

That said however…

We also like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or even medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of animal lovers who simply want the best for our furry little companions.  So… if you feel that your pet may be suffering from Cystitis or any other medical condition for that matter, take our advice and…

“When in doubt, have a VET check it out!”

And now that we’ve got that covered, let’s actually take a look at what cystitis so that we can get a better understanding of how we as pet owners can better care for our pets.

What is Cystitis?

The word ending “itis” literally means inflammation. An inflammation is actually a symptom rather than the condition itself. In this case, it’s an inflammation of the bladder which is mostly caused by bacteria but can also be caused by other problems.

Common causes of cystitis?

In addition to bacterial infections, cystitis is caused by:

  • Tumors,
  • Polyps,
  • Bladder stones,
  • And/or some type of anatomical problem/abnormality (most common in female dogs rather than male dogs)

Clinical Signs/ Symptoms of Cystitis

What will you see in your dog if he or she might have cystitis? The number one thing that you will notice that will lead you to cystitis is blood in the urine. Of course, like we said, this could definitely be indicative of a bigger problem (like cancer/ tumors) or could be something smaller, like a stone.


Can also occur simultaneously with a urinary tract infection which will complicate matters as it will make it incredibly uncomfortable for your dog (or cat) pass urine. Also, he or she may feel the urge to or actually urinate often. If your pet keeps wanting to go out and keeps straining to urinate, there’s a good chance something is medically wrong and a UTI and/or cystitis might be part of it.

Diagnosing Cystitis in Dogs

The first thing a vet will want to know is your dog’s own history and that of his/her family. If there is any dysuria, hematuria or pollakiuria in their history then there is a much higher chance your dog will suffer from cystitis. Other health issues can also increase a dog’s risk:

But health history…

Generally, isn’t enough for a definitive diagnosis for cystitis. This is why, your vet will likely collect a urine sample and conduct a urine culture in a lab. This can check for a urinary bladder infection. This urinalysis is usually done by drawing the urine through a syringe (rather than peeing in a cup like humans do). This is just the best way to get an uncontaminated sample.

Another way to identify…

Or diagnose the fact that your pet is suffering from cystitis is through the use of plain radiographs (aka x-rays) or a radiograph with contrast (dye that makes things show up in the x-ray).

Now since your…

Pet has to be still to get a clear x-ray, he or she might have to be sedated for this. Ultrasounds are another option and may not require sedation.

Treatment Options

To treat the cystitis your vet will probably do something fairly routine like prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics. He/she will probably also tell you to make sure your dog gets ample water or wet food; basically, special diets which can help with things like ridding the body of bacteria or helping to dissolve any crystals that may be in the bladder.

However, the main thing is to treat the cause of the inflammation rather than just the inflammation. If you don’t get to the root of things, it’s very likely that your dog will have recurring bladder problems.

This is why…

It’s so important to visit your veterinarian every time your dog or cat suffers from cystitis because each time, the root cause could be different which makes creating a plan to avoid future occurrences so important.

For this reason…

We always like to recommend to folks that they should take a moment and due a bit of research on possibly purchasing a pet insurance policy for their pet.  This way, if they do find themselves visiting their vet on a rather “regular” basis, they won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of all those medical bills.

For more information about who we here at IndulgeYourPet “feel” are currently offering the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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