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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 them 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 them on the way to restored health. The key is determining your dog is suffering and getting them the care they need.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet like to write articles like these to help our readers learn a little bit about many of the common ailments their pets could suffer from. This way, as a pet owner, you can be better prepared to help your loved one receive the care they need. However, we also like to remind folks that we at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. All we are is a bunch of animal lovers who want the best for our furry little companions. So… if you feel your pet may suffer from Cystitis or any other medical condition, take our advice…

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

And now that we’ve got that covered let’s look at what Cystitis is so we can better understand how we, as pet owners, can better care for our pets.

What is Cystitis?

The word ending “itis” literally means inflammation. Inflammation is a symptom rather than the condition itself. In this case, it’s a bladder inflammation, mainly caused by bacteria, but other problems can also cause it.

Common causes of Cystitis?

In addition to bacterial infections, Cystitis is caused by:

  • Tumors,
  • Polyps,
  • Bladder stones,
  • And some anatomical problems/abnormalities (most common in female dogs rather than male dogs)

Clinical Signs/ Symptoms of Cystitis

What will you see in your dog if they have Cystitis? The number one thing you will notice that will lead to Cystitis is blood in the urine. Of course, as we said, this could indicate a more significant problem (like cancer/ tumors) or something smaller, like a stone.

Cystitis can also co-occur with a urinary tract infection, complicating matters as it will make it incredibly uncomfortable for your dog (or cat) to pass urine. Also, they may feel the urge to urinate often. If your pet wants to go out and keeps urinating, there’s a good chance something is medically wrong, and a UTI and Cystitis might be part of it.

Diagnosing Cystitis in Dogs

The first thing a vet will want to know is your dog’s history and that of their 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 of 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 that your pet is suffering from Cystitis through plain radiographs (aka X-rays) or a radiograph with contrast (a dye that makes things appear in the X-ray). Since your pet has to be still to get a clear x-ray, they might have to be sedated. Ultrasounds are another option and may not require sedation.

Treatment Options

To treat the Cystitis, your vet will probably do something reasonably routine, like prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics. They will likely also tell you to ensure your dog gets ample water or wet food; special diets can help by ridding the body of bacteria or helping dissolve any crystals in the bladder.

However, the main thing is treating the cause, not just the inflammation. If you don’t get to the root of things, your dog will likely have recurring bladder problems.

This is why…

Visiting your veterinarian whenever your dog or cat suffers from Cystitis is essential. Each time, the root cause could be different, making creating a plan to avoid future occurrences so important. For this reason, we always recommend that folks take a moment and research possibly purchasing a pet insurance policy for their pet. This way, if they visit their vet on a “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 encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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