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Canine Cystitis -- Seven Things You Must Know About Bladder Infections In Dogs

Updated on May 12, 2009
Darlene Norris profile image

Darlene Norris is a long-time pet lover. She has worked as a vet assistant and draws on this experience when she writes her articles.

Canine cystitis is very common in puppies.
Canine cystitis is very common in puppies.

If you're like most dog owners, you probably have lots of questions about canine urinary tract infections. This type of infection is a very common problem among the doggy set. Here are seven things every dog owner should know about bladder infections in dogs.

1. What Exactly Is Canine Cystitis?

This is a fancy term for bladder infections in dogs. You may hear your vet refer to it as being an "ascending" infection. These bacteria start their journey inside your pet's intestinal tract, make a stop on the skin around your her anus, and then continue to travel up, or "ascend," her urethra to end up in her bladder.  

2. What Else Can Cause A Canine Bladder Infection?

Canine bladder stones are a common cause of urinary tract infections in dogs. The stones often have sharp edges that irritate the bladder walls and make it easier for an infection to gain a foothold.  

Bladder infections that keep coming back are a symptom of canine diabetes.  Less common causes include bladder tumors, Cushing's disease, and being unable to empty the bladder completely due to a defect. Certain drugs like cortisone, or those used in chemotherapy, suppress the immune system, leaving your pet more vulnerable to infections.

3. What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Infections In Dogs?

Having to urinate frequently, along with straining to pass urine, are the usual signs. You may also notice blood in your pet's urine.  

Your pet may be restless, pacing around and whining to go out all the time. You may find puddles of urine all over the house. Inappropriate urination isn't always a behavior problem. It can be a sign of a canine bladder infection.

4. How Are Canine Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed?

Your vet will probably want to do a urinalysis to determine if bacteria or bladder stones are present in your pet's urine. If bacteria are found, a urine culture will identify which ones they are. A sensitivity test is recommended so that your vet can choose the right antibiotic to wipe out the infection.

5. Oh, Please, Do I Really Have To Give Her ALL Of That Medicine?

Afraid so. The infection can return if you stop treating it too soon. Plus, discontinuing antibiotics before they're gone is the primary cause of antibiotic resistance, which is becoming more and more common. 

Sometimes antibiotics can cause side effects. If this happens, call your vet so he or she can prescribe something else. Don't just stop giving your companion the medication.

6. Why Does This Infection Keep Coming Back?

It's possible that it's the same infection. This can happen if you skipped having the dog urine culture or sensitivity test done. Your vet will probably want to run these tests before treating your pet again so the right antibiotic can be used the second time around.

Recurring canine urinary tract infections are a symptom of diabetes in dogs, so you may want to have your pet tested for this condition.

7. Do Natural Remedies For Dogs Help?

Research has proven that herbal and homeopathic remedies are very effective for preventing and treating urinary infections in dogs. You do want to use a remedy formulated especially for pets to be sure your buddy is getting the proper dose. These remedies are safe and effective. They're easy enough to give your dog that you can use them every day to prevent canine cystitis.

Now I have a question for you. What's stopping you from trying natural remedies for dogs to prevent your pet from developing canine cystitis?  


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