How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A UTI – Canine Cystitis


How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A UTI – Canine Cystitis

Cystitis is the medical term for “inflammation of the urinary bladder. The bladder is a balloon-type organ that holds the urine produced by the kidneys until it can be expelled from the body through the urethra. Causes of inflammation can include:

  • injury,
  • stones,
  • polyps,
  • tumors,
  • nerve damage which prevents total emptying of the urine,
  • and infections.

Infections can occur through the bloodstream or ascend through the urethral opening.


How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A UTI

Symptoms Of Canine Cystitis

Signs of cystitis include blood in the urine and frequent straining to pass urine.  Because of the straining, it may appear to you that your dog is constipated. Your dog may have “accidents” in the house or may ask to go outside more frequently than usual.  He/she may urinate small quantities of urine quite frequently, sometimes as often as every few minutes.

Bladder infections often become chronic problems. That means they often reoccur regardless of what you do, just as in people.  Early treatment improves chances of successful treatment each time.


Diagnosis Of Cystitis:

A bladder infection is diagnosed by physical examination and laboratory analysis of the urine.  Blood tests may need to be done to rule out other medical problems which may cause similar symptoms and radiographs (x-rays) and/or abdominal ultrasound studies will be necessary to visualize stones, polyps, tumors or other abnormalities within the urinary tract and bladder.


Treatment Of Cystitis:

  • Treatment of bladder infections consists of appropriate antibiotic therapy.  The type of antibiotic therapy is often based on the laboratory analysis of your dog’s urine.  It is important to finish any antibiotic prescriptions that your veterinarian prescribes for your dog.  You should not discontinue giving the medication because your dog’s symptoms have seemingly resolved.  If your dog suffers from chronic bladder infections, it may be necessary for your dog to remain on the proper antibiotic for long periods of time, sometimes weeks or even months.  Your veterinarian will help you decide when it is safe to discontinue these medications for your dog, based on your dog’s response to medications and results from follow-up examinations and testing.
  • Periodic monitoring of the urine may be necessary to make certain that bladder infections have been completely cured and have not recurred.  Your dog’s veterinarian may recommend retesting your dog’s urine after the course of antibiotics are concluded to ensure that your dog’s urine is free of the bacteria that initially caused the infection.  If your dog has been treated in the past for urinary tract infection and begins to show similar types of symptoms, you should contact your dog’s veterinarian and arrange to have your dog examined.  Your veterinarian may request that you bring in a sample of your dog’s urine or maybe prefer to collect a sample from your dog while he/she is in the hospital.
  • Surgery may be required to remove stones or tumors, or to repair injuries or defects affecting the bladder.
  • Special dietary considerations may be needed in some cases also, especially where bladder stones are a concern.  Your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet for your dog, depending on the type of stone diagnosed.  As above, periodic monitoring of your dog’s urine may be necessary to make certain that your dog’s medical condition is adequately controlled.
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