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Recurrent Cystitis in Dogs

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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Recurrent cystitis is defined as repeated bouts of inflammation of the urinary bladder. Generally in small animal veterinary medicine, cystitis is usually synonymous with "bladder infection."

General Causes

  • Inappropriately treated urinary tract infections
  • Inflammation in the urogenital tract
  • Neoplasia (cancer) in the urogenital tract
  • Metabolic disorders (kidney disease, liver disease, Cushing's disease)
  • Neurologic disorders (causing retention of urine)
  • Urolithiasis (stones in the urinary tract)
  • Congenital (present at birth) urinary tract abnormalities
  • Parasites that affect the urinary tract
  • Trauma
  • Medication (chemotherapy, corticosteroids)

    Recurrent cyctitis is most common in female dogs of any age or breed. Clinical signs depend on the severity and possibly underlying cause of cystitis. Affected individuals may be asymptomatic (have no clinical signs), and infections may be picked up on routine testing.

    Watch to Watch for

  • Bloody urination
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Vaginal or penal discharge
  • Inappropriate urination

    Diagnostic Tests

  • Complete blood count
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine bacterial culture and sensitivity
  • Abdominal radiographs (X-rays)
  • Contrast cystourethrogram (dye study of the lower urinary tract)
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Urinary bladder biopsy and culture

    Treatment

  • Treat the underlying disease if identified
  • Proper antibiotic therapy (type, strength, and length of administration)
  • Dietary manipulation
  • Surgical intervention may be necessary in certain cases, such as stones or tumors.

    Home Care

    Administer all medication and diet as recommended by your veterinarian.
    Contact your veterinarian at once if your pet is showing clinical signs consistent with cystitis.

    Preventative Care

    Follow your veterinarian's recommendation regarding diet and medication administration, as these practices may help to prevent recurrence in the future.

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