acute cystitis in dogs

Acute Cystitis (Bladder Infection or Urinary Tract Infection) in Dogs

Overview of Acute Cystitis (Bladder Infection) in Dogs

Acute cystitis, commonly referred to as a bladder infection or urinary tract infection (UTI), is an inflammation of the urinary bladder usually caused by a bacterial infection.

Most cases of bacterial cystitis in dogs are “ascending,” meaning that the offending bacteria arise from the dog’s own intestinal tract and “ascend” to the bladder, beginning at the perineum (the skin around the anus) and proceeding to the urethra and ultimately the bladder. The vagina in female dogs and the prostate gland in male dogs are other potential sources of offending bacteria. Acute cystitis is more common in female dogs than in males. It is estimated that 14% of all dogs will acquire a urinary tract infection at some time during their lifetime.

Possible Causes of Bladder Infections in Dogs

What to Watch For

Signs of a bladder infection in dogs may include:

Diagnosis of Bladder Infections in Dogs

Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize acute cystitis and exclude other diseases. Tests may include:

Treatment of Bladder Infections in Dogs

Home Care and Prevention

Administer as directed any medications prescribed by your veterinarian. The best time to give antibiotics is in the morning and evening.

Urine culture should be performed 5 to 7 days after completion of the antibiotic course to ensure that urinary tract infection has been eliminated.

You should also provide unlimited access to fresh clean water and follow-up as directed with your veterinarian for physical examination and urinalysis. Additional diagnostic evaluation may be recommended to identify predisposing factors if your pet’s response to treatment is incomplete.

It is difficult to prevent acute cystitis. Provide unlimited access to fresh clean water and provide your pet with frequent opportunities to urinate. If possible, avoid treatment with corticosteroids (cortisone-like drugs) that may predispose to development of infection.