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Bladder infection in dogs

Dogs can also suffer from cystitis. Although in principle every four-legged friend can be affected by it, there is an increased risk especially with older animals as well as castrated bitches. As with humans, bladder infections in dogs require treatment by a veterinarian because they are painful and can spread further.

What is cystitis?

Bladder infection is usually a very painful inflammation in the lower urinary tract. In many cases only the bladder is affected. However, it is also possible that the bladder infection in dogs spreads to the urethra, ureter and kidneys.

Inflammation of the bladder can occur acutely as well as chronically and can recur regularly in episodes.

Causes of cystitis in dogs

Usually the cause of bladder infection is an infection with bacteria. These bacteria pass from the genitals into the urethra and from there into the bladder. In many cases, these are bacteria from the dog's intestines that multiply in the bladder and cause cystitis.

Another possible cause is urinary stones. Initially small crystals, which become larger and larger over time, cause irritation of the mucous membranes.

Other possible causes of cystitis are for example:

  • A narrowed urethra
  • A malposition of the corresponding organs
  • Tumor diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus

Symptoms of cystitis

A bladder infection is noticeable in affected dogs in a noticeably strong urge to urinate. Despite frequent urination, there are often only a few drops. Since this can cause severe pain in dogs, they will often make themselves felt with corresponding sounds.

In addition, the dog's urine can be cloudy or bloody in bladder infections. A change in the smell of the urine is also a common sign of bladder inflammation.

Furthermore a temporary incontinence is possible, which dog owners cannot overlook at the latest with the first spots in the dwelling. If the bladder infection has spread to the renal pelvis in the dog, fatigue, reduced performance and fever are further consequences that can occur due to the disease. 

Diagnosis and treatment of bladder infections in dogs

If a dog is suspected of bladder infection, a veterinarian should always be consulted. Only a veterinarian can determine the exact cause and decide on a suitable treatment.

First the veterinarian examines the urine of the dog. In order to rule out other diseases as the cause of bladder inflammation, blood tests as well as X-ray and ultrasound examinations may also be necessary.

Antibiotics are used to treat cystitis. If there are no serious underlying causes, these usually attack quickly and ensure a speedy recovery of the dog.

Possibilities to prevent cystitis

To prevent bladder infection in your dog, dog owners should follow various rules. In particular, dogs should never sit or lie on the floor for long periods in wet and cold conditions.  In addition, it is important to avoid soaking and thus undercooling the four-legged friend when walking in the cold season.

In the flat it has proved itself to provide dogs with an insulating underlay for resting and sleeping. Especially with sensitive animals, one night on a cold tiled floor may be enough to cause cystitis.

Last but not least, a sufficient supply of fluids and regular emptying of the bladder are important preventive measures. In this way, the urinary tract is well flushed and bacteria are prevented from multiplying in the bladder.


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