Canine Cystitis Discussed: AKA Urinary Infection in Dogs

Canine cystitis is the fancy name for an inflammation of the urinary bladder. It happens more often in female dogs because their urethra is shorter than males’. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder with the outside world.

Causes of Cystitis in Dogs

Canine cystitis is normally caused by a bacterial infection. It can also be caused by urinary stones or crystals. These can be caused by improper amounts and ratios of minerals in the diet, especially the ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Some less common causes include injury, fungus and tumors.

You can find specially designed dog food that is specific for dogs with urinary infections or chronic urinary problems. Some dog foods are crafted to avoid the formation of urinary stones. The following list was taken from and prices are subject to changes.

• Hill’s® Prescription Diet® c/d®, Urinary Tract Health Dog Food (12 13-oz cans) for $21.86.

• RCVD Urinary SO™ Dog Food – 24 13.6-oz cans for $52.99.

• Hills U/D Non-Struvite Urinary Tract Dog Food 8.5 lb bag for $25.99

• Hills U/D Non-Struvite Urinary Tract Dog Food 27.5 lb bag for $90.99.

• Royal Canin Urinary SO Moderate Calorie Dry Dog Food 7.7 lb bag for $28.99.

Signs and Symptoms of Canine Cystitis

Cystitis in dogs can manifest as more frequent urination of small amounts of urine and straining during urination. There may be mucous or blood mixed in with the urine and the dog may come down with a fever.

You should involve local veterinarians or animal hospitals with the care of dogs with urinary problems because urinary obstruction is a possible consequence and this is a very serious condition that can even result in death.

Diagnosing Cystitis in Dogs

Local veterinarians will diagnose canine cystitis by signs and symptoms. The vet can also work up a urinalysis or perform an ultrasound or x-rays depending on the suspected cause(s). Ultrasound can definitively diagnose cystitis because it will show thickened walls.

How To Cure Cystitis

Canine cystitis treatment depends on the cause of the cystitis. You should initiate treatment as quickly as possible to avoid chronic cysititis.

• If it is caused by a bacterial infection, then antibiotics are in order. This is also where local veterinarians and animal hospitals can help with urinalysis and a special test that ensures that the antibiotics used are effective against the bacteria present. It is essential that you follow the vet’s prescription. Administer all of the antibiotics even if your dog seems to have gotten better.

• If the cystitis is caused by urinary stones, there are drugs that can be used or surgery may be needed. The treatment depends on the type of stone present. To find out more about stones, you can ask your vet or look online for vet advice or even ask a vet for free on many websites.

• If the cystitis is caused by cancer, then chemotherapy or surgery is necessary.