Guidance on Cystitis in Your Dog

If you notice your dog is weeing frequently or straining to urinate then it could be down to a urinary tract infection. Cystitis is caused by inflammation or bruising of the bladder, observed with frequent urination characteristically. The burning sensation can be observed by the dog whimpering or crying. Another symptom could be apparent incontinence.

Actions you can take to help your dog:-

The important process to follow is to ensure you encourage your dog to drink as much as possible to increase the volume of urine. This will help flush the infection out.

You can give natural yoghurt and cranberry extract tablets to help treat the problem. Garlic, Vitamin C and Immune supporting remedies (such as Echinacea) will also help. Immunity is key for helping the dogs body help itself naturally.

If appropriate use barrier cream (zinc based) to prevent urine scald.

Encourage to go outside regularly to ensure opportunities to urinate are increased.

If your dog has frequent urinary tract infections then it would be adviseable to consider changing the diet. You should aim to reduce the protein, the minerals and also the salt content (listed as sodium on ingredients). You may need help with your vet to determine the best way forward with frequent infections.

Veterinary Assistance

An infection if a mild one “may” clear up on its own providing you are monitoring your dogs health on a day by day basis and assisting by ensuring your dog is drinking plenty and giving some of the suggested remedies (above). However if you don’t like to try and do home remedies the next best thing to do is seek the professional advice from a vet – get some antibiotics. If the urine infection is persistant then your dog may need investigation either by a strip test to check the PH, look for blood, glucose, ketones and protein amongst others. Once a basic test has been performed then a culture could be taken, then xrays as required. An xray would be carried out if a vet suspected crystals forming in the bladder. (crystals can be dissolved over time on a specialist diet.)

Causes of Urinary infections can be down to :

Crystals (calculi/struvite/uroliths)
Cushings disease
Diabetes Mellitus

Strip Test – observation of results


PH – should be within 5.2 – 6.8 if it is higher than PH7.0 this is alkaline, if below PH 7.0 it is acidic. If a high PH then this is indicative of cystitis.

Blood present in urine – usually is cystitis.

Proteins usually associated with kidney malfunction

Glucose – can be caused by diabetes mellitus, cushings disease, liver malfunction or thyroidism.

Ketones – liver damage or diabetes mellitus.

Bilirubinuria – intestinal problems.

Urobilinogen – intestinal bacterial breakdown, bile duct obstruction

Means of investigating problems further – urine samples can be observed under a microscope for crystals or cultured to see which type of bacteria is present.

Any advice contained within this article is for guidance and does not replace that of a veterinary surgeons.

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