Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, which causes the organ to swell, turn red, and impairs its function.
Due to cystitis blood may be excreted and visible in the urine, and as a result, the urine becomes pink or reddish. The overall health of the animal is not always affected. The amount of urine passed often increases while excretion may occur in drops, and cause discomfort or even pain. Affected dogs “demand” to go outside more frequently, and accidents inside the house are common. In more severe cases, the animals become lethargic, anorexic, and may develop a fever.
Bacterial infection is the most common cause of cystitis. Female dogs are more commonly affected. Immunosuppressive therapy can accidentally allow for the development of cystitis. The infection may be limited to the bladder alone or invade other parts of the urinary tract too.
Observation of the most common symptoms (i.e. blood in urine) along with the animal's clinical history can lead to a clear suspicion of cystitis. Urine analysis, x-rays and ultrasound may help to diagnose the condition and rule out other possible causes of the symptoms. A urine analysis can yield important information about the cause and extent of the condition. In order to assist the vet in conducting a urine analysis, it is helpful to bring a fresh urine sample along when bringing your animal in for an examination. A small sealable plastic container is appropriate for the transport and storage of the animal's urine. An antibiotic that shows good effects against bacteria commonly associated with cystitis is preferably used for treatment. In order to eliminate the condition fully it is crucial to continue the treatment for the period prescribed by your veterinarian, even if symptoms appear to be healed. If treatment is stopped prematurely, relapses that are much more difficult to treat may occur.
If your dog is suffering from cystitis, stress should be avoided as much as possible, excessive exercise or walks in cold and damp conditions, or any other exercises which would require an extra amount of physical exertion should be avoided. While resting on the bare ground, wrapping your dog’s lower body in a blanket will add protection. For female dogs who suffer repeatedly from cystitis sufficient water intake should be assured. This can helps by stimulating urine production, which helps to wash bacteria out of the bladder. It can be helpful to place numerous water bowls around the house or in places where your dog likes to rest.