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Beaver Lake Animal Hospital
26325 SE 39th Street
Issaquah, WA 98029

Beaver Lake Animal Hospital

26325 SE 39th Street
Issaquah, WA 98029






General Information


Cystitis is inflammation of the urinary bladder. Inflammation can be caused by several different reasons.  Infection with bacteria and/or viruses can cause inflammation.  Infection is usually caused by bacteria that enter the bladder through the external urinary opening (ascending infection).  However kidney or systemic infections may spread to the bladder (descending infection).  Likewise, a lower urinary tract infection if left unnoticed or untreated can lead to a serious infection in the kidneys.  Systemic spread is from infections in other parts of the body that have spread to the bladder through the bloodstream.  Prostatic infection can cause recurring bladder infections in intact males. Any time cystitis is diagnosed in an intact male dog, prostatitis is concurrent and the dog should be neutered unless there is good reason not to.   Females appear to be more susceptible to bladder infections than males this is thought to be related to the shorter length of the urethra.  Additionally, obese females are also predisposed due to deposition of fat around the vulva allowing a "ring" to develop and provide a fold, which harbors bacteria allowing for chronic vulvovaginitis.  Other causes of inflammation include urinary stones or crystals, abnormal anatomy/development of tissues or structures of the urinary system, trauma and cancers or other growths.  Bladder stones (calculi) are a common cause of chronic cystitis.  Certain chemotherapeutic drugs can induce cystitis.  Some pets will suffer from cystitis due to stress.


Common signs of cystitis include frequent licking of the urinary openings, frequent voiding of small amounts of urine, blood in the urine, painful urination, and unproductive straining to urinate and urination in inappropriate areas.  There are some pets that will have cystitis, and not show noticeable signs.


There are other problems that a pet can have that can appear to be cystitis, but is not.  Problems anywhere along the urinary or reproductive tract can have similar signs.  Since other issues may initially appear to be cystitis and there are many causes of cystitis, several diagnostics may need to be completed to accurately diagnose the problem.  Urine cultures are essential to identify causative bacteria and antibacterial sensitivity.  Plain or contrast radiology and/or ultrasound may need to be completed to detect urinary stones, growths or other abnormalities.  Some abnormalities may not be detected without exploratory surgery.


Important Points in Treatment


  1. Medication must be given as directed.  Evening medication should be given after the last trip outdoors,

and morning medication should be given after your pet is allowed the opportunity to urinate.  Call the

doctor if you cannot give the medication as directed.

  1. A urine sample should be analyzed 1-2 days prior to ending medication.  Ideally, we will collect the sample at the clinic, but in some cases  you will be able to collect the urine at home and bring it in.   In dogs, you should collect urine first thing in the morning.  Be sure to keep it refrigerated if you are unable to deliver it to the clinic immediately.  If you cannot collect an appropriate sample, please call to make arrangement for in clinic collection.  In cats, you may be able to utilize a urine collection kit.  If your cat will not cooperate, a sample can be collected at the clinic.  In this case, it is advised to try and present your cat with a full bladder, or a daylong and/or overnight stay will be required.
  2. Make sure your pet has frequent opportunities to urinate during the day, as prolonged urine retention tends to promote cystitis.
  3. Water: Allow ready access to clean, fresh water at all times.
  4. Your pet may benefit from supplementation with glycosaminoglycans (GAGS).  Glycoflex is a great source of GAGs.
  5. Feeding canned food can reduce urine concentration which can reduce cystitis.



Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur:


* Your pet continues to have discomfort when urinating.

* Your pet cannot urinate.

* Your pet vomits or has diarrhea.

* Your pet continues to have bloody urine.

* Your pet's problem recurs after apparent recovery