Cystitis And Interstitial Cystitis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Maltese Dog Urinating On Plants

(Picture Credit; Getty Images)

Cystitis is a general term for inflammation of a dog’s bladder. Usually it’s caused by a bacterial infection or another type of infection. However, when inflammation doesn’t occur due to an infection, it’s called interstitial cystitis, also referred to as sterile or idiopathic cystitis.

Interstitial cystitis is usually more difficult to treat in dogs than other forms of cystitis. Symptoms are similar for both interstitial and non-interstitial cystitis in dogs, though treatment for the conditions are based on their causes, which can be very different.

If you see the signs of cystitis in your dog, you must get to a veterinarian so they can form a diagnosis, determine the cause, and begin treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for cystitis and interstitial cystitis in dogs.

Symptoms Of Cystitis And Interstitial Cystitis In Dogs

Poodle urinating on dead grass

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Both cystitis and interstitial cystitis have similar symptoms in dogs. This is why it’s difficult to determine the cause of the bladder inflammation without a veterinary diagnosis.

Here are some common signs of cystitis and interstitial cystitis in dogs:

  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Straining or signs of pain when urinating
  • Urinating frequently
  • Urinating only small amounts
  • Frequent squatting and dribbling urine
  • Increased thirst
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Bloated or tender abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Causes Of Cystitis And Interstitial Cystitis In Dogs

puppy pipi on the grass

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

There are many kinds of diseases and conditions that can cause inflammation of the bladder in dogs. When the condition is caused by a bacterial infection or another kind of infection, it is not interstitial. However, bacterial infections are the most common cause of cystitis in dogs.

Interstitial cystitis, while less common, has many more possible causes. It’s important to find the cause in order to begin treatment.

Here are a few possible causes of interstitial cystitis in dogs:

Treatment For Cystitis And Interstitial Cystitis In Dogs

Young veterinarian talking to his patient

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Treatment for cystitis caused by a bacterial infections is easier to treat than interstitial cystitis. Usually treatment for bacterial infections includes antibiotics.

The treatment for interstitial cystitis when there’s no infectious cause depends largely on the underlying condition.

Some types of bladder stones can be dissolved with special diets or may be removed surgically. Benign bladder growths may be removed surgically, though malignant tumors may require additional treatment.

Regardless of the cause of cystitis in dogs, treatment may include pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the symptoms and discomfort, as well as increasing urine output.

It’s a good idea to increase the availability of water to dogs with cystitis. This can help flush the urinary tract of bacteria, debris, or dissolved crystals and also speed up recovery.

Most dogs recover well from both forms of cystitis with proper treatment, though if the cause of the condition is malignant tumors, the prognosis is not as good.

Has your dog ever had cystitis? What was the cause? Let us know in the comments below!