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Bladder Inflammation with Polyps in Dogs

Polypoid Cystitis in Dogs

Polypoid cystitis manifests as a condition wherein the urinary bladder becomes chronically inflamed and/or infected. It is identifiable by the presence of round and fleshy protrusions scattered across the bladder’s surface. These protrusions may cause ulcers in the bladder lining, leading to intermittent blood in the urine.

Symptoms and Types

  • Blood in the urine
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Challenges in urination
  • Urethral blockage due to polyps (pet ceases urination and experiences severe illness)
  • Reduced appetite – reluctance to eat or drink
  • Recurring urinary tract infections


Dogs with chronic urinary tract infections or urinary bladder stones are at the highest risk of developing polypoid cystitis.


Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel. You’ll be required to provide a comprehensive history of your pet’s health leading up to the onset of symptoms.

Cystoscopy (using a small camera to examine the bladder) or cystotomy (bladder surgery) is crucial for diagnosing polypoid cystitis. During cystotomy or cystoscopy, bloody, polypoid lesions will be observed on the bladder surface, which may resemble transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), a severe bladder cancer. To differentiate between the two conditions, a biopsy (tissue sample for examination) of the polyps will be necessary and can be obtained during the cystoscopic procedure.

A urine sample from the bladder will also need to be cultured, obtained either by sterile catheterization or at the time of cystoscopy. Another method, cystocentesis, which uses a needle to draw urine out of the bladder, will only be employed if TCC has been ruled out.

Double-contrast cystography and positive-contrast cystography (both involving the injection of a dye visible on x-ray) are the most effective methods for visually examining the bladder’s interior. These methods may reveal irregular polypoid masses in the bladder or a thickened bladder wall. Ultrasound imaging can also be utilized for this purpose, potentially showing polypoid or mass-like lesions along the bladder lining.


The treatment plan will involve the removal of the polyps, which can be done either through cystoscopy (entering the bladder via the urinary tract) or cystotomy (surgically opening the bladder). Using one of these methods, the polyps can be individually extracted. In some cases, partial surgical removal of the bladder may be necessary to eliminate the affected area, and addressing the underlying cause of chronic inflammation can help prevent polyp recurrence. If a urinary tract infection is present concurrently, antibiotics will be prescribed based on urine and polyp tissue cultures. Administration of antibiotics should continue for a minimum of four to six weeks.

Living and Management

Your veterinarian will arrange a follow-up appointment with you within seven to ten days after starting antibiotic therapy to culture your pet’s urine. Subsequently, seven days after completing antibiotic treatment, urine should be obtained from your pet via cystocentesis (using a sterile needle) for urinalysis and culturing. This process should be repeated one month after completing antibiotic therapy. Your veterinarian will monitor your dog’s progress by performing ultrasound examinations of the urinary tract at one, three, and six months after the initial treatment. The prognosis for this condition is generally favorable.

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