How do I prevent bladder infections?

Our English Bulldog Maisy has been having recurring bladder infections since February. Im about to seek a second opinion from a different vet because the...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Nov 15th 2007


Our English Bulldog Maisy has been having
recurring bladder infections since February. Im
about to seek a second opinion from a different
vet because the vet we are currently using is
treating them on a case-by-case basis and doesnt
seem to be concerned with prevention. Im worried
that itll do damage to her bladder or kidneys if
we dont find the cause.

Is this a common issue with Bulldogs?

Any feedback you can give me would be greatly
appreciated.

Becky
Louisiana

Bladder infections are incredibly common in all breeds of cats and dogs. They can be triggered by stress, poor hygiene, and a very large number of other factors. Genetics often play a role in bladder infections.

Because of the genetic role in urinary tract issues, some breeds, including Bulldogs, experience high rates of bladder infections.

A single course of antibiotics cures most bladder infections. In some individuals, however, the infection will recur soon after the antibiotics are stopped. This syndrome, known as recurrent cystitis (or recurrent urinary tract infections), always warrants follow-up and diagnostic testing.

There are many causes of recurrent urinary tract infections. Infection with a particularly tough strain of bacteria is the most common. However, bladder stones, masses or growths in the bladder, a hereditary or breed predisposition to urinary problems, and urinary tract developmental irregularities are also frequent culprits.

Any dog or cat who experiences recurrent urinary tract infections should undergo testing to try to sort out the cause. This can help you and your vet cure the problem permanently. Chemical and microscopic analysis of the urine (also known as urinalysis) and bacterial culture of the urine are the most commonly employed tests. In many cases, blood tests and diagnostic imaging (X-rays or ultrasound) are also needed.

Most bladder infections are extremely painful. And, as you have mentioned, untreated bladder infections can lead to kidney infections and other serious problems. So I believe that you are doing the right thing by taking Maisy to another veterinarian for aggressive management of her problem.