Bladder polyps in dogs

Written by jennifer gittins
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Bladder polyps in dogs
Polypoid cystitis is a rare condition in dogs. (dog image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

Cystitis is a term used to describe an inflammation of the canine bladder. When bladder polyps are the cause of this inflammation, it is termed polypoid cystitis. Polypoid cystitis is a relatively rare condition in dogs. These polyps are round, fleshy growths that occur on the bladder's surface. Owners who suspect their dog is having an issue relating to the urinary tract, such as polypoid cystitis, should seek veterinary care for their dog.

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Causes

Bladder polyps can be the result of recurring issues affecting the canine bladder. For example, dogs who suffer from chronic urinary tract infections may be prone to developing polyps. This is especially true if the infections are not properly diagnosed and treated. Furthermore, dogs who suffer from recurring bladder stones may also be at an elevated risk for developing polyp growths.

Symptoms

Generally, the symptoms of canine bladder polyps are related to the bladder itself. For example, the dog may have blood present in the urine (hematuria). There may also be changes in the dog's urinary habits such as more frequent or difficult urination. In some dogs, the polyps can block the urine flow into the urethra, causing obstruction. Urinary tract obstruction prevents urination from occurring and often leads to extreme illness for the affected canine.

Diagnosis

Since the cause of bladder polyps is recurring issues such as a urinary tract infection or bladder stones, it is likely that the dog will see the veterinarian several times for various bladder-related illnesses before polyps are finally suspected. Once suspected, the veterinarian may perform either an ultrasound or a contrast cystography. A contrast cystography involves the use of dye which is injected into the bladder, which aids in the identification and location of tumours or polyps that may be present.

Treatment

Once the dog has been accurately diagnosed, he will require surgery. The veterinarian will either need to enter the bladder through the urinary tract or he will need to enter the bladder through an incision in the abdomen. Once inside, the veterinarian will need to remove the polyps individually. In some cases, partial removal of the bladder may be necessary to fully remove any affected areas. If an infection is also present, this will need to be treated at the same time.

Prognosis

While polypoid cystitis generally requires extensive treatment, the prognosis for dogs is considered to be favourable. If an infection is also present, the dog will need to return to the veterinarian one week later and again one month later for evaluation of the infection. Following surgery, the dog will require an ultrasonic examination by the veterinarian at one month, three months and finally at six months. These examinations are done to ensure that the bladder is healing without further complication and that the polyps are not recurring.

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