Bladder Inflammation with Polyps in Dogs

Bladder inflammation or infection is also known as cystitis, and polyps are the growth of flesh. Polypoid cystitis is a combination of the two, meaning that they form into growths of flesh in the bladder resulting in inflammation of the bladder. One of the things that polypoid cystitis causes is ulcers in the bladder, in the urinary liner leading to blood in the urine is some cases. If your dog has had previous problems in the urinary tract, you will need to take your dog to the vet as the blood in the urine can be a cause for concern. 

Usually, these polyps are not considered malignant. But, it is not possible to be certain without a biopsy of the removed polyps. If the polyps are malignant, it is more often one big mass instead of several smaller growths of flesh. In some cases, if your dog has had chronic urinary tract infections, polyps can be the result. Bladder inflammation with polyps shows as a swelling of the bladder with round lumps that grow on the lining of the bladder. 

Symptoms of bladder inflammation with polyps in dogs

Symptoms of polypoid cystitis are similar to the symptoms of a bladder or urinary tract infection. The first signs are frequent urination and blood in the urine. Other symptoms that appear could be caused by bacterial cystitis.

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulties while urinating
  • Excessive licking of the genital region
  • Urinary tract obstruction causing an inability to urinate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Collapse

Types of bladder inflammation with polyps

  • Benign polypoid cystitis – it is when the polyps are non-cancerous.
  • Malignant polypoid cystitis – it is when the bladder inflammation with polyps are either precancerous or cancerous.

Causes of bladder inflammation with polyps in dogs

Thus far, no known causes have been determined. However, the likely causes are

  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Chronic urinary tract inflammations
  • Chronic bladder infections
  • Bladder stones (urinary calculi) due to genetics, bacterial infections, or a high pH content in urine
  • Cancer
  • Old age

Diagnosis of bladder inflammation with polyps in dogs

For the most accurate diagnosis, your dog’s vet will start with a thorough physical exam. This will include checking body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Make sure that you take your dog’s entire medical history and the details with regard to the onset of symptoms and a list of the symptoms. Your dog’s vet should also be appraised of recent illnesses or trauma as well as any changes of behaviour in your dog. If there have been prior urinary tract infections or bladder infections, your dog’s vet must be informed. 

Your dog’s vet will order various tests to confirm the existence of polypoid cystitis. These tests include CBC (complete blood count), blood chemistry profile, Urine culture or urinalysis, electrolyte panel, and bacterial and fungal culture. 

The vet may also inject a dye into the bladder and make use of digital radiographs to check for polyps and if there are any large masses in the bladder. The bladder will appear to be visibly inflamed and can be diagnosed with palpation. Additionally, a biopsy of the polyps may be ordered to determine if they are benign or malignant. 

Other specific tests include cystoscopy for which the vet will insert a small camera into the bladder to look at the polyps; Cystectomy for which the inside of the bladder will be exposed after an incision; and Ultrasound scanning to look at the thickness of the lining in the bladder.

Urine samples will be collected for culture during the cystoscopy or by using sterile catheterization. Urine samples may also be removed using cystocentesis, which is done with a fine needle.

Treatment of bladder inflammation with polyps in dogs

After confirmation of bladder inflammation and the existence of polyps, your dog’s vet will devise a treatment plan that involves surgery. The polyps will have to be removed, or they have a high chance of turning malignant over time. Unremoved polyps may also cause further complications in the bladder or urinary tract of your dog. 

Polyps can be removed with cystoscopy, that is, entering the bladder through the urinary tract. They may also be removed by opening the bladder surgically, i.e., cystotomy. Each polyp will be removed one by one. In a few severe cases, part of the bladder or the entire bladder may also need to be removed. 

The other part of the treatment plan will include treating the underlying conditions to stop a recurrence of the bladder inflammation with or without polyps. Antibiotics will be prescribed for around four to six weeks.  

Recovery from bladder inflammation with polyps in dogs

Once the polyps are removed, the prognosis is highly favourable for the dog. Regular follow-ups will be essential to ensure that there is no recurrence of polypoid cystitis. The follow-ups will include urinalysis and ultrasound exams, especially within the first ten days of the surgery and later in a month’s time. Regular annual check-ups must be scheduled without fail. 

What can you do as a pet parent?

If your dog is suffering from bladder inflammation with polyps, keeping abreast of the latest medical information would help. Consultations with your dog’s vet to understand ways to prevent the recurrence of bladder inflammations would help in monitoring any changes that appear in your dog, and you would be able to catch the onset of symptoms immediately. As always, immediate attention and treatment lead to a favourable prognosis every time. 


The information contained in VOSD Vet Advice™ is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical action which is provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.

Do you find this information useful? For more medical advice, visit the VOSD website.