As with most things in medicine, treatment of cystitis is based upon the primary cause of the condition in the dog. Diabetes mellitus and Cushing's Syndrome has to be treated to gain any traction on a urinary tract infection. If bladder stones are found they will have to be dealt with surgically or special stone dissolving diets. In a bacterial cystitis, antibiotics are prescribed for at least 2 weeks. One of the big failures in treating a UTI is insufficient time on antibiotics. This produces a recurrent infection or even a mixed bacterial infection. A recurrent infection has the same bacteria as before. They just weren't killed by long enough time on antibiotics. Mixed infections are those with several types of bacteria present. If one set of antibiotics do not work, a culture will be done to figure out which one will work.
Adding a small amount of cranberry juice at home will acidify the urine making control easier. The dog should be encouraged to drink plenty of water. This will help to rinse out as much material in the bladder as possible. This is also accomplished by letting the dog out to urinate even if it doesn't have to go. Just by emptying as much of the urine in the bladder helps treat and control future episodes of cystitis.
What is important is dietary control. Special diets have been formulated that are restricted in ash content; particularly magnesium. Increased amount of sodium are included to make the animal drink more water. These diets are extremely effective in treating and preventing UTI's in dogs. A prime example is Hill's Prescription Diet Canine c/d. Even when this therapy has been followed it is crucial that owners take a urine sample to the medical office. Repeat urinalysis' are an important diagnostic tool used to spot infections before clinical signs are noticed. Collecting a urine sample is easy. First thing in the morning, put the dog on a leash and go outside with a small paper plate and stick it under the dog when she squats to urinate. Medical offices only need about a tablespoon. If the dog goes on the floor, use an eyedropper and put it into a clean container. Since cultures will not be taken from either technique, refrigeration is not necessary.