Thursday, April 30, 2009

Urinary Tract Infections

Cystitis and Struvite Crystals in Dogs and Cats

Natural Remedies for Calculi and Uroliths

Dogs and cats who have crystals and casts in small quantities may be considered to be normal. Crystaline or colloidal material coalesces to form a cast of the renal tubules and is flushed out by the urine. However, in large quantities, crystals may form calculi or uroliths and block the tract. A carnivorous diet produces acid urine. An herbivorous diet produces alkaline urine.  The normal pH for dog and cat urine ranges between 5-7. Usually dogs and cats who have calculi problems also have urine that is too alkaline.

Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections of the bladder (referred to as cystitis) play the major role in struvite stone information for two reasons:

Bacterial infections tend to make a dog or cat's urine more alkaline with pH higher than 7.0 which enhances the formation of struvite crystals. This is important in this specific condition as struvite crystals are more apt to remain in solution if the liquid is acidic (with a pH lower than 7.0). That is, they would continue to be dissolved in the liquid and no crystals would form.

If the crystals are formed rapidly and in large quantities, they will unite together to form stones. However, if only small amounts are formed over a longer period of time, they would simply be washed away in the urine without producing any problems.

Water Note:
If you are giving your pet bottled water, check the label. Do NOT give water that has minerals added back after the purification process. This could compound the problem with forming crystals. Look for companies that use a 'reverse osmosis' filtration system or use distilled water.

Dogs and cats who have recurring problems should be fed a diet containing 'quality' proteins. If possible, cats should not be free fed or given dry food. A fresh diet of home prepared meals may help to acidify the urine of both dogs and cats.

Homeopathic Remedies for Calculi in Dogs and Cats
Berberis 30c to give relief and promote normal urination. For the older dog or cat whose liver may not function properly and cause gravel. Many lab results confirm that the calculi consist of phosphates. Following diagnosis Calcarea Phosphorica 30c can be dry dosed once weekly for 6-8 weeks. Prevention: Calcarea Phosphorica 30c 1 pill given as a dry dose twice a month may help prevent or reduce occurrence of this condition.

Homeopathic Remedies for Cystitis (bladder infection) 
For Cats: 
Apis mellifica 200c or 30c. For the warm, thirst-less, restless or listless animal that may act indifferent. Pain, straining and burning at the end of urination. Sarsaparilla 30c can be used if the symptoms are worse at the end of urination: blood or mucous may pass after bladder has emptied. INTENSE pain that causes the cat to cry out in anticipation of urination or at the end of urination.

For Dogs: 
Cantharis 200c or 30c. For bladder infections with burning pain before, during and even after urination. Sarsaparilla 30c. Choose this remedy if symptoms are worse at the end of urination, blood or mucous may pass after bladder has emptied. INTENSE pain that causes the dog to cry out in anticipation of urination or at the end of urination.

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Nutritional supplements: 
Cranberry (extract in capsule form) will help to acidify the urine. It will keep bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, lessening the chance for infection and struvite crystals to form. NOTE: Do NOT give urinary acidifiers (cranberry extract, vitamin C, Methionine, etc.) when you are using one of the specialty diets that also acidify urine. 
Cod Liver Oil is healing to all cells and mucus membranes.
Albaplex made by Standard Process, is a glandular dietary supplement that can help clear the problem by giving direct support to the kidney, liver and urinary tract. It also supports the immune system and is safe to use until all signs of the infection have cleared.

Herbal Remedies: 
Nettle can be used as a long term general tonic and to help with painful urination. It can be brewed as a tea and added to a meal or the dried herb can be sprinkled on the pet's food from a capsule.
Parsley has a tonic effect on the kidneys. Add it freshly chopped to a dog or cat's food daily.
Marshmallow Root will relieve painful urination and help in the passage of small stones by coating and soothing the walls of the urinary tract.

Acupressure Points for Dogs and Cats

Bladder Infection

For precise dosing guidelines and additional healing and remedy choices we recommend "Pet Remedy Charts". For more information and to view the charts click the link below. 

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