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Friday, 31 May 2013

Natural, Herbal Treatments, Remedies for Dogs, Cats with Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), Bladder Infections



In this article...
  1. Symptoms, Signs That Your Dog, Cat May Have a UTI;
  2. Causes of UTI;
  3. Natural, Herbal, Nutraceutical Treatments for UTIs 
    1. Step 1 - Topical Treatment
    2. Step 2 - Ingested Treatment
    3. Step 3 - Add Herbs to the Diet
    4. Step 4 - Improve Your Dog's, Cat's Daily Diet 

If you catch the infection early you can treat your dog’s, cat's urinary tract infection (UTI) - also known as bladder infection, using natural, fresh food, herbal and homeopathic remedies. 


1.0 Symptoms, Signs of a UTI

While not all dogs will show outward signs of UTI, many dogs, cats will exhibit one or more of the following indicators…
  • Sudden onset of frequent urination…every 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes and/or the ongoing need to frequently urinate;
  • Urination in inappropriate and not-in-character/non-typical places, i.e. your bed, his/her bed, the couch, the stairs, etc.
  • Drinking more water than usual;
  • Fever
  • Lethargy;
  • Traces of blood in the urine
  • Painful urination – dog, cat is crying or straining when attempting to urinate.

2.0 Causes of UTI

2.1 Overgrowth of Bacteria

An overgrowth of bacteria in the urinary tract is the most common cause of UTI...
  • Bacteria thrive in an alkaline environment;
  • The urine passed by a healthy dog normally has a slightly pH level;
  • A healthy pH level for most dogs is pH 6 to 6.5 if the dog is on a well-balanced species appropriate diet;
  • Dog's and cat's are evolved to eat real meat - not processed dry dog food. Unprocessed real meat makes urine slightly acidic thus creating an environment that is not friendly for  overgrowth of bacteria.
2.2 Species Inappropriate Diet

Species inappropriate diets are a very common cause of UTI…
  • Commercially manufactured dry dog and cat food is not a species appropriate food for multiple reasons...
    • Dogs and cats are not evolved to eat and thrive on:
      • Dry processed food that: 
        • Lacks moisture;
        • Has been processed...
          • Heated at very high temperatures and double cooked;
          • Has lost most its beneficial amino acids, enzymes, micro-organisms etc.
          • That contains multiple toxic ingredients such as chemical based preservatives and food colouring
          • Inflammatory ingredients - gains, sugar, chemical preservatives, etc.,
          • Genetically modified foods (high in pesticide residue etc.); 
          • and other inappropriate ingredients such as powdered cellulose which is wood pulp;
          • In-fact and most shocking the bulk of veterinary prescribed dry dog and cat foods are a perfect example of foods that cause UTIs - you can see why here.
  • A vegan diet that is not supplemented with enough vitamin C.

2.3 A Predisposition for UTI can be Further Enabled by...
  • An acquired habit of holding urine – i.e. dog, cat does not get enough and regular opportunities to urinate;
  • Insufficient access to fresh, clean drinking water;
  • Some medications, prolonged use of specific medications;
  • Transfer of bacteria from the anus to the urethra;
  • Transfer of bacteria from lying down on a contaminated surface, and;
  • UTIs are often caused when bacteria, fungi or parasites find their way into the bladder or uretha. As female dogs and cats have shorter urethras they are more vulnerable to infection via surface contaminates.
  • A toxic load.
When a dog’s or cat's urine becomes more alkaline the following conditions may occur...
  • Bacteria overgrowth;
  • Cystitus (inflammation of the bladder due to bacteria overgrowth);
  • Urinary Crystals and Stones:
  • Alkalinity can cause minerals that should be flushed out of the bladder to instead settle in the bladder;
    • The mineral molecules may then form crystals;
    • The mineral-based crystals are sharp particles that move around in the bladder scrapping the bladder lining which may result in inflammation of the bladder;
    • In addition the crystals can bond together to form bladder stones.
UTIs can occur...
  • In the lower urinary tract;
  • In the bladder, or;
  • In the kidneys.
Left untreated UTI can be a very serious condition which can cause serious and life threatening problems. Your veterinarian can perform a urinary analysis test, x-ray etc. to verify the issue is UTI and not bladder stones.

The conventional allopathic treatment for UTI is antibiotics or antimicrobial drugs. 
  • Overuse of antibiotics is a huge health risk for your dog and cat;
    • When your dog or cat is on antibiotics his/her immune system is suppressed leaving your dog and cat vulnerable to a host of other issues;
    • As well, the more times a dog and cat is on antibiotic the greater chance of the dog’s, cat's system acquiring an immunity to antibiotics – a potentially life-threatening situation.
If you catch the UTI in its early stages and/or the infection is not extremely severe you can use natural DIY remedies to treat the infection...

3.0 Natural, Herbal, Nutraceutical
      Treatments for UTIs


To treat the symptoms, remedy the condition and prevent re-occurance the best approach is a holistic one comprised of several strategic steps which work together to remedy the situation without conventional drugs that will further suppress the immune system and cause adverse side effects. 

These four steps should be implemented together...

Step 1 - Topical Treatment to Stop the outward and inward Spread of Bacteria;
Step 2 - Ingested Treatment to Reduce Inflammation and Kill Bad Bacteria;
Step 3 - Add Herbs to Food at Meal Time;
Step 4 - Improve Your Dog's, Cat's Daily Diet

Step 1 - Topical Treatment



Bath your dog using the following rinse - this will help to flush out bacteria that might otherwise invade your dog’s urinary tract.

Lemon can be used in combination with greet tea and organic apple cider vinegar as a highly effective cleansing and disinfecting rinse. An excellent alternative to commercially made pet shampoos which can be full of toxins and carcinogens. Just as you would with commercially made shampoos - make sure you avoid getting the lemon juice cleansing rinse in your dog’s, cat's eyes. Do not use undiluted ACV on broken skin as it will sting.

To make the rinse:
  • Steep two or three bags of green tea;
    • Allow the tea to cool to room temperature;
  • Add the juice of a fresh lemon to the cooled tea;
  • Add the lemon-tea mixture to 4 litres/1 gallon of room temperature water;
  • Add 2 tbs of organic, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar;
  • Use the resulting liquid to bath your dog. You can choose to just cleanse your dog’s underside and under his/her tail, or bath your dog’s, cat's entire body;

Step 2 - Ingested Treatment, Choose One
              of The Following Options

Option One - Lemon, Cranberry, Orange and ACV





Mix the following together in a bowl:
  • Fresh lemon juice from the juice of 1 lemon (you can also add some minced lemon pulp from the lemon if desired);
  • Warm water to equal the amount of lemon juice;
  • Add the following to the lemon juice/warm water mixture:
  • 1 tbs of frozen or fresh crushed cranberries;
  • A few slices of orange (cut into small pieces or minced, don’t use whole uncut sections);
  • 1 tsp of organic unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar;
  • 1 tsp of raw, unpasteurized honey drizzled over top of the other ingredients;
  • If your dog will not eat the mixture as is, you can mix-in a piece of fatty fish, chicken or meat.
  • If your dog does not have kidney or gall bladder stones, liver problems and/or is not pregnant or lactating you can also add:
    •  1 tbs of finely chopped fresh parsley, or:
    •  Parsley water (recipe and dosage as described in this article).
Give this treatment to your dog twice a day until the infection clears. If the infection does not clear-up in the space of a day or two get your dog to a veterinarian.

Option Two - Grapefruit Seed Extract

 
The benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) were first noted in 1972 by physicist Dr. Jacob Harich who observed its broad spectrum use as an antibacterial and antiviral remedy. You can read more about Dr. Jacob Harich and the history of GSE here.

  • Grapefruit seeds contain active ingredients that are:
    • Anti-microbial;
    • Anti-fungal;
    • Anti-bacterial;
    • Anti-inflammatory and more. 
  • Grapefruit seed extract is known to be excellent for treating internal diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, it is used topically to treat and remedy skin diseases, external injuries and fungal infections. 
University of Georgia researchers found that GSE is an effective antiviral, antifungal and anti-parasitic agent for fighting many viral and bacterial infections, including E. coli.

Additional findings have proven that GSE is a highly effective treatment for:
  • 800 bacterial and viral strains;
  • 100 strains of fungi, and;
  • A multitude of single and multi-celled parasites. 
  • GSE is also an immune system booster. It contains:
    • Hesperidin (a bioflavonoid), well known for its potent immune system benefits;
    • Vitamin C, Citric  Acid, sterols and multiple additional antioxidants that aid the immune system’s ability to battle infections.
Grapefruit Seed Can be Administered Two Ways
  • Pulverized seeds can be used as an ingested treatment sprinkled on top of food;
  • Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) drops can be mixed into the food.
Dosage:

Liquid GSE:
  • Minimum dosage - 0.5 drops per every kg (per every 2.2 lbs) of body weight;
  • Maximum dosage - 10 to 15 drops per every 10 lbs of body weight 3 times a day;
Pulverized GSE:
  • 8 mg per every kg (per every 2.2 lbs) of body weight.
Give this treatment to your dog, cat twice a day until the infection clears. If the infection does not clear-up in the space of a day or two get your dog, cat to a veterinarian.

Interactions...
  • Immunosuppresent drugs;
  • Cholesterol lowering drugs;
  • Antihistamines.
Option Three - Juniper Berries
Can be used in combination with option two or three above


Juniper berries are harvested from the coniferous juniper which grows as a bush or medium height tree – a member of the pine family. Juniper berries are safe for most dogs and cats when used in moderation as directed below.  My German shepherd x Siberian Husky ‘Sarah’ likes juniper berries so much that she picks them herself – I keep an eye on her to ensure she does not consume too many!

  • Dry crushed powder;
  • Tea - infusion;
  • Tincture - use alcohol-free only;
  • Supplement - capsule;
  • you can also make your own concoction of uva-ursa... 
To make your own Juniper Berry Tea
  • Steep 20 berries for every cup of water;
  • Use a tea pot or pot with a lid to preserve the volatile oils;
  • Only steep for 5 to 8 minutes to preserve the volatile oils;
  • Use the tea sparingly…
    • Daily Dosage -
      • Small dogs and cats should have no more than 1 tbs a day;
      • Medium size dogs should have no more than 1/8 cup a day;
      • Large dogs should have no more than 1/3 cup a day.
  • Only use until the issues clears and do not use for more than 4 weeks at a time.
Read this article for more information including cautions, side effects and drug interactions.

Option Four - Uva Ursi
Can be used in combination with option two or three above



Also known by the name: Arberry, Bearberry, Beargrape, Hogberry, Mountatin Cranberry, Rockberry, etc. Uva Ursa is a very effective herb for fighting off urinary tract infections. It can be used as a tincture, tea or concoction.
Uva-Ursa is available in the following forms:
  • Dry herb;
  • Tea - infusion;
  • Tincture - use alcohol-free only;
  • Supplement - capsule;
  • you can also make your own concoction of uva-ursa... 
Uva-ursi Concoction Recipe
  • You will need - 
    • The dried herb (leaves of the uva-ursa);
    • Distilled water.
  • To make the Concoction:
    • Steep 1 part dry herb to 3 parts water,
    • Allow to cool to room temperature before giving it to your dog.
  • Dosage: 
    • 1 tsp of the concoction daily for a maximum of 3 days.
Cautions
Do not give uva-ursi to:
  • Puppies;
  • Pregnant or lactating dogs or cats;
  • Dogs or cats with a condition of thin or thinning retinas.

Interactions
  • Lithium
STEP 3 - Add Herbs

While your dog or cat has a UTI supplement their daily diet with a one or two herbs (from the list below) to help fight the infection and boost the immune system. Below the following list of herbs you will find a herbal dosage chart -based on your dog's or cat's weight. You can also purchase holistic pre-blended tintcures of these and other herbs specifically for treatment of UTIs.

Cats Claw

Safe to use daily as a dietary supplement for most dogs and cats.
  • Health Benefits
  • Can be used in dry herb, dry powder, pill/capsule, tea and tincture.
  • Cautions…
    • If your dog or cat as lupus or leukemina do not use cat's claw;
    • If your dog or cat has low blood pressure using cat's claw may further lower blood pressure.
  • Drug Interactions…
    • Medications changed by the liver;
    • Medications that are moved by pumps into cells;
    • Medications that decrease the immune system - i.e. corticosteriods medicines such as cyclosporine, prednisone.
 Golden Seal

Safe to use daily as a dietary supplement for most dogs and cats.
  • Health Benefits – partial list…
    • Golden seal is an herbal plant that contains the chemical berberine;
    • Berberine is:
      • Antibacterial;
      • Antifungal.
  • Can be used in dry herb form or tincture.
  • Cautions…
    • If your dog or cat is pregnant or lactating don’t use golden seal as an ingested supplement;
    • Don’t use golden seal as an ingested treatment for new-born puppies or kittens.
  • Drug Interactions…
    • Cyclosporine;
    • Medications changed by the liver;
    • Medications that are moved by pumps into cells.


Licorice


Safe to use as a dietary supplement for most dogs and cats.

  • Licorice has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to treat a wide variety of issues. The medicinal properties are derived from the root of the licorice plant. Licorice is an effective, fast acting anti-inflammatory which can completely replace or greatly reduce the need for corticosteroids.
  • The chemical glycyrrhizin is the active anti-inflammatory agent in licorice. Glycyrrhzin is and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. 
  • The anti-arthritic actions of licorice is comparable to that of hydrocortisone – the difference is that licorice does not suppress the immune system – hydrocortisone does. 
    • Licorice does not interfere with corticosteroid drugs therefore licorice can be used as a supportive adjunct as it has a strengthening effect which allows for lower doses of corticosteroids. This is important for dogs in long-term therapies as the serious debilitating side effects of steroid drugs may be mitigated by taking lower doses. Licorice can also be used to wean the dog off of steroids safely.
Preparation and Dosage
  • Licorice is naturally sweet and has a flavour that most dogs enjoy;
  • You can use licorice to mask the less favoured taste of other herbs that your dog may need to ingest but not like the taste of;
  • Use a low-alcohol licorice root extract (alcohol should represent 5% to 10% of the total volume of the tincture); 
  • Dosage
    • Tincture - 12 to 20 drops per every 20 lbs of body weight two times daily.
    • Tea – 24 to 40 drops per every 20 lbs of body weight two times daily.
    • Don’t use for more than 2 weeks at a time – unless your veterinarian has instructed otherwise.
    • If you must use for more than two weeks make sure that you add dandelion to the diet so that increased potassium requirement is met and elimination of excess sodium is enabled.
  • Cautions
    • Do not give to a pregnant or lactating dog.
  • Side effects…
    • As noted further above.
  • Drug Interactions…
    • Licorice may interfere with blood thinning drugs;
    • Medications changed by the liver;
    • Medications for high blood pressure;
    • Diuretic drugs.
Slippery Elm Bark

  • Safe to use daily as a dietary supplement for most dogs and cats.
  • Use dry powder or supplement form.
  • The powdered bark has a very agreeable scent.
  • Slippery elm contains astringent tannins that sooth and reduce inflammation, reduce swelling and heal tissue. Helps to heal internal and mucosal tissues;
  • When added to water the powdered bark creates a soothing mucilage (a thick water-based solution) which can be used to moisten and sooth. The powder can be mixed into your dog`s or cat`s food with some added moisture – I use homemade stock or puree - chicken or meat based, and/or fruit or vegetable based.
  • Cautions…
    • Use moderation when giving slippery elm to a pregnant or lactating dog or cat
  • Side Effects…
    • None
  • Interactions…
    • Slippery elm contains a soft fibre called mucilage which can decrease how much medicine the body absorbs. Ingesting slippery elm at the same time that an oral mendicant is taken can decrease the efficacy of the medication;
    • To prevent this interaction administer the slippery elm at last one hour after giving ingested medications.

Milk Thistle


Also known by the name: Carduus marianus, Silybum mariamum, Silybum, Silybin, Silymarin, Silymarine, St. Mary’s Thistle, Marianus, Marianum, Our Lady’s Thistle, etc.
Milk thistle is an herbal plant that is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean regions – today it can be found growing wild in many places around the world including North America.  .
Milk thistle has been used in traditional herbal medicine for thousands of years – its recorded use dates back to the 1st century. Over the centuries milk thistle was used for many ailments including disorders of the liver, kidney, spleen.

Medicinal Properties of Milk Thistle
The healing properties of milk thistle come primarily from:
  • The seed (the fruit) of the milk thistle that contains silymarin;
    • Silymarin:
      • Is a flavonol (antioxidant) that protects the liver from oxidation;
      • Blocks hepatotixic substances from crossing cell membranes – acting to protect the liver from toxic substances;
      • Stimulates cell regeneration. 
      • Silymarin:
        • Is stored in the liver where it contributes to regeneration and protection of the liver;
        • Which also in-turn works to protect the immune system and metabolism. 
Milk Thistle can be used in various forms:
  • Dry powder;
  • Liqued;
  • Tea - infusion;
  • Tincture - use alcohol-free only;
  • Supplement - capsule, pill;
  • Or as part of a silymarin phosphatidylcholine complex,
  • (Also sold in combination with dandelion and other herbs)
For more information on milk thistle including dosage, cautions, interactions - read here.


General Guideline...
Daily Herbal Intake Based on Dog’s or Cat’s Weight
 

Dog’s, Cat’s Weight
Dry Powder
Tea or Infusion
Capsule,
Tablet, Pill
Tincture
pounds (lbs)
tsp
tbs
amount
times/day
amount
times/day
drops
times/day
1-10 lbs
1/16 –
1/8 tsp


1/8 cup
1x to 3x
1/2
1x to 3x
1 -
3
1x to 3x
10-20 lbs
1/8 tsp -
1/4 tsp


1/4 cup
1x to 3x
1/2 -
1
1x to 3x
3 -
5
1x to 3x
20-50 lbs
1/4 tsp -
1 tsp


1/4 cup -
1/2 cup
1x to 3x
1 –
2
1x to 3x
5 -
10
1x to 3x
50-100 lbs
1 tsp -
2 tsp


1/2 cup –
1 cup
1x to 3x
1 –
2
1x to 3x
20
1x to 3x
+100 lbs
2 tsp -

1 tbs
1 cup
1x to 3x
adult
human
dose
1x to 3x
adult
human
dose
1x to 3x
tsp = teaspoon     tbs = tablespoon    times/day = times per day    x = times per day


STEP 4 - Improve Your Dog's Cat's Diet

If your dog or cat suffers from chronic UTI you need to change your dog’s or cat's diet…
  • Remove all grains from the diet;
    •  corn, wheat, barley, rice, oatmeal, quinoa, etc.
  • Use only good source protein – organic is best: meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, etc.
  • Use carbohydrates from nutritionally dense foods such as sweet potatoes, squash.
  • Add nutrient rich whole foods such as steamed or frozen/thawed veggies (i.e. carrots, broccoli, cauliflower) and fresh fruit high in vitamin C as discussed in this article;
  • The best diet is a well balanced, grain-free, toxin-free:
    • Raw-food diet, or fresh food combined with low temprature cooked food homemade nutritionally complete, biologically/species appropriate 
    • If you must feed commercial processed dry or wet food make sure you know how to select a better product - don't assume you know - must people, even those that think they know - do not.


Step 5 - Get Holistic Support

If you require additional support and guidance I would be pleased to assist you via my Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services:
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice is available via this service
  • Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans are available via this service
 
 

13 comments:

  1. It's me again, Jackie. I also bought licorice in capsules. They are 450mg. How much should I give my two dogs, 8 lbs and 12 lbs? Thanks again.
    Jackie :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jackie - for the Uva-Ursi and the licorice 1/2 capsule 2 to 3 times a day - dosage is provided in the article under the Daily Dosage Guideline Chart.

      Delete
    2. Great. Thank you. I wasn't sure if the dosage chart was also for the Uva-Ursi.

      Delete
  2. Hello

    I have Lab x Retriever has had several UTI over her past 8 years, I have been buying "diet" dry food from the vet and for a 35kg dog its getting expensive. what do you suggest I feed her and add to her diet, so I don't have to keep paying for the dry food?

    Thankyou so much, my VET has advised me there is nothing I can do besides buy the dry food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Veterinarian prescribed dog food is a) very expensive to purchase and b) is full of health threatening species inappropriate toxic and carcinogenic ingredients - it is in-fact one of the worst types of 'food' available. Your veterinarian is absolutely incorrect - but then he is making a lot of money pedaling his/her unethical prescription dog 'food'.

      I would be pleased to assist you should you decide to purchase consultation time.

      Delete
  3. I would like to use the topical treatment for my do who is prone to UTI's. I was wondering if limes can be used in place of the lemons. We do not have lemons here in Mexico but limes are available by the truckload. :) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Karen,

    Do you recommend pure cranberry juice? I did a research online and I have being feeding my dog age 14 with cranberry juice mixed with water. He has UTI for 2 days and seems to cure as no more bloody urine. His urine will turn from red to brown then to normal urine color. But the bloody urine comes back when I stop feeding him the juice. Should I continue to feed him that?
    Joy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 100% organic only - do not add water. Can be part of daily diet BUT If your dog has chronic UTIs it is a clear indication his diet is inappropriate and his immune and renal system are not being supported by that diet.

      Delete
  5. Hello Karen, My 12 1/2 year old Brittany has had 4 UTI's in the past year. Prior to this she has never had a UTI. She is also having a problem with her coat not growing back after we had her clipped in May and her skin is flaking. My veterinarian recommended a canine immune system supplement and a canine renal support supplement that they sell. Upon getting them home I noticed that the immune system support has nutritional yeast as the second ingredient and the renal support has nutritional yeast as the 7th ingredient. .Both of these products also have oat flour, defatted wheat germ and mushroom as ingredients. It is my understanding that the yeast and mushroom can contribute to the problem along with the grains. Is this correct? Should I continue with the supplements from the vet?
    I am feeding her a dehydrated grain free dog food with free range chicken and no ingredients from China. She is on sulfamethoprim right now and I supplement her diet with plain greek yogurt and a 15 billion live cultures per capsule probiotic while on the antibiotic.
    Thank you so very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 99% of veterinarian prescribed food and supplements contain multiple listed and hidden toxins, carcinogens, known allergens, endocrine disruptor and otherwise immune system destroying substances. Specific types of mushrooms are important holistic nutraceuticals. The mushrooms themselves are not a problem - the source of the mushrooms in the product are. The product you are using contains non-organic mushrooms.Much bigger concern are the inflammatory, ingredients in your veterinarian prescribed supplements - and I can guarantee there are also non-active listed toxic ingredients in the product as well unlisted toxins. The root cause of your dog's chronic infections is the current diet - the vet supplements will simply serve to make matters worse.

      Delete
  6. This is very helpful thank you! Our Corgi/Beagle mix shows signs of UTI (peeing every 20 step s on walks, peeing when nothings coming out, peeing on inside rug) about every 3 months. 200$ later on tests at vet show nothing. I'd like to supplement her diet with Cranberry Powder that I read about- Do you recommend one in particular? I assume "human" powder would work (found at Sprouts/whole foods/Trader Joes?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca/diet-nutrition-health-consultations/

      Delete

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