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Vet Talk – Urinary tract infections in dogs and cats

Posted June 7, 2016


Anyone with a bladder infection can attest to the pain, aching, and discomfort it brings. It’s the same for urinary tract infections in dogs and cats; but because they can’t always say what’s going on, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms to look out for so your pet doesn’t continue to suffer.

Signs of urinary tract infection include:

  • Difficulty urinating, bloody or cloudy urine
  • Increased urinary frequency along with decreased volume
  • Accidents in the home
  • Strong odor
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy and increased water consumption.

UTIs are caused by bacteria, with E.coli being the most common.

The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters (tubes that carry urine to the bladder for storage), the urinary bladder, and the urethra that conducts urine outside the body. A urinary tract infection could involve any of these areas. However, when we speak of a urinary tract infection we usually mean “bladder infection”.

In most cases, fever, vomiting, or changes in blood values do not accompany urinary tract infections in cats and dogs. Urinary tract infections are diagnosed by urinalysis, and culture and sensitivities of urine. Chronic, resistant bacterial infections can lead to more serious, life threatening problems such as kidney infections or bladder stones- an accumulation of crystals forming a stone that can obstruct urine exiting the body or “blocking” urinations. Crystals in the urine can form for many different reasons, but most commonly from bacterial infections and mineral imbalances in the diet.

There are many different prescription diets in the veterinary field for urinary infections. The purpose of these diets are to dissolve or prevent crystals from forming by controlling the levels of magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as the pH of the urine, preventing bacterial infections as well. It is important to have a balanced diet – weather home cooked or formulated high quality diet in order to keep urinary pH levels consistent throughout the day.

Complimentary treatments for urinary tract infections include cranberry extract, western herbs such as gravel root, hydrangea, stone root and corn silk, as well as acupuncture. Making sure to have plenty of water at all times helps flush out the urinary system.

NHV formulas that I have used in combination with antibiotics with success is the combination of NHV Yucca for pain, NHV Milk Thistle for liver and kidney support and NHV Tripsy– a proprietary blend of western herbs like Stone Root, Parsley Piert, Gravel root, and Wild Hydrangea, which help to prevent kidney stones, and to help resolve UTIs.

Other supplements from NHV that help with UTI infections in dogs and cats are NHV PetOmega 3 and NHV Turmeric, both of which help with inflammation and reducing oxidative stress.

Is your cat or dog suffering from UTI’s? Please feel free to contact me for an on-line holistic veterinary consultation.

Dr. Hillary Cook is a graduate of Virginia Maryland Regional Veterinary Medical school. She has been practicing holistic and integrative veterinary medicine for fifteen years. She certified in Veterinary acupuncture and is fully qualified in Western and Chinese herbalism. She is the owner of Animal Wellness Center, an integrative veterinary clinic in Crozet, VA. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats and chickens. When time allows, you can find her in the garden or on the tennis court!

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