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Urinary Tract Disease
Puddles is a very happy eight-year-old spayed female cocker spaniel. During their initial visit with me, her owners told me she had been diagnosed with several “urinary tract infections” in the past year. To them it seemed like she was always on antibiotics and they were hoping a more natural approach would solve her problem as they knew chronic antibiotic use couldn’t be good for her. I told them I see a lot of dogs with urinary problems and that it is very rare that I cannot help these pets using a natural approach.
I reviewed the records that Puddles’ owners brought with them. Fortunately, her veterinarian did not simply indiscriminately prescribe antibiotics as is so often done to dogs with urinary tract problems, but had prescribed antibiotics based upon culture and sensitivity testing of her urine. Each time a culture was done however, it revealed the same bacterial organism, suggesting that while the correct antibiotic had been given to Puddles, it has not been prescribed for a long enough period of time to totally eliminate the bacteria.
Since dogs with chronic urinary problems can have an underlying cause such as bladder stones or a bladder tumor, I performed radiographs of her bladder as well as an ultrasound examination of her urinary system. Thankfully, both tests were negative for stones and tumors.
Since Puddles had been taking antibiotics for such a long period of time, I really didn't want to prescribe more antibiotics for her. Instead I preferred to simply use natural therapies, telling her owners we could always go back to antibiotic therapy if future culture results still confirmed the presence of bacteria in her bladder. They were pleased to hear that we were going to give her system a break from all the antibiotics and really wanted to treat her with only natural therapies if possible.
To help Puddles, I prescribed the following natural treatment regimen.
First, because she had been taking antibiotics for such a long period of time, I was concerned that her normal bacterial flora in her gastrointestinal system had been disrupted. To counteract this, I prescribed several GI supplements I often use in pets that have been taking chronic medications such as antibiotics, steroids, and NSAIDS. Nutrigest and RX Biotic, both made by RX Vitamins for Pets were prescribed for her. I knew that by using these two supplements I could replenish her normal gastrointestinal bacteria and heal any bowel damage that occurred as a result of chronic antibiotic therapy.
To support her urinary system, I prescribed several specific therapies. First I prescribed Herbal ABX, an herbal antibacterial supplement, made by Evergreen Herbs along with Olivet, an olive leaf extract, made by Vetriscience. I like using both of these supplements, which act as natural alternatives to antibiotics, in my patients which normally would be prescribed antibiotics by conventional doctors. I informed Puddles’ owners that both of these therapies acted as natural antibiotics without the side effects that can be seen with traditional antibiotic therapy.
I also prescribed the supplement called Urobac by Nutriwest. It contains several potent ingredients that can help kill bacteria in the urinary tract including glandular extracts of the adrenal and thymus glands, lymphatic tissue, and kidneys.
Finally, I prescribed a homeopathic remedy by Heel called Uricleanse. It contains several homeopathic remedies including solidago, berberis, and cantharis, which are very helpful in resolving bladder issues in pets.
Follow up with Puddles’ owners 2 weeks after initiating this therapy showed that Puddles was totally normal with no further clinical signs of a urinary infection. A culture done 2 weeks after the phone consult was negative for bacteria, indicating our natural approach had cured her bladder infection. I will continue to have her owners monitor Puddles for ongoing urinary issues since she had chronic bladder issues prior to her visit with me.
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