Urinary Tract Problems in Pets
Veterinarian Reviewed on September 10, 2011 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Urinary problems are one of the most common reasons owners seek veterinary care for their cats. The general term for the disorder is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). The condition is a frustrating one as cats urinate inappropriately outside of the litterbox. It is also the primary reason why owners give up their pets to shelters. The disorder can cause bloody urine, straining, and increased frequency of urination. It can be very painful for cats too. These disorders can sometimes be complicated by blockage of the urethra which can become a life threatening emergency. Breed, age, gender, and diet have all been associated with risk factors.
Conventional medicine may seek to manage the condition through repeated use of antibiotics even though they may not be indicated. They may also treat with anti-depressant therapy assuming stress is a component. One thing is clear is that water intake and diet type are major factors in the cases. Feeding commercial produced dry cat food is often a component in many of these cases. Management is achieved through diet modification, behavioral modification and environmental enrichment.
A holistic treatment approach to FLUTD focuses on reducing inflammation and protecting cells of the urinary tract. Some of the nutrients utilized in therapy include glandular therapy (adernal, thymus and kidney) which help reduce inflammation. Glucosamine is added to enhance the protective layer of glycosaminoglycans in the bladder. ‘Achyranthes’ is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties that may help to decrease inflammation in the lower urinary tract. ‘Glechoma’ can help dissolve urinary tract stones and may help prevent their reformation. ‘Phellodendron’ has demonstrated antibiotic efficacy against a variety of pathogens. Again it is very important that a proper medical workup be performed prior to beginning treatment for this bothersome condition.
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan