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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Urinary Tract Infections

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Learn more about common urinary diseases and developmental disorders of the urinary tract in dogs including parasites, infections, and congenital defects.

Breeders should not risk breeding any dog with a history of Urolithiasis.


If you've noticed that your dog has recently been whining to go out more often, he may be suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI). In addition to frequent urination, the following signs may indicate a UTI:

  • Straining, pain or difficulty urinating

  • Blood in the urine

  • Foul smelling urine

  • Urination in inappropriate places

  • Tender lower abdomen (in the area of the bladder)

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

Similar signs can be seen with urinary stones or obstructions. Your veterinarian can rule out these other problems. 

UTIs are a common problem in dogs but relatively uncommon in cats. However, inflammation of the urinary tract in cats may produce UTI-like symptoms, and is a serious health problem. If your cat exhibits any of the above symptoms, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Male cats can show the above signs when their urinary tract is obstructed. This can be life threatening in a short period of time. 

Females have a wider and shorter urethra than males and are affected by UTIs more often. Males can get UTIs though, especially when they are intact (non-neutered). 

"UTIs are also more likely to affect older, spayed dogs who experience incontinence," says Dr. Pam Epperson, AAHA member and owner of the Animal Care Center in West Bountiful, Utah. "Unfortunately, the cause of UTIs in pets is generally unknown." 

Your veterinarian will test your pet's urine to diagnose a UTI. A urinalysis is the examination of urine for abnormal substances such as blood, protein, sugar or white blood cells, which may indicate a UTI. Urine samples can be collected by having the pet urinate in a container. A sample can also be retrieved from the bladder by catheterization or by drawing urine directly from the bladder with a needle. 

A bacterial urine culture will be performed to identify the presence of bacteria, which will confirm that a UTI is present. 

"If the urinalysis indicates that your pet has a UTI, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition," says Dr. Epperson."

There are some steps you can take at home to decrease the incidence of UTIs. 

Make sure that your pet has access to plenty of clean, fresh water.
When urine remains in the bladder for a long time, bacteria can multiply and your pet will be more prone to infection. Let your pet outside every few hours to help him eliminate bacteria. If you have an indoor cat, make sure her litter box is always accessible and clean.

Taking your dog on at least two walks a day will also increase the frequency of urination and may reduce the risk of infection. 

Occasionally the infection causing bacteria will swim up your pet's ureter and may cause a dangerous kidney infection called pyelonephritis. If you notice any changes in your pet's normal urinary habits, take him to your veterinarian before an infection turns into a potentially serious 

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  CRANBERRY JUICE by Marina Zacharias

Cranberry juice is an old folk remedy that has a long history of usage for preventing and treating urinary-tract infections. The "Empire" boys still consider it to be just another "quack" remedy because it has not been scientifically proven . . . until now, that is!

In a recent study, some 153 elderly women (average age 78.5 years) were randomly assigned to consume 300ml (about 10 ounces) daily of a cranberry juice beverage or a synthetic placebo drink that was similar in taste, appearance, and Vitamin C content.

After six months of treatment, women receiving the cranberry juice had 58% fewer urinary-tract infections than did women receiving the placebo.

There were some interesting aspects to this particular study. For example, in the past it was thought that cranberry juice increased the acidity of the urine, which would make it more difficult for certain bacteria to grow. However, in this study, the urinary acidity was not increased with cranberry juice. Its beneficial effect must therefore be attributed to some other action.

We do know that cranberry juice contains relatively large amounts of a compound called "hippuric acid" which is known to have an antibiotic activity. There also appears to be an unidentified substance in cranberry juice that prevents bacteria from binding to the bladder wall. Obviously, if bacteria cannot attach themselves to the tissues, they cannot cause an infection.

We have had excellent results in using Cranberry concentrate capsules (1,000 mg. capsules) for the dogs in preventing reoccurring urinary tract infections and cystitis problems. The concentrate is of course much easier to administer plus it contains no sweeteners or added sugars.

For those animals that have chronic reoccurring infections we have obtained stable relief with using a Chinese herbal formulation called Lindera 15. This formula can be used safely for long term use in both dogs and cats.

If a bladder infection should occur, in the majority of cases it can be treated easily and quickly by a variety of natural methods, without resorting to continual rounds of antibiotics which can create its own set of problems (i.e. yeast infections).

To treat an infection BHI Bladder and Inflammation are two homeopathics that work well to relieve symptoms and make the animal more comfortable. They can be given frequently in acute symptoms. The glandular called Albaplex works well in conjunction to clear the problem. It gives direct support to the kidney, liver and urinary tract functions. It also aids the immune system and can be used until all signs of infection are clear.

Marina Zacharias
Natural Rearing Website.

WARNING! Those of you who use Kaopectate to control diarrhoea, especially in cats, need to be aware of the recent formula change. Due to concerns regarding lead levels in the old formulation the manufacturer of Kaopectate have changed the active ingredient to bismuth subsalicylate. Salicylates (e.g. aspirin, pepto bismol and now kaopectate) should only be administered to cats under veterinary supervision. Some dogs are also sensitive to salicylates.

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