Bladder Infection

Natural treatments to help prevent cystitis and relieve bladder infections in cats and dogs.

treatments for bladder infections to prevent cystitis in cats and dogs

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  1. What is a Bladder Infection?
  2. What Causes a Bladder Infection?
  3. Diagnosing a Bladder Infection
  4. Help for Bladder Infections
  5. More Information on Bladder Infections

What is a Bladder Infection?

Bladder infections in pets are similar to those in humans and both result in intense discomfort and pain. An infected or inflamed bladder may be caused by bacterial infection, crystals which form urinary stones or an obstruction in the bladder or urethra. This makes it very difficult to empty the bladder when there is an urgent need to urinate.

Bladder infections are more common in cats than in dogs and can occur at any age. Female spayed dogs tend to develop more bladder infections and recurring infections often occur in poodles, Labrador retrievers and middle-aged to older German shepherd dogs.

Male cats often develop partial or complete blockage of urine which can be life threatening. If left untreated, bladder infections can lead to serious health complications such as kidney failure. It is therefore very important to take your pet to the vet at the first sign of a bladder infection.

The most common symptoms and signs of a bladder infection include:
  • Straining, having difficulty or crying when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urine has a foul odor
  • Tender lower abdomen
  • Enlarged bladder filled with accumulated urine
  • Increased licking of genitals
  • Pet wants to urinate more often without passing urine
  • Urinating in the house or other odd places
  • Fever
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite

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What Causes a Bladder Infection?

Bladder infections are commonly caused by bacterial infection, bladder stones or urolithiasis (stones and crystals in the urinary tract and bladder) or a change in urinary pH (alkaline or acidity value) that may cause inflammation of the bladder wall. Bacterial organisms known as Escherichia coli, Streptococcus/Enterococcus and Candida albicans invade any part of the bladder or urinary tract.

Certain dry commercial pet foods, food storage and inappropriate feeding methods may also add to the increase in the E.coli bacteria and contribute to the development of bladder infections. In addition, medications such as antibiotics or corticosteroids as well as diseases which include diabetes, tumors, epididymitis or the inflammation of testicles can predispose your pet to bladder infections.

Diagnosing a Bladder Infection

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If you suspect that your pet may have a bladder infection, consult your veterinarian. The diagnosis of a bladder infection is based on the symptoms presented and certain tests may be performed. These tests include a urinalysis, urine samples or bacterial urine culture to test the pet’s urine and confirm the presence of bacteria.

Help for Bladder Infection

Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics or anti-inflammatories, and disappear quite quickly once treatment is administered. Although antibiotics treat the symptoms, these medications do not address the cause of the problem – antibiotics kill harmful bacteria but also beneficial bacteria. If a bladder infection is left untreated, more serious health problems such as kidney infections and failure can occur.

Natural remedies

Herbal and homeopathic remedies have proven to be highly effective in the treatment of bladder infections and other urinary related problems. Because these remedies contain natural ingredients they are safe and gentle to use for your pet without the risk of negative side effects.

Well known herbs such as Arctostaphylos uva ursi and Berberis vulgaris have powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties which are excellent for the treatment of urinary tract infections. These herbs also help to reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.

Homeopathic ingredients such as Cantharis and Staphysagris are recommended for the treatment of severe cystitis, urine retention that may occur with prostate problems and symptoms of burning urine.

More Information on Bladder Infection

There are certain preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the
risk of bladder infections and these include:
  • Ensure that your pet always has plenty of fresh, clean water
  • If pet does not drink a lot of water, give him additional fluids – add water or chicken broth to the food
  • If your pet stays indoors, let him out every few hours to urinate
  • Encourage your pet to drink water during a bladder infection as it is essential that the unwanted toxins are flushed out
  • Boost your pet’s immune system with immune system supplements
  • Feed your pet natural, chemical free food as commercial foods increase their risk of infection and weakens the immune system
  • If you do feed your pet commercial, processed foods, use a prescription diet prescribed by your vet
  • Walk your dog at least twice a day to increase the frequency of urination
  • If have an indoor cat, check that his litter box is clean and accessible
  • Line the litter tray with newspaper and use about a cup of litter at a time, changing it each time it has been used.

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