Urinary tract infections in dogs or cats are mainly caused by a stone in the urinary bladder or kidney, or an enlarged prostate in males. If not treated immediately, urinary tract infections can cause damage to the upper parts of the urinary tract and as well as other organs.
One of the main symptoms of a urinary tract infection in dogs or cats is canine or feline urinary incontinence. Other signs of canine urinary infection may include frequent urination, straining to urinate without actually passing any urine, and increased thirst. These collective symptoms may be a result of another problem, and only urinalysis and culture can confirm the diagnosis.
UTIs in puppies are more common than in adult dogs, and female puppies are more susceptible to the problem. Veterinarians usually resort to antibiotics to treat the condition, in most cases. Even though antibiotics often work, they require higher concentrations and need to be used for prolonged periods of time to be effective. This is especially because most of the drugs are metabolized by the body, and a substantial quantity of antibiotic is eliminated through urine.
Natural and herbal treatments for canines help in preventing and treating urinary infections, as well as strengthening the immune system. Practically the same herbs that have been in use for treating UTIs in humans are also used to address canine and feline urinary tract infections. Some of them are as follows:
- Echinacea, a perennial North American herb, helps in removing residual infection.
- Rosehips, fruit of a rose plant, are a natural source of Vitamin C and iron. It is an effective tonic for kidney health.
- Buchu, two small flowering shrubs native to South Africa, are rich in essential oils. Their leaves have been used traditionally as an herbal remedy for ailments of the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.
- Alfalfa balances the pH level of urine and reduces irritation in the linings of mucous membranes.
- Uva Ursi has traditionally been used for its constituent glycoside arbutin. This ingredient has medicinal properties that act as a mild diuretic. The herb is also known for its antimicrobial effect. For use, the leaves can be soaked in ethanol and diluted with water to treat urinary tract complaints like cystitis and urolithiasis.
- Yarrow tincture can be used for urinary disorders, and its aerial parts can be used as a diuretic.
While using herbal therapy for treating canine and feline urinary infection, it necessary to monitor the disease and use herbs in proper concentration and dosage. In this manner, herbal remedies can support the body's natural systems to self heal in a more effective manner.