Natural treatments for feline lower urinary tract disease (LUTD)
LUTD affects between 1 and 2% of the cat population. Bacterial infections are not a common cause. Cats suffering from the disease are “significantly more likely to be fed dry food exclusively” (Dr. Bruce Fogle in Natural Cat Care). The aim of complimentary, natural treatments to cure LUTD is to reduce the specific gravity of the urine to about 1.020 and to remove the infection. Doctors use broad-spectrum antibiotics (a non-natural remedy) because cats with this disease get better on antibiotics even though the infection is not bacterial. It is suggested that antibiotics have an antispasmodic action on the urethra which believes discomfort.
To eliminate crystals the urine pH is reduced to between 6.0 and 6.5. Potassium chloride capsules are added to meals and taken twice daily. Males are more likely to have a blockage because their urethra is a quarter the size of a female’s.
Many cats with LUTD don’t have bacterial infections, as mentioned, or mucus plugs or stones. They can recover without specific treatment. “Complimentary vets” (Dr. Elizabeth M Hodgkins DVM would be an example, I believe) suggests feeding wet rather than dry food. They also suggest adding water to food. In the past I have suggested adding water to boiled fish for example. As an aside, they advise against scented litters if the cat has toilet problems.
Holistic vets also advise avoiding standard dry foods. They say that it helps to supplement commercially manufactured canned, wet food with fresh cooked meat and some cooked mashed vegetables. Freshwater must always be provided.
A diet with ascorbic acid, reduced vitamin D, reduced protein and reduced calcium and sodium can help to control calcium oxalate stones. They say that asparagus can break up oxalate crystals because it contains asparagine. Cats with chronic kidney failure will benefit from these recommendations say conventional and complementary veterinarians.
Herbalism can play a role if you believe in that kind of treatment. The herbs, stoneroot and horsetail are said to prevent urinary stones. Increasing urine flow through diuretic herbs may also help. These herbs include dandelion leaf and couch grass. Oedema (swelling caused by fluid in the body tissues) can be reduced by the help cherry stalk extract.
Bearberry leaf is a urinary antiseptic which can be used to treat bacterial cystitis. Another urinary antiseptic is juniper berry. Peppermint herb can help to soothe the urinary tract which might ease the passage of small stones. You can add fennel seed and marshmallow root as alternatives.
Dr. Fogle says that the herbs cinnamon bark, comfrey leaf and celery seed can be used to improve the well-being of a cat suffering from kidney impairment.
Cystitis can also be treated with homeopathy and biochemical tissue salts. Cantharis and Equisetum are used as remedies for cystitis. Calc. carb is used for overweight cats with uroliths.
Bach flower remedies can use used to relieve discomfort caused by cystitis. Bach rescue remedy might assist is lowering anxiety (cystitis can be caused by stress). Finally, relaxation therapy might be helpful to reduce the chances of getting emotion-induced cystitis.
Note: the source: Dr Bruce Fogle’s Natural Cat Care. I am not a vet. I know a lot about cats, however.
SOME MORE ON THE URINARY TRACT:
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