The problem? Cystitis (Urinary Tract “Infection” or UTI).
What’s this article’s solution and take home? An easy process to resolve and prevent it.
You come home to a puddle of urine on the kitchen floor or outside the litter box. Or maybe your previously well housebroken 5 month old puppy wakes you up overnight with a urgent request to go outside to pee.
“Inappropriate” (to you, but not your pet) urination, frequent, urgent, painful and otherwise abnormal urinations are common clues that your pet may have cystitis (UTI). What does that really mean?
Any “itis” is an irritation. That’s it. Not infection. A healthy and natural response by the body.
Cystitis (bladder irritation), or enteritis (intestinal irritation), dermatitis (skin irritation) are clues that there is an internal imbalance causing an irritation and inflammatory response.
Inflammation is the body’s natural healing mechanism.
Cystitis does not mean the there is an infection. The symptoms that you see are clues to what is going on internally. Your working with the body to help these symptom clues has two effects:
1) Gradually resolve symptoms by treating the underlying imbalance (better known as “dis-ease”).
2) Improve overall health which reduces the chances for relapse.
Bacterial infections do not usually cause cystitis. Most commonly, the bacteria are only secondary invaders.
Like a one-two punch. Inflammation causes the tissue irritation which sets the stage for bacterial overgrowth.
Healthy bladders (and other parts of the body) have built-in very strong protection against infection. These include physical barriers, natural anti-biotic properties of urine, and a powerful immune system.
Understanding the physiologic changes that occur in cystitis can help you decide how to help your pet.
In cats (and some dogs) the most common causes are related to the environmental-emotional-physical connection. They trigger the inflammatory response and cystitis symptoms. Not an infection.
Here’s what to do:
1. Evaluate the environment and litter box hygiene. Any change can trigger these symptoms. Especially in cats. If there are no obvious trigger that you can modify (like feeding dry food, a dirty litter box, new litter, a new pet) then go to step two.
2. Bring a urine sample (or your pet) to your veterinarian. The vet’s diagnosis and treatment recommendations add reliable information to your Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM Step 2). You can use of this information both for treatment decisions as well as for monitoring.
2a. Try not to let any urinalysis findings (like crystals, white cells, blood, etc.) scare you into treating any way that you’re not comfortable. These abnormalities can resolve as the underlying dis-ease is treated.
2b. What you do now will have a direct effect on persistence, recurrence and progression of the dis-ease.
3. Increase fluid intake and fresh food feeding. Stop any dry food. This is critical. Especially for cats. Adding organic chicken broth to the food is one great way to increase fluid intake. Make the food as soupy as your pet will accept.
4. Monitor both the urinary as well as the BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) symptoms. These will help you decide if your pet is improving overall. In addition to just urinary symptom improvement. Record them in your journal to decide your next step.
5. Re-evaluate the treatment. Is it holistic? Does it take all of the different factors, like environment and stress, into consideration? If there is no improvement or if only the urinary symptoms improve while overall health is declining (maybe your pet’s urinary symptoms are better but now s/he is lethargic, getting pickier, having diarrhea or vomiting, etc.) then move to step 6.
6. Discuss treating the underlying internal imbalance with your vet. If she says to just continue the anti-biotic, or rolls her eyes, then consider consulting with a truly holistic vet. Even if your vet calls herself “holistic”. You can find one on theavh.org
7. Now’s also a great time to increase holistic support to promote natural healing. Homeopathic medicines, flower essences (especially those that help reduce fear and anxiety), Reiki, loving, soothing massages and T-Touch, play and other forms of environmental enrichment will help.
8. Congratulations! You did a great job. Your patience and perseverance with working through your pet’s symptoms has paid off with a happier cat who will have fewer problems in the future.
Holistic Actions! will always improve your pet’s quality of life and overall happiness.
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