VIEWS: 63 PAGES: 3 CATEGORY: International Affairs POSTED ON: 5/30/2012
Once again the warmer weather months are upon us and with this change in temperature comes a number of pet health concerns. On this list of unwanted visitors are such names as Lyme disease, heart worm infestation, mange, and an increased chance of pet urinary tract infection helped along by dehydration.
Once again the warmer weather months are upon us and with this change in temperature comes a number of pet health concerns. On this list of unwanted visitors are such names as Lyme disease, heart worm infestation, mange, and an increased chance of pet urinary tract infection helped along by dehydration. While it may be true that pet urinary tract infections generally aren't life threatening they are still serious, can be very painful for pets, and oftentimes are expensive to treat; especially if the condition becomes chronic. What is a pet urinary tract infection? One out of every 6 pets will experience an infection of the urinary tract with almost 50 percent of cases in aging pets becoming chronic. There is some disagreement as for whether cats or dogs are more susceptible with factors such as age, size, activity levels, hydration, gender (female pets are more susceptible) and the co-existence other medical conditions all potentially playing a role. I would venture to say that once everything is factored in both cats and dogs are equally likely to contract a pet UTI at some point. Bacterial entering through the urethra and setting up shop in the bladder (cystitis) is the primary cause for these types of infections. Veterinarians will tell you that it is uncommon for a pet with healthy immune and bladder function to become infected. That is unless they are regularly exposed to bacteria. Examples that could put your pet at risk of infection are dirty litter boxes and poorly maintained community dog areas. Additionally, many long-haired cats and dogs may harbor bacteria around their private area if not bathed or trimmed regularly. How does dehydration play a role? When your pet becomes dehydrated due to heat and/or lack of fluids they tend to urinate less. This in turn creates a window of opportunity for bacteria which under normal circumstances would have been flushed out during urination. Once the invading bacteria has made its way to the bladder all of the sudden what was once a non-issue now has the potential of becoming a full-blown infection of the urinary tract. If left untreated the bacterial infection may advance to the kidneys creating a potentially life threatening condition ultimately resulting in toxemia. Preventing dehydration and pet UTI While there is no assurance that improved hydration alone will prevent a bacterial infection of the urinary tract it is always better to be safe than sorry. So here are a few ideas that should prevent dehydration from making a pet urinary tract infection part of your reality. *Keep water handy and share it with your pet. If you take your pet with you on hot summer days remember they need water too! *Multiple water bowls. After being outside sometimes dehydrated pets will simply plop down before re-hydrating themselves if water is not readily accessible. Additionally, pets with arthritis or other joint conditions such as hip dysplasia may not be willing to endure the pain in order to get to their water bowl. *Blueberry, cranberry, or raspberry juice. Adding an eye dropper of juice to your pets water will help prevent bacterial infection by making it difficult for the invading bacteria to attach itself to the urinary lining. *Keep temperatures in a reasonable range. Just as sweltering temperatures will dehydrate humans they will dehydrate pets as well. If you are going to be away don't forget to leave the air conditioning on in your house and never leave your pet in a hot car as they can dehydrate in a matter of minutes. *Lean toward wet dog and cat food during summer months. While dry food absorbs water and can make dehydration worse wet food will do the opposite providing much needed moisture. *Homeopathic supplements for urinary tract health. Many pet owner have found these types of natural remedies to quite helpful both as a preventative measure and as a standalone treatment for early stage pet urinary tract infection. Additionally, pet urinary tract supplements can be used in conjunction with more convention treatment approaches, such as antibiotics, creating a powerful one-two punch. This treatment approach is very effective against chronic pet UTI. Robert D. Hawkins is an independent researcher and enthusiastic consumer advocate for natural pet health. To discover more about pet urinary tract health along with information about safe and effective herbal and homeopathic remedies specially formulated for supporting urinary tract health in cats and dogs.
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