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Natural Remedies for Cystitis in Dogs

Cystitis in dogs involves an inflammation of the pet's bladder, most often caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms of cystitis include blood in the urine, the dog straining to urinate and an increased frequency in the dog's urination. Conventional treatment generally involves a two to three-week course of antibiotics. If the dog has recurring cystitis, the veterinarian will try to find the underlying cause of the condition. These can include bladder stones, nervous system abnormalities and bladder tumours. Natural treatments can be used in conjunction with conventional treatment to help your dog recover more quickly.

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Veterinarian

If you plan to treat your dog's cystitis with natural remedies alone, you should consult with a holistic veterinarian. Cystitis can be a serious illness and a holistic veterinarian will be able to recommend the best treatments and the right dosages of natural remedies for your pet. The holistic veterinarian will also be able to monitor your dog's condition for any complications. To find a holistic veterinary practice in your area, use the directory at the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association's at ahvma.org/.

Fluids

One of the most important therapies for a dog recovering from cystitis is constant access to fresh water. Because it is important for the dog to drink as much as possible and urinate as much as possible--both in an effort to flush infection-causing bacteria from the bladder as quickly as possible--it's also important that you take your dog out often and give your pet as many opportunities as possible to urinate.

Diet

Any time you begin to treat your dog with holistic remedies, the first aspect of your dog's health the natural practitioner will examine is diet. Most likely the holistic veterinarian will recommend that you change your dog's diet and begin preparing your pet homemade meals made from human-grade, organic ingredients. Because of the additives, preservatives and filler in commercial dog foods, many holistic practitioners feel that these diets may damage pets' health and may slow recovery from illness, including cystitis.

Alternative Treatments

Commonly used herbs for dogs with cystitis include bearberry and barberry. These herbs have antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make them especially suited for treating cystitis. The herbs will also reduce inflammation in the bladder and may help to strengthen the pet's immune system. Other commonly used herbs include echinacea, goldenseal, garlic, dandelion root, nettle, parsley, juniper berry and marshmallow root. Homeopathic remedies that your holistic veterinarian may prescribe include cantharis and staphysagris. Supplements your holistic veterinarian may recommend for your dog include cod liver oil, vitamin C and cranberry juice.

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About the Author

Bethney Foster is social justice coordinator for Mercy Junction ministry, where she edits the monthly publication "Holy Heretic." She is also an adoption coordinator with a pet rescue agency. Foster spent nearly two decades as a newspaper reporter/editor. She graduated from Campbellsville University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English, journalism and political science.

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