Alternate Remedies for Chronic UTIs?

Ava has had chronic UTIs since she was 12 weeks old. She has had round after round of antibiotics, which I hate giving her and which clearly aren't much of a cure. She's on daily doses of cranberry supplements, omega-3 capsules, probiotics (FortiFlora) and vitamins, and I clean her with antibiotic wipes every time she urinates. She's on a grain-free, high-quality diet, including treats. This helps most dogs, but not Ava.

Has anyone ever had a dog with this problem? I'm hoping that someone might have had success with different supplements or can suggest a homeopathic remedy for this. Vets don't have an answer, and I just don't know what else to do.

First Basenji's

Would lots of cranberry-infused treats, or cranberry supplements help? It helps for people…

I don't know why it doesn't work for Ava. She's already taking cranberry supplements twice a day, plus cranberry treats. I upped the dosages, but it's just not helping her. She gets a little orange juice, too, but that doesn't seem to help, either.

First Basenji's

Oops, doubletake. You mentioned cranberry supplements right in your first post. Sorry for repeating the obvious! 😉 (unless it was edited?)

I don't know if it helps to get some kind of broader urinalysis at this point, to see what her urine "typically" consists of when she's not fighting infections?

No worries– thanks for helping! She had a UTI at her first vet visit a few days after I brought her home and she's pretty much been fighting it to various degrees ever since, so I'm not sure her urinalysis has ever been completely normal. But that's a good idea-- I'll ask the vet if there's some broader testing we can do. We're already doing cultures. She has food allergies, so we're trying to work around that, too.

google d-mannose and oregano. you can get empty capsules to put the dose into. (I saw some at Whole Foods, but otherwise, maybe Amazon)

I have rarely had dogs with a UTI, and all just once. But I have friends who have dogs who kept getting and developed stones/crystals etc. So I agree, they need to figure out why.

From UC Davis

Chronic urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are usually bacterial in origin and can affect either the lower urinary tract or both the upper and lower tracts. Bacteria from the intestinal tract and the external genital region ascend through the urethra into the bladder on a regular basis; the balance between bacterial virulence factors and host immune defenses determines whether the bacteria can colonize the bladder and cause UTI. Some concomitant patient factors such as kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, Cushing's syndrome, urolithiasis, hyperthyroidism, the presence of a urinary catheter, incontinence and spinal cord disease, among others, can increase the likelihood of UTI. Sometimes medical situations such as the ones listed above render the infection more difficult to clear and may make a pet more likely to become reinfected. Medications that suppress the immune system can also increase the likelihood of developing UTI and/or complicate UTI treatment. When patients develop sequential UTIs, have difficulty clearing a UTI despite appropriate management, systematic evaluation of patient anatomy and physiology may help to identify complicating factors and appropriate methods for clearing/controlling UTI.<<

Some basic ideas such as washing area to decrease bacteria, more fluids to keep flushed, etc:

And from beloved vet Wendy… stricture issue? There is a lot more to article but that part below. ALSO, you can contact them. Wendy walks on water as far as I am concerned... ask her for ideas. 🙂

Sometimes when an infection simply cannot seem to be cleared up, the reason is a vaginal stricture. A vaginal stricture is a small narrowing in the vagina, creating a ledge for bacteria to colonize. If a female dog's UTI seems stubborn against antibiotics that the culture indicates should be effective, a vaginal exam may be warranted. A stricture can generally be broken down by the veterinarian's finger though some dogs find this painful and sedation may be needed.


google d-mannose and oregano. you can get empty capsules to put the dose into. (I saw some at Whole Foods, but otherwise, maybe Amazon)

Oh, I forgot to mention– d-mannose is in with her cranberry supplements. Haven't tried oregano. Oil of oregano, right-- the smelly stuff? I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip!

Debra– Ava's UTIs seem to be stemming from a recessed/inverted vulva. I use antibacterial wipes to stop the urine from pooling in the recess and causing bacteria to form. This, and cranberry, works for most dogs. I haven't heard of vaginal stricture, so thanks for bringing that up! I'll check into it. It's possible that Ava has multiple problems, since the infection returns whenever we stop the antibiotics. The vet wants to keep her on a low-grade dosage going forward, but I hate doing that and it isn't really a long-term solution.

yes, the oil of oregano. it has some antibacterial properties, so some use it instead of antibiotics. just google "oil oregano chronic UTI" and you'll get a bunch of hits. I am not sure of the dose, so you'll have to figure that out. (google is your friend)

Google is one of my best friends! I ordered the oregano, which apparently smells like very pungent pizza, so we'll see how that goes over with the princess. 🙂

you do NOT NOT NOT want to give that to her as it is. you will need to dilute with other oil or put it in an empty capsule (maybe both). I've seen the empty capsules at Whole Foods (in the "drug"/herb section) or amazon may have them. Taking the oil straight almost burns and has an after taste that lasts a long, long time. (I know, I've taken it straight. once. )

I read up on it, and it does sound very strong and unpleasant-tasting. I talked to our holistic vet yesterday, and the consensus was to start with caps diluted with olive oil and ginger. Ava also has allergies, so this might help with that as well. Then we can eliminate the Benadryl. She's already on a probiotic, so the vet feels a conservative dosage shouldn't have any ill effect. I'll watch her very closely to make sure.

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