Saturday, November 16, 2013

How Long To Use Pet Supplements For a Dog's Urinary Tract Infection and Struvite Crystals

Dear Ask Ariel:   My dog Chelsea was having chronic urinary tract infections--3 infections in 6 months!  She also had struvite crystals.  You recommended that I use a few supplements and make some diet changes.  I have been using the Renelix, Pet UTI Prevention Formula and Power Probiotic for several months now with my dog.  I also made the diet changes you recommended.  My veterinarian just repeated the urine tests. The test results from the last urinalysis shows no crystals. Does this mean she is cured and I can reduce the supplements I currently give her?

Ask Ariel:
So glad Chelsea is feeling so much better! This is a very good question.  Supplements are very different than medications.  Medications treat a problem and when the symptom goes away, you stop the medication.  So for example, you used antibiotics to treat Chelsea's initial infection and once the bacterial overgrowth subsided, you stopped the medication.  However, since there was a high likelihood the bacterial overgrowth could occur again,  we introduced the supplements to try to prevent another infection.  Pet supplements are needed more from a preventative standpoint than medications which work from a treatment perspective.  Pet supplements help the body to heal and when you stop the supplement, the problem can usually return because the body is no longer getting the support it needs.  So for example, if you stop the Renelix, given Chelsea's propensity to get bladder struvite crystals, there is a good chance she will get them again.  Thus, it is best to stay on the supplements to prevent these type of health issues from recurring.