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uation if stones pass from the bladder into the male’s narrow urethra, where the obstruction prevents the pet from urinating. Stones can also affect feline friends and similar life-threatening situations can occur if urine is unable to pass.


Generally, stones form in concen-


trated urine, so the less hydrated a pet, the greater the risk that a stone may form. Stones are formed by microscopic mineral crystals strained out of urine that band together to create a larger stone. There are various types of stones and correct identification will deter- mine treatment options.


Prevention Tips Increase water consumption. Home cooking is a wonderful option for ensuring a pet is receiving ample moisture-rich foods; most recipes include fluid-rich meats and veggies. Offering high quality, premium canned food is good, too. For pets that routinely chow down on dry commercial foods, moisten rations with salt-free broth. Also, add a tiny pinch of unrefined sea salt to their water bowl; using distilled water is advised for pets with a history of stones.


Use supplements. Capsules of


d-Mannose cranberry extract combine a powerful natural diuretic with the antibacterial benefits of cranberries. The more often a pet urinates, the less likely the urine will become concentrated in the bladder.


Consider probiotics. Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that estab- lish a healthy flora in the digestive tract; a strong gut can fight off infectious bacterial challenges. Monitor pH. Owners can purchase pH strips to test a pet’s first daily urine at home. Changes in a pet’s pH may indicate a urinary issue and that veteri- nary care is advisable.


By staying alert to abnormal pet behav- ior and promptly consulting with a vet, you will be able to get your pet back to proper urinary health.


Dr. Matthew J. Heller is a holistic veterinarian and owner of All About PetCare, in Middletown, OH. For more information, visit AllAboutPetCare.com.


natural awakenings October 2011 27


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