Author Topic: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?  (Read 765 times)

cdgreg

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Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« on: November 04, 2020, 08:13:58 PM »
Hi mustachians.  Our Female French Mastiff who is around 3 years old seems to get a UTI a few times a year.  Each time this occurs we bring her to the vet and depending on how long it's been since the last visit they'll either do a urine test + prescribe or require an office visit + urine test + prescribe.  What they generally prescribe is SMZ TMP 960 tablets https://vetapprovedrx.pharmacy/smz-tmp-4345.html.  This can cost us upwards of $170-$200 if they require the 4 minute office visit in addition to the urine test.  The darn prescription from them is only about $12 of the total...

I've asked numerous times what causes this and if there's anything we can do to help stop future UTIs, the general answer is no, and they are caused by a variety of reasons, higher frequency in female dogs. 

I feel like every couple months I'm giving the vet $150-$200 for a basic antibiotic prescription...

I tried going on ebay and googling but it requires a prescription.  Do I have any other options here to avoid the on-going costs or suck it up buttercup, this is pet ownership?

Thanks!




Daley

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2020, 08:58:37 PM »
The risk is low to try, but you could always try adding a cranberry extract supplement to your dog's daily food. It might or it might not help minimize UTI frequency, studies are still up in the air, but it's cheap enough to at least give it a go and has a pretty successful history with humans.

https://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/cranberries-may-2019/

You also might consider a water fountain if your dog doesn't drink enough water, as that might help flush things out quicker before they can get established. If you'd like a recommendation, depending on the size of your critter, either a Cat Mate or Dog Mate fountain is relatively cheap to maintain, fails safe, and you can potentially refill the filters yourself for a fraction of the cost if you're careful with where you source your filtration media.

Supposedly, the higher quality apple cider vinegar with the mother in it is a recommended alternative treatment with humans and potentially with dogs as well by lowering urinary pH, but I've never used the stuff as a UTI treatment. YMMV.

Granted, this is mostly more preventative over cure, but still worth trying, and potentially lower risk... though it still wouldn't hurt to talk with a vet about it. Maybe get a second opinion.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2020, 09:01:42 PM by Daley »

rothwem

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2020, 04:12:59 AM »
We used to have a Jack Russell that would get UTIs. She was on a special food, either low in sodium or high in sodium, I can’t remember. Basically it would make her drink a lot of water and pee a lot. The flip side is that she always had to pee a lot, she couldn’t go more than about 8 hours or she’d have a UTI within the week.  Supposedly the issue is related to small dogs having to hold it for too long, so we eventually ditched the $$ food and let her out even if she wasn’t asking at the door. We got into a routine though, and for the last couple years of her life we had no UTIs.

Before we figured out the food/peeing, we got doggie health insurance from Banfield, since it was ~$350 every time she got a UTI. The health insurance was $40/month, so if she got 2 UTIs a year we were ahead.

MudPuppy

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2020, 04:31:26 AM »
We clean the vulva of our UTI-prone pup with medicated wipes every couple days. In her case she has an anatomical issue where here loose skin is partially covering her vulva and trapping germs. Abundant fresh water and frequent potty trips are also crucial.

slappy

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2020, 05:17:43 PM »
In my area, we have vets offices (one is Banfield) that have these deals where you pay $x per month, and it's like a membership. It covers the annual exams, and it also covers any office visits. When I had my previous dog going there, the monthly amount was almost like a sinking fund. If you added it all up, you were basically paying for your annual exam on a monthly basis, compared to paying once per year. But, you get the added benefit of having the sick visits covered. So, we had a few sick visits, and they were pretty cheap because the office visit was "free". Maybe there are vets in your area like this?

Also, have you price checked other vets? I took my cat in for a sick visit recently and it was only $60. $150 seems high.

GuitarStv

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2020, 05:36:59 PM »
My beagle started getting UTIs regularly during the last year of her life.  I was heading down to the vets to get medicine and do tests every couple weeks and she wasn't getting any better.  It was extremely frustrating (along with the pee everywhere) as it was happening for more than six months.

I started grasping at straws and read that apple cider vinegar could help.

I put a tablespoon or two in her water dish (along with fresh water) each morning and it cured her problem in under a week.  This wasn't fancy apple cider vinegar or anything, just whatever was available in the grocery store in the plastic jug.  Continuing to put the apple cider vinegar in the water prevented her from getting them.  I stopped using it for a couple months after she seemed better and she got another UTI . . . which was promptly cured with apple cider vinegar in her water again.  I cannot recommend it enough - it was like a miracle and saved us a ton in medication and vet fees.

Malcat

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2020, 05:46:45 PM »
To be very, very, very clear as someone who prescribes antibiotics, it is not something done lightly, no matter how it seems to you as the client or patient.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that the decision to prescribe and what to prescribe are simple, routine, run of the mill processes. We make it look easy because we know what we're doing.

So no, I do not think you should be diagnosing and prescribing antibiotics unless you are trained to do so, especially with an animal that cannot describe what their symptoms are and does not express pain.

Try whatever home remedies your vet says are safe.
Otherwise leave the medicine to the doctors.

MudPuppy

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2020, 05:55:03 PM »
Good post, @Malcat.

I would like to issue a general, and probably unnecessary, clarification that the medicated wipes are preventative and not a treatment.

cdgreg

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Re: Dog w/UTIs...alternatives to the vet?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2020, 09:45:24 AM »
Thank you for the feedback everyone, really appreciate it!