|A dear dog is a family member. (Photo: urinarytractinfectioncauses.net )|
Some time ago, I wrote a post which discussed the use of a simple sugar D-Mannose in the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia Coli (E-coli). Since then, several people have written me privately asking whether d-Mannose could be used in their dogs. I wrote them back giving them internet references which they likely could have searched themselves, but I declined to post on this with relation to dogs, thinking that veterinary sites probably made more sense for a post of this type.
Since we are the caretakers of our animals, and our dogs in disasters and emergencies, I realize now that this might be an important subject I probably should place here.
The science exists to tell us that d-mannose, which is sometimes marketed for humans as Clear Tract prevents the adherence of e-coli to the specialized cellular lining of the bladder and other urinary tract structures. This makes it difficult for an early urinary tract infection to establish and travel to all parts of the urinary tract. This can be a useful tool in early or milder urinary tract infections, or in ones that have been treated but don't feel resolved following completion of antibiotics. Since e-coli is the most common organism in human beings, to cause urinary tract infection, this can be valuable information. There is also a theory that even after an antibiotic, some e-coli strands can remain dormant in the urinary tract, and the patient can experience a recurrence. D-mannose may either prevent that recurrence or work in tandem with the antibiotic to ensure a complete recovery. However, no evidence exists which suggests that d-mannose has any effectiveness in treating urinary tract infections caused by any pathogenic organism. (This means it will not work for urinary tract infections caused by other urinary pathogens such as proteus mirabilis, klebsiella, enterobacter, staphylococcus saprophiticus, or citrobacter.)
|The powder can also be a good way to administer this to animals in food or juice.|
Since literature tells us that e-coli is also the most common pathogen to cause urinary tract infection in dogs, then it makes sense that there may be a use for it in dogs. We need to be cautious here because although you and I know whether our urinary tract infection is improving, our dogs can't speak to us and tell us how our intervention has worked. For this reason, I would urge people to have urinary tract infections treated by your vet and then ask the vet whether a maintenance dose of a small amount of d-mannose might be helpful in the prevention of recurrence. This is also the best source of dosage instructions for your pet. Remember that the urinary tract in many dogs is small, and that it's a short trip to the kidneys. Infection of the kidneys themselves can be life threatening in our dogs, as it can be sometimes in human beings as well. It's also important to include your vet in seeming urinary tract infections in dogs because sometimes these are not only urinary tract infections, but a sign of urinary tract stones as well.
Remember also that the above information applies to cats as well. Cats can be especially challenging, and so make sure you speak with your vet to clear anything you want to give a cat. D-Mannose is also a treatment that you can only give to a cat who is still urinating.
This said, there may be emergencies where you cannot reach your vet for a few hours.
The following product is a d-mannose product which is chewable and especially designed for dogs and cats. Please pay close attention to the dosage instructions by your pet's weight.
Another very important point is that just as diabetic humans and animals may develop urinary tract infections a bit more readily than non-diabetic individuals, the particular simple sugar is not metabolized as sugar and therefore can be used in diabetic human beings, and in diabetic dogs and cats as an adjunct to prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections. Again, speak to your vet about using this and any supplement, and for dose guidelines. None of the references indicate that the practice of using d-mannose could be harmful for your pet, but the concern is missing a fulminant infection which is incompletely treated which could later produce sepsis and later death, so staying in touch with your vet as soon as you can communicate would be the safest course of action. Make sure your pets always have lots of clean and clear water available to them at all times.
Entirely Pets D-Mannose
Important Background information to this post:
My prior blog post on the use of D-Mannose in human beings: