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FLUTD: A Holistic Approach

FLUTD

Image credit: Infoxicated on Unsplash

If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection then you know just how miserable this condition can be.  Recurring urinary issues is commonly referred to as FLUTD or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.  These kinds of bladder and urinary tract issues can easily go undetected because cats are so good at hiding illness!  Until it becomes obvious.  Sadly, we experienced this first hand with our cat Lili years ago.  If left unaddressed they can become life threatening; therefore, be very observant and pay attention to the little details whenever you notice something different about your cat’s litter box habits (or lack of). 

What are some conditions of FLUTD?

Dr. Karen Becker, proactive and integrative vet, describes the several conditions of FLUTD as follows:

  • Cystitis, which describes inflammation of the lining and wall of the bladder and can result in a collection of blood, mucus and cellular debris in the bladder.
  • Urethral blockages or plug/urolithiasis resulting from the crystallization of minerals and irritation of the lining of the bladder and urethra, which causes the formation of clay-like material that creates a blockage. Blockages are considered life-threatening when they cut off the flow of urine out of the urinary tract. Male cats are more likely to acquire urethral plugs than females.
  • Bacterial infection, which can result from the blood, mucus and other debris associated with tissue inflammation.
  • Uremia, which is caused by an accumulation of toxic wastes in the bloodstream resulting from an untreated urethral blockage.

Clients with FLUTD

In the recent weeks several clients have been dealing with urinary issues for a variety of reasons.  Because they are so common I feel it’s important to highlight some examples.  In addition, you’ll learn several ways these can be addressed using a holistic approach.

Cats with FLUTD

Sasha

Sasha

My client, Sasha, was diagnosed with Feline Interstitial Cystitis, a painful inflammatory condition of the bladder.  Unfortunately, she’s also super sensitive to touch, and her body’s fight or flight response seems to running on high.  As a result, whenever she’s not feeling well she will pee in her sleep when her body is relaxed.  Or sometimes she will pee right next to the cat bed she’s using despite having access to lots of litter boxes in her home.  These are the usual signs to her mom that she’s having a flare up.   Her treatments include Bladder Support by Mercola, CBD, and homeopathic remedy Solidago.  

Madison

Another client, Madison, came to me with chronic UTIs for three years.  Her amazing parents are feeding her a species appropriate diet with bladder support supplements and taking great measures to reduce stress in her environment, including play daily sessions, too.  Despite all this, the UTIs continued to develop.  Doing a deep dive energetically was very revealing.  As it turns out, the previous caretaker’s abuse and trauma planted deep-rooted trapped emotions that were affecting her even today.  Consequently, her mind and body were constantly on high alert with adrenals and cortisol resonating; furthermore, she was apparently being traumatized by one of their cats in spirit guarding one of the litter boxes.  Energy healing work, color therapy, Reiki, flower essences along with continued bladder support supplements are the best recommendations for mind-body-spirit issues like this.  

Dash

Dash

Finally, Dash is another client struggling with ongoing bladder issues in the form of crystals.  Like Madison and Sasha, he eats a species appropriate diet of wet and raw food.  After in depth tests and evaluations, the vet determined that one of the potential causes was being neutered too young.  Unfortunately, early neutering disrupts the normal endocrine function and hormones needed as he grew.  As a result, the urethra opening can remain small and this increases the chances of developing crystals and blockages in some cats.  Therefore, to help prevent the development of crystals Dash uses Urinary Cat by Feline Essential, the homeopathic remedy Magnesia Phosphorica 30C, and energy healing sessions to help release trapped emotions. 

Signs and symptoms to watch for

The key to preventing a veterinary crisis is acting quickly the moment you notice something may be “off” with your cat’s behavior.  Therefore, if you suspect your cat may have a urinary tract issue there are many signs to watch for:

  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Straining 
  • Crying while in the litter box
  • Frequent trips to the litter box
  • Remaining in the litter box for longer than normal periods of time
  • Blood in the urine
  • Unable to pass urine
  • Excessively licking the genital area

Lili

Holistic support for cats with FLUTD

If you prefer to use a non-pharmaceutical approach to healing and providing ongoing bladder support, there are many effective solutions I have used with cat clients.  In order to take a more holistic approach, we address the mind, body and spirit.  There are lots of ways to be proactive and prevent bladder issues that lead to FLUTD in the first place.  While there are many homeopathic remedies and supplements that address urinary issues, here are some of ones that clients and myself find to be very effective.

Homeopathy and supplements

  • Homeopathic remedies such as Cantharis, Equisetum, Lycopodium, Berberis Vulgaris, Sarsaparilla, Solidago, Causticum, Pyrogenium and Magnesia Phosphorica (to name a few)
  • Herbal supplements like Bladder Support Gold by Pet Wellbeing, D-Mannose, Tripsy by NHV Natural Pet Products, Tinkle Tonic by Animal Essentials, Bladder Care by Herbsmith, Bladder Support by Mercola
  • Antioxidants that help reduce inflammation include Urinary Cat by Feline Essential, VitaCat by Feline Essential, and omega 3 oils (salmon, krill, fish, sardine, anchovy, etc)

Proper nutrition

  • Add extra water, bone broth, or raw goats milk 
  • Feed a wet, meat-based, species appropriate diet
  • Avoid dry, processed food (kibble) 

Reduce stress

  • Identify environmental stress triggers (noises, guests, adding new pets to the household, changes in routine) and find ways to provide a safe zone for your cat
  • Engage in regular exercise or play sessions
  • Keep the litter box clean
  • Use a litter the cat is agreeable to 

Spiritual and emotional support

  • Flower essences use the energetics of plants to heal emotional issues
  • Color therapy works by the vibrational frequency of the color to provide comfort, healing and confidence
  • Mind-body energy healing work to release trapped emotions and environmental stress triggers
  • Crystal therapy uses the frequencies of crystals for healing the mind and body
  • Tapping or EFT works on a subconscious level to release negative thoughts and behaviors

Other veterinary considerations

  • Minimize immune system stress by avoiding unnecessary vaccines
  • If possible wait to spay and neuter until later in their first year of life to ensure they have the hormones necessary for proper development
  • Be sure to get a urine culture before automatically giving antibiotics


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